“Real Housewives of Orange County” star Gina Kirschenheiter has had an emotional few years. Kirschenheiter joined the RHOC cast for season 13 in 2018 when she and her now ex-husband Matt Kirschenheiter were living apart. RHOC followed them along their separation, divorce, co-parenting, and then the accusations.
Gina Kirschenheiter first filed a restraining order against her ex in June 2019 after accusing him of domestic violence, saying he attacked her and threatened to kill her after a night of drinking. He was charged with two felony counts of domestic violence three months later and pleaded not guilty, per Us Weekly.
Kirschenheiter internally battled with how to deal with the charges during the latest RHOC season. She watched her kids love their dad, and she didn’t know if she was doing the right thing. The two were married from May 2010 to July 2018, and they share three kids together: Nicholas, 8, Sienna, 6, and Luca, 5. She has since moved onto date her longtime boyfriend Travis Mullen.
Nearly two years later on April 20, Matt Kirschenheiter plead guilty to, “one felony count of domestic battery with corporal injury of a spouse, and guilty to one felony count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud, or deceit,” according to Us Weekly.
Gina Kirschenheiter Said She Thought She, ‘Was Going to Die’
Gina Kirschenheiter chose to read her victim impact statement at the hearing. “It’s hard,” she told the judge while already sobbing, as reported by Us Weekly.
“I thought I was going to die,” the mom of three emotionally said. “I still get chills thinking about how I begged you to, ‘Stop. Think about the kids.’ And you responded by saying, ‘Your mom is going to die tonight.’ It echoes in my brain, and it sinks deep in my heart,” she said. “That night, it literally felt like I was in a house with a stranger whom I’d never met before. Your eyes were completely black, and you were not Matt. It was so hard for me to believe that it was even you, but it was.”
Kirschenheiter continued crying and saying, “It’s taken me a lot of time, self-care, and therapy to work through what happened that night, but I have managed to forgive you for most of it. I accept that I will always have this painful memory from that night. I’ve come to terms with that.”
The Orange County judge sentenced Matt Kirschenheiter to 180 days in county jail, according to Us Weekly. He has to serve his time unless he wears a bracelet monitor, completes a 52-week batters program and three years of formal probation.
“Mr. Kirschenheiter is accepting responsibility for his actions and apologizes to Gina and his family,” his attorney told Page Six on April 16. “He is ready to move forward in his life and understands that accepting responsibility is a key step. Matt is a great father and looks forward to raising his children with Gina in a positive and loving environment. He has learned from this experience and taken proactive steps to ensure this type of behavior will never repeat itself.”
Gina Kirschenheiter Has Opened up About Her Abuse on RHOC
Kirschenheiter has taken RHOC fans on her journey with her. The 36-year-old first shared her experience with domestic violence during the RHOC season 14 reunion in December 2019.
“I was really scared,” Kirschenheiter shared. “I ran out of the house, and I rang my neighbor’s doorbell, and I was banging on the door. And he dragged me back in the house. A lot of the neighbors heard. They all called the police and then the cops came, they arrested him. It was scary. It was really scary.”
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