Robert Reagan, who was arrested and charged for the murder of his reality star girlfriend Loredana Nesci, acted in self-defense, his attorney says.
The body of the 47-year-old star of Legal Diva was found in her Redondo Beach, California, home on Wednesday, after she had been fatally stabbed. Police received a 911 call from Reagan, 51, early that morning. He was later arrested.
“This case is a terrible tragedy. Loredana Nesci was a former LAPD officer, highly trained in the use of deadly weapons. She was also an avid body builder, and was exceptionally strong,” Reagan’s attorney, Shepard Kopp, tells PEOPLE in a statement. “She attacked Robert with a hunting knife in the midst of a domestic dispute. While defending himself against her assault with a deadly weapon, Robert tried to disarm her, and in the intense struggle that ensued she tragically suffered a fatal wound.”
Kopp continued: “While Robert is not guilty of committing any criminal offense, he is devastated by this horrible event.”
The couple, who had been dating for more than seven years and share a 6-year-old son Rocco, may have argued but it was never serious or violent, according to a pal.
“They were like the Bickersons,” Laura Riffel, a friend of the couple previously told PEOPLE. “It was never vicious or insulting. I would have never said I totally saw this coming. I just can’t even tell you, it makes zero sense to me.”
Though the Sundance TV reality star talked about her relationship troubles to friends, she remained upbeat.
“She was brilliant, beautiful, loving, kind, selfless and so positive, even when things weren’t ideal she would stay positive,” another friend, April Moore, previously told PEOPLE. “When I talked to her Friday, even though her relationship was not going as planned, she was positive. I told her that was one of the things I admired the most about her.”
“The time had come for Robert to move out,” Moore continued, “she was ready to move forward with her life.”
• Reporting by CHRISTINE PELISEK
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.