Christina Ricci Explains How People Are Re-Victimized When 'Good Guys' Do Terrible Things

When the mask falls off, you'd be surprised by what an abuser is capable of.

Christina Ricci, man berating woman Wavebreakmedia, Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock

When it comes to problematic men who prey on or abuse vulnerable women, it’s not uncommon for women who have never been victimized by them and see them as "great guys" to discount the experience of the person that man harmed and even engage in "protectionism," to help these men avoid the consequences of their own actions.

Actress Christina Ricci shared a post to her Instagram story, calling on people to stand beside victims of abuse despite their love and admiration for the abuser.

The Instagram stories came after the Danny Masterson rape trial sentencing, where the actor received 30 years to life in prison.


christina ricci statement instagram stories abusersPhoto: @riccigrams / Instagram

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People thought Ricci might be referring Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis; however, others pointed out that Ricci herself was an abuse survivor.


It’s easy to assume that with all of the Masterson/Kutcher discussions happening, and the role Kunis may have played in his allegedly predatory behavior, Ricci was referencing them. But Ricci has her own history of abuse at the hands of her ex-husband.

In January 2021, People Magazine reported that Ricci had filed a restraining order against her husband, James Heerdegen, after filing for divorce the previous July. She alleged that he had been physically and emotionally abusive during their marriage, even engaging in toxic behaviors in front of their son, and her request was granted.

According to Ricci, Heerdegen isolated her and she wrote in her declaration, “He said the only way he could feel sorry for me is if I were dismembered into small pieces," leading her to believe her life was in danger.

She went on to detail numerous claims of domestic violence, to which her ex-husband vehemently denied and shot back, saying that her accusations were just a tool to keep him from their son. But to support her claims, Ricci had been granted an emergency protective order in 2020 after police were called to the home.


The former couple has since came to an agreement on custody of their son and Ricci has gone on to remarry Mark Hampton. She was quoted as saying, “The first time I really fell in love in a healthy way is probably this marriage that I'm in now.”

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Ricci's message is that the people we know and love can do horrible things to others despite the pedestal we put them on.

“So, sometimes the people we have loved and admired to horrible things. They might not do these things to us and we only know who they are to us but that doesn’t mean they didn’t do the horrible things and to discredit the abused is a crime,” Ricci wrote in her Instagram story.

In cases of abuse by a partner, it’s easy to the people associated with a couple to believe that the person they know could never do the things they are being accused of. The abuser may have spent years becoming this "deity-like" person to their loved ones, and anything that conflicts with the image portrayed is written off as unbelievable.


That is especially the case when it comes to narcissistic abuse. The problem is so prevalent that the people around a narcissist who might sincerely believe that they can do no wrong are referred to as “flying monkeys”.

They stand up for the abuser, no matter how wrong they are, refuse to see the truth when it is right in their faces, and either knowingly or unknowingly become complicit in the abuser's behavior. This is the exact reason predators and pedophiles move through entire families, ruining one generation after another.

The people who enable abusers actively engage in ‘abuse by proxy’ or ‘third party abuse’.

Not only does the person who was harmed have to fight to get out of the situation, and sometimes for their life, but they are further abused when their story is invalidated or met with skepticism. Oftentimes, they have to mourn the loss of people they thought loved them and had their best interests at heart due to the cavalier dismissiveness of the abuse they suffered.


You can’t say that you are an advocate for victims of abuse, then pick and choose which victims you want to advocate for. If you are against fighting the good fight and holding abusers accountable, you can’t exclude those that you believe are "good people" despite their horrific actions.

Everyone has their flaws — parts of their "shadow self" that they keep tightly under wraps to maintain their public persona. But if someone you love has a shadow self that is abusive, you hold them accountable because you love them, not in spite of your love for them.

If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse or violence, there are resources to get help. For more information, resources, legal advice, and relevant links, visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or, if you’re unable to speak safely, text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474.


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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment and news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.