Hayden Panettiere told authorities that her ex-boyfriend Brian Hickerson had been violent towards her. The former Nashville star filed charges in California on July 16.
Hickerson, 31, was arrested in Los Angeles on eight charges including felony charges of corporal injury on a spouse/co-habitant; two felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon; a misdemeanor charge of battery on a spouse/co-habitant; and a felony charge of dissuading a witness from prosecuting a crime.
The actress has been undergoing treatment for alcohol-abuse issues and has been “focused on healing, sobriety, and recovery.” A source close to her says “this is a turning point for her.”
Panettiere was a child star before her breakout role on the drama Heroes. In 2009, she began dating Ukrainian boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko, 44.
She and Klitschko split briefly but got engaged in 2013. They had a daughter together in 2014 but never married. Their daughter Kaya has been living with Klitschko during this difficult time for Hayden. Friends close to the actress said she loves her daughter very much and is positive “her life will improve” very soon.
Pantettiere, 30, said, “I am coming forward with the truth about what happened to me in the hope that my story will empower others in abusive relationships to get the help they need and deserve.”
She also said, “I am prepared to do my part to make sure this man never hurts anyone again.” Hickerson, an aspiring actor from South Carolina, has denied all charges.