After allegedly suffering abuse at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, Brian Hickerson, Hayden Panettiere is speaking out in hopes of helping others.
In a post on Instagram, Hayden shared a message.
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“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,” the post read. “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.”
After separating from her fiancé Wladimir Klitschko, with whom she has a five-year-old daughter, Kaya, the actress began dating Hickerson in 2018. In October of 2018, both Hickerson and Panettiere were involved in a drunken altercation with Hickerson’s father. In May 2019, Hickerson was arrested for domestic violence in 2019 after police were called to the couple’s home and found red marks on Panettiere’s body. Those charges were subsequently dropped.
In a separate incident, Hickerson was arrested following a domestic violence incident that took place on Valentine’s day in 2020. Hickerson is said to have punched Panettiere with a closed fist at a private residence in Jackson, Wyoming. He was charged with domestic battery, but was also charged with interference with a cop.
On Thursday (July 16), Hickerson was again arrested and charged with multiple counts of felony assault for several incidents occurring between 2019-2020, including four charges of corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant, two charges of assault, and one of intimidating a witness. According to People, Hickerson is currently in custody and is being held on a $320,000 bail.
[RELATED: Domestic Violence Charges Against Hayden Panettiere’s Boyfriend Brian Hickerson Have Been Dropped]
Alan Jackson Lawyer for Hayden released a statement saying, “After suffering for years as the victim of psychological, emotional and severe physical abuse, Hayden Panettiere has begun the process of taking back her life. Hayden has found the strength and courage to share the truth about her abuse and her abuser, and she intends to assist the prosecution to see that justice is served. As a survivor, she recognizes that her arduous journey of healing has just begun.”
“For anyone else affected by abuse and needing support, please know that you can call 1-800-799-7233. If you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474. You are not alone,” Hayden captioned her message.