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Hayden Panettiere's complex feelings about abusive ex revealed

“I did not do any of this lightly…"

Hayden Panettiere's complex feelings about abusive ex revealed
Faye James
Faye JamesSenior Editor
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Hayden Panettiere’s relationship with her allegedly abusive ex-boyfriend, Brian Hickerson is far from straightforward. 

In a recent interview with The New York Times, the actress opened up about the complicated feelings she has towards her ex. 

The former real estate agent was sentenced to 45 days in jail in 2021 after pleading no contest to two felony counts of injuring Hayden and was also given four years of probation.

During the interview it was noted that Brian was present at Hayden's home, performing chores and playing basketball. 

The 33-year-old actress admitted to having "feelings" for Brian but did not confirm whether they were back together. However, Hayden was observed calling him "babe" on several occasions.

Addressing her ex’s arrest and jail time, the mom-of-one said: "He knows he deserved what happened to him." 

She added that the current state of their relationship is: "contingent on him continuing on this road to recovery... I did not do any of this lightly."

In 2019, TMZ reported that Brian was arrested on domestic violence charges after an argument with Hayden in Hollywood. 

Police observed red marks on the actress's body at the time. On Valentine's Day in 2020, Brian was arrested again while the couple was in Wyoming. 

According to documents obtained by TMZ, Hayen told the police that Brian: "beat me," allegedly punching her: "with a closed fist on the right side of her face."

In July 2020, Hayden filed for an order of protection, citing multiple instances of assault, emotional and psychological abuse, and domestic violence.

Days later, a judge granted her a restraining order, and the actress took to Twitter to share her thoughts on the situation: "I am coming forward with the truth about what happened to me with the hope that my story will empower others in abusive relationships to get the help they need and deserve.” 

She continued: "I am prepared to do my part to make sure this man never hurts anyone again. I'm grateful for my support system, which helped me find the courage to regain my voice and my life."

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Hayden, who added that she used to feel as if people were "waiting" for her to fail, welcomed her daughter Kaya in December 2014 with her former fiancé Wladimir Klitschko, who she split from in 2018.

The actress experienced postpartum depression and checked herself into a treatment centre in November 2015, shortly before her daughter's first birthday. Hayden, who had been receiving outpatient treatment, stayed at the Malibu facility for about a month.

She admitted that returning to work after her leave of absence was "kind of rocky".

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