Gina Kirschenheiter has decided to make a victim's statement against her ex-husband Matt, following his alleged domestic abuse.
During Wednesday’s episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County, Gina sat down with her lawyer to discuss the possibility of her sharing a statement with the court about how the alleged incident has affected her life. He explained that the court “wants to know how the victim feels.”
Gina and Matt initially split in April 2018 after 11 years together and eight years married, but then reconciled. About a year later, in June 2019, the two had an argument in which Matt allegedly choked, hit, dragged, threw and threatened to kill her, all while their three young kids were sleeping in the other room, according to a filed restraining order request obtained by The Blast at the time.
Matt was arrested and Gina was granted a temporary restraining order, but he later pleaded not guilty to the domestic violence charges against him. In December 2019, the pair finalized their divorce.
Gina, 36, told her lawyer that she was conflicted about whether or not to give a statement to the court, especially because she and Matt had been “co-parenting so well.” The pair shares three children: Nicholas, 7, Sienna, 5, and Luca, 4.
“What happened that night, I struggle with it to this day,” Gina said. “I still wake up in the middle of the night. I have bad dreams. I want to give a statement — it's one of those things that I know in the back of my mind would be good and healthy for me, but I don’t know if I can.”
Her indecision persisted as she invited Matt over to celebrate Sienna’s birthday. Later in the episode, however, the reality star revealed in a confessional that she would go ahead and make the statement.
“I spent a lot of time just burying my feelings about a lot of things and it's not right, so I decided to make a victim impact statement,” she said. “I at least want him to have to hear how I felt about that night because it is literally the most significant event that’s ever happened to me in my entire life.”
Gina Kirschenheiter Talks About Having a 'Healthy Co-Parenting Situation' to Protect Her Kids
She continued, “It’s hard because my desire to make everything happy for my kids is always taking precedent to my own feelings, but I'm hoping that if he hears it, it will affect him in a way that will effect change.”
Still, Gina shared that the prospect of Matt going to jail and not being able to see their kids is difficult to reckon with.
“If Matt were to go to jail it would be horrible for my kids. Knowing that this may be the last birthday that Sienna will get to spend with her father for a while, it's sad. I don’t want that for my daughter and I don’t want to be the person responsible for that and I have a lot of guilt about that,” she said.
“What’s going on, it's heartbreaking, but I think it will be very beneficial for my children to see that I will stick up for myself and I'm not just gonna let Matt brush this off,” Gina added. “Somebody’s always swooping in to save him and I just really feel like he needs to know that I’m not that person anymore.”
The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.
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.
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