In a recent interview, Christina Ricci said she’s “so much better than okay” after accusing ex-husband James Heerdegen of abuse last year, explaining to The Sunday Times why she’s ready to start opening up about her experience.
“I think it is important to say that I don’t feel like a victim in any way,” the Golden Globe nominee, 42, explained. “I don’t feel sorry for myself. I don’t even feel like saying, ‘Well, it’s been a really hard road for me.'”
“Everybody has their personal issues and this has been mine, and it has been about finding my own self-worth and position and strength and power. I tell my story only because I know that, having been in situations like the one I was in, I searched for success stories, stories of people who could get out, could get over it and just be okay,” said Ricci.
She continued: “And so the fact that now I am in this place where I am so much better than OK, that is my impetus for being honest about it. Today I am not ready to talk about it in more depth, but I do think it is important that we have examples for other women — that, as scary as it is, changing your life and saving yourself is the only choice.”
Ricci filed for divorce from Heerdegen after almost seven years of marriage in July 2020, when she was granted an emergency protective order after police were called to their home the previous month.
In January 2021, Ricci obtained a restraining order against Heerdegen, citing “severe physical and emotional abuse,” allegations that he denied. They later agreed on a custody arrangement for their son Freddie, 8, that April.
“Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but it took me a long time to admit to myself what was going on, what it should be called. Denial is very strong,” Ricci told The Times. “Of course, you don’t want to accept that the worst possible thing is happening and that you put yourself in that situation. So it took me a really long time to realize that.”
The Yellowjackets star tied the knot with hairstylist Mark Hampton last October, and they welcomed their first baby together, daughter Cleopatra Ricci, 11 months, in December.
Ricci raved about her new marriage in August while appearing on Anna Faris’ Unqualified podcast. “I would say — and this sounds really annoying and cloying and stupid — but I would say the first time I really fell in love in a healthy way is probably this marriage that I’m in now,” she said.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.