The last time we checked in on Hayden Panettiere, things didn’t seem to be going great for the actress. Now, an insider reveals that her family is desperately worried about her safety.
Hayden Panettiere shot to stardom as the indestructible cheerleader on Heroes, although she’d been in show business since she was one year old. More recently, she starred as Juliette Barnes on Nashville for 6 seasons. But while her career seemed to be going strong, Hayden’s personal life was falling apart.
In 2014, after the birth of her daughter with heavyweight boxing champ Wladimir Klitschko, Hayden admitted that she experienced severe postpartum depression. She checked herself into a facility for treatment, first in October 2015 and again in May 2016.
During that time, her relationship with Klitschko was also on the rocks. They separated for good in 2018–and then the news broke that their daughter was living with him and his mother in Ukraine.
Rumors swirled as to why Hayden wasn’t living in the same country as her daughter, with gossip sleuths suggesting that her out-of-control partying with current boyfriend Brian Hickerson was to blame.
Hayden and Hickerson began dating in the summer of 2018. Paparazzi photos of the pair, apparently drunk and dancing barefoot in the parking lot of a trendy LA hot spot, surfaced.
In November 2018, the police were called to Hickerson’s home for a domestic assault between him and his father. According to the police report, Hayden was the one who called in the incident, and she seemed panicked and intoxicated.
Another domestic violence call went out in May of this year. Police allegedly found bruises and red marks on the actress. Hickerson was arrested on felony charges and then later released on a $50,000 bond. Despite a protective order for him to stay 100 yards from Hayden, the pair continued to be seen out together.
A source close to Hayden told People Magazine, “It is totally out of control and she has to get over this guy.”
Hickerson appeared in court in LA last week, and the judge was not interested in being lenient. He denied Hickerson’s request to dismiss the charges or reduce the felony to a misdemeanor.
In the public record of the court proceedings, the judge described the pattern of alleged abuse. Hickerson reportedly assaulted Hayden during their trip to Puerto Rico as well as the incident in May.
Here’s how the judge described the alleged domestic violence:
It wasn’t enough for him to cause her nose to bleed by hitting her with an open palm … he followed her into the bedroom and was the aggressor again, causing that severe swelling and bruising on the cheek and marks on her neck.
Give that, in my mind, the evidence has shown these are three different attacks by your client on this victim, once in Puerto Rico and twice that night … I’m going to hold him on the felony.
If he’s convicted, Hickerson faces up to 4 years in prison. However, despite Hayden’s family begging her to leave him, it’s ultimately her decision whether to stay. Here’s hoping that she gets the help she needs.