A new report is revealing how The Real Housewives of Orange County star Gina Kirshenheiter has been coping following her estranged husband Matt Kirshenheiter‘s arrest months ago, as he appeared in court last Friday and pleaded not guilty to the domestic battery charges against him.
As fans following the case already know, Gina and her estranged husband have been struggling in court to establish a custody arrangement for their shared three kids, Nicholas, 7, Luca, 4, and daughter Sienna, 5, following Matt’s domestic violence arrest that took place on June 22, 2019.
Despite the ugly courtroom drama, a source close to the reality star explains why there’s hope for the couple’s ability to co-parent.
“Matt is always going to be family for Gina,” the insider revealed to PEOPLE. “She wants him in their children’s lives in the long term. She’s hoping they can work through the difficulties they’re having now and find peace.”
The source went on to explain that this whole process has been really hard for the Orange County housewife.
“[Gina] never anticipated that she and Matt would be going through something like this in the public eye. She may be on a reality show, but she’s a very reserved person when she’s hurt, and she had hoped the two of them could settle their differences behind the scenes. She’s disappointed that’s not what’s been able to happen, for both of their sakes,” the source continued.
To get through this trying time, the Bravo star has been “leaning on her family and friends for support,” explained the insider.
The source added, “[Gina] loves those kids so much. She’s a dedicated mom and is doing everything she can to protect them from the turmoil between her and Matt to make sure they’re having a happy childhood.”
But this hopeful thinking doesn’t change what’s going on between the estranged couple in the present. Just last Friday, September 6, Gina’s ex-husband pleaded “not guilty” to felony domestic battery charges and false imprisonment in an Orange County Superior Court, according to a Radar Online report.
As those following the case already know, Matt was arrested for allegedly laying his hands on Gina back in June of 2019 and posted bail. On September 4, prosecutors finally filed charges against Matt, who was then ordered to appear in court two days later.
During the hearing that took place Friday, Matt posted a $50,000 bond following his plea. The judge also “approved [the] restraining order against Matt, who was dressed in a sharp dark suit and was mostly quiet during his short court appearance,” according to the report.
Edward Welbourn, Matt’s attorney, reportedly told Radar Online that this restraining order only pertains to Gina, and not her children. The couple already agreed on a temporary custody and visitation agreement last month during their divorce proceeding.
“Matt will still have the unmonitored visits with the kids, which also was agreed upon in the divorce judgment,” explained his attorney, who added that “Matt maintains his innocence.”
The judge also ordered for “Matt not to harass, follow, or contact Gina and to stay 100 feet away from her. He also has to turn in any firearms he might have to law enforcement.”
Since the arrest, Matt argued he couldn’t make monthly child and spousal support payments due to the fact that he was fired from his job.