Christina Ricci and James Heerdegen: How a fairytale turned into abusive marriage and ended in restraining order
Heerdegen has been ordered by the court to not come within 100 yards of Ricci, her 6-year-old son Freddie and even the family’s dog
Actress Christina Ricci of 'The Addams Family' fame was granted a restraining order against her estranged husband James Heerdegen, who the actress had accused of domestic violence on multiple occasions. Heerdegen has been ordered by the court to not come within 100 yards of Ricci, her 6-year-old son Freddie and even the family’s dog.
Ricci told the court on Wednesday that she found herself “trapped in a house with a violent abuser”, reported TMZ.
The couple met on the sets of 'Pan Am'
The 40-year-old actress, who shares a child with Heerdegen, filed for divorce in July 2020 citing irreconcilable differences between the two, reported People magazine. At that time she sought complete legal and physical custody of their son. She was spotted on that day without her wedding ring.
The couple got married seven years ago. They first met on the set of ‘Pan Am’ in 2012 where Ricci played the role of Maggi. Heerdegen, who is a dolly grip by profession, was working on the set of the ABC series as a technician. Ricci dated Heerdegen for about a year before getting engaged to him in February 2013. They got married in an intimate ceremony in Manhattan on October 26, 2013.
The actress turned heads with her Givenchy haute couture wedding gown on the special day. “Getting to say ‘fiancé’ instead of ‘boyfriend’ is my favorite thing. I can’t wait for ‘husband,” the actress had reportedly said.
However, the fairytale romance soon went downhill as Heerdegen started showing signs of ‘abuse’ towards her. Ricci, who admittedly has struggled with anxiety and anorexia, was subjected to continued abuse from her husband.
Accusations against her husband
Ricci became alarmed about her husband’s nature for the first time in 2019 when he said “the only way he could feel sorry for me is if I were dismembered into small pieces", Ricci stated in the court.
In December 2019, Heerdegen reportedly beat her up, spat on her and ridiculed her by making pig-like noises. During the lockdown, he assaulted her again in two separate incidents. On one occasion, Heerdegen dragged her outside by her wrist and threw her into a fire pit. Another time, he spat at her before throwing a chair and coffee at her face. The incident was witnessed by their young son. Both the attacks left Ricci wounded with multiple bruises on her body.
Ricci also requested the court to prevent Heerdegen’s efforts to ‘humiliate’ her with audio and video clips he had procured during their relationship.
Heerdegen’s lawyer stated that his client denies all allegations of abuse leveled by Ricci “as having occurred in 2020".