‘I never wore clothes to attract sexual attention’

Christina Ricci says she has her son

Christina Ricci says having her son “broke my nihilism.” (Photo: Michael Tullberg/FilmMagic)

Cristina Ricci she’s opening up about her first marriage, how motherhood helped her snap out of a nihilistic streak, and why she tried to avoid the tabloid spotlight on her appearance as she transitioned from child star to young woman.

“I didn’t enjoy that,” says the actress, now 42. Sunday Times Style of the attention given to her changing body. “I never wore clothes to attract sexual attention, because I always felt that kind of attention in a very threatening way.”

When he reached adulthood, the addams family star, who will appear in the new Netflix series Wednesday series: leaned towards more edgy roles, with a “wild and wild” lifestyle to match. Looking back, Ricci sees that period as a “reaction” to her “chaotic” upbringing. Although the mermaids star, who has been estranged from her father since her teens, hasn’t shared many details about her family, she tells the Times that she “grew up in a very chaotic home.” As the youngest of four children, she learned early to use her precociousness to her advantage. “My ability to be adorable could blur things or distract people,” she notes.

Being “emotionally tuned in” as a young man helped his career skyrocket. But over the years he became “tiring”, so Ricci learned to tune out her feelings for him.

“I just didn’t feel passion, I didn’t care,” he says. “I made a lot of big decisions completely dispassionately, which ended up being a problem later, so keep in mind everyone, don’t make big life decisions when you go. through periods of nihilism. But actually it was a reaction. It was exhausting to be so upset and in pain all the time.”

The birth of their son Freddie eight years ago changed everything.

“The birth of my son really broke my nihilism and it was quite an amazing change,” she says. “I thought I would really love him and feel a lot of emotions towards him. I didn’t realize it’s all or nothing.”

Freddie’s father is Ricci’s first husband, James Heerdegen, whom she accused of physical and emotional abuse when she obtained a restraining order last year. Although Ricci is reticent to talk about that marriage, he addressed her struggle to see things for what they were.

“Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but it took me a long time to admit what was going on, what it should be called,” says Ricci, who welcomed a daughter with second husband Mark Hampton last December. “Denial is very strong. 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 long time to realize that.”

Beyond its emotional toll, the split also took a toll on Ricci’s finances, prompting her to sell off some of the Chanel handbags she had amassed throughout her career.

“Certain traumas in life go hand in hand with financial trauma, protracted court situations, custody situations, fighting restraining orders,” she says. “Having said that, I’m absolutely fine, no problem. But I’ve learned to wear these investment pieces in different ways. I also had a fine Chanel jewelry collection that I put to good use.”

With a new husband, a new baby, and an Emmy-nominated role in yellow jackets, Ricci looks ahead, not looking for pity.

“I think it’s important to say that I don’t feel like a victim in any way,” she says. “I don’t feel sorry for myself. I don’t even feel like saying, ‘Well, it’s been a very difficult road for me.’ Everyone has their personal issues and this has been mine, and it has been about finding my own worth, position, strength and power.

“I tell my story only because I know that, having been in situations like the one I was in, I looked for success stories, stories of people who were able to get out there, get through it, and just be okay. And so the fact that I’m now in this place where I’m much better than okay, that’s my impetus to be honest about it. I’m not ready to talk about this in more depth today, but I think it’s important that we have examples for other women, that as scary as it is, changing your life and saving yourself is the only option.”

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