Hayden Panettiere Shares Abuse Hotline After Her Ex Is Arrested & Charged With Assault

Photo: Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic.
Actress Hayden Panettiere's ex-boyfriend Brian Hickerson was arrested on July 16 and charged with corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant.
Panettiere had been dating Hickerson since August 2018, after breaking up with her ex-fiancé, Wladimir Klitschko, with whom she shares a five-year-old daughter. The Nashville actress filed a restraining order against Hickerson on Wednesday, according to People, and he is now being held in jail on a $320,000 bail for an eight-count felony complaint alleging domestic violence and assault against her.
In a post on Twitter, Panettiere shared the domestic violence support hotline, stressing that those who have suffered abuse are not alone. She also wrote that she plans to share her story in order to spread awareness and lend visibility to the widespread issue.
"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," Panettiere wrote. "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."
Hickerson was reported to have been abusive multiple times during the couple's relationship. The first reported incident came in October 2018, when was arrested for assaulting his own father (Panettiere was present), and later in May 2019 when he was arrested for domestic abuse. He was released on bail, and the actress was granted a protective order saying that Hickerson could not contact or come within 100 yards of her. Later that month, he pleaded not guilty to one count of felony domestic violence against Panettiere, and the case was dismissed in the fall due to the lack of witnesses. They got back together sometime after the incident, and on Valentine's Day this year, Hickerson was arrested in Wyoming for domestic battery and interference with a cop. He was later released on a $5,000 bond, and a trial was on track for September.
Panettiere's attorney issued a statement regarding the most recent incident, saying that "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" and "she intends to assist the prosecution to see that justice is served."
Refinery29 reached out to Panettiere for comment.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224 for confidential support.

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