'It's child abuse': Christina Ricci says her son won't be a child star

'It's child abuse': Christina Ricci says her son won't be a child star
'It's child abuse': Christina Ricci says her son won't be a child star Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

She found fame at the age of nine in the iconic 1990 film Mermaids alongside Cher and Winona Ryder, but Christina Ricci is adamant that her son, four-year-old Freddie, won't be following in her child-star footsteps.

"I feel it's child abuse to make your child famous," the 38-year-old told The Post at the Christian Siriano show during New York Fashion week. 

The mother-of-one who is married to dolly grip James Heerdegen, says she's not against Freddie chasing a career in Hollywood - but it won't be at the tender age of nine.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Babies. #winonaforever

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"Once he's an adult, and he studies, and he understands that it's an art form, then he can pursue an acting career if he'd like," she said, adding that "being famous is not good for children.

"We have a million examples of why it's not good for children," Ricci continues. "I'm just not going to risk it. Why would you put the most precious thing in your life up for that?"

Since welcoming Freddie in August 2014, Ricci has kept her son out of the limelight, not revealing his face on social media and only sharing glimpses of her life as a mum.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#breakfast

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More documentation of my shocking transformation into a mom-like creature.

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She's not the only former child star who has chosen to keep her kids out of the spotlight - at least until they turn 18. 

Drew Barrymore, who found fame at just seven after starring in E.T., told Grazia that she wants her daughters Frankie, and Olive, to have a normal childhood - and won't let them be "kid actors". Barrymore battled drug and alcohol addiction in her early teens before making her Hollywood comeback as a young adult in a string of successful 90s films.

"I want them to be kids," Barrymore said of her girls. "They might hate me for it, but there is no way until they are 18. If they are 18 and still serious about it, of course I'd support that. I'll take it one step at a time ...  Can you imagine me being a mum who is pushing her kids out there? That's not going to happen."

And while Ben Affleck may be more well-known for his recent roles than his early work, he too holds strong views about keeping his kids out of tinsel town. During an appearance at the AutFest International Film Festival in 2017, Affleck, who began his acting career as a tween, said he knows all too well, the reality of life as a child actor and wants to shield his children from pursuing a Hollywood career too young.

"I think it's a hard thing," he said. "I love being an actor, I got into it as a child and I wouldn't change that. But I also wouldn't want to take my kids and push them out there before they were 18," he said of Violet, 11, Seraphina, 8, and 5-year-old Samuel, whom he shares with former wife Jennifer Garner.

 "If they are 18 and they want to make those choices and do that kind of thing, that's fine. But being a child actor, I just know too much of the downside of what that can be like."