Hayden Panettiere’s Ups and Downs Through the Years

Hayden Panettiere’s Ups and Downs Through the Years

Hayden Panettiere is a Golden Globe-nominated actress known for her starring roles in Heroes and Nashville — and, unfortunately, for the personal struggles that have plagued her over the past 10 years.

The TV star endured postpartum depression after welcoming Kaya, 4, with then-fiancé Wladimir Klitschko in December 2014 and sought treatment twice to improve her mental health. After she Klitschko split in August 2018, she began dating Brian Hickerson, who was arrested for domestic violence against her in May 2019. Months later, the case against him was dropped, but his family worried that he and the actress are “very toxic for each other,” a source told Us Weekly that November.

Scroll down for highs and lows from Panettiere’s life in the spotlight over the past decade.


Golden Recognition

For her work in Nashville, Panettiere got a nomination in the Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film at the Golden Globes in 2012 and again in 2013.


Falling in Love

After splitting from Scotty McKnight in December 2012, the actress got back together with Klitschko, whom she originally dated from 2009 to 2011, in February 2013. The following month, Us Weekly reported the duo were engaged, and she confirmed the news that October.

Jens Kalaene/EPA/Shutterstock

Baby on Board

A source told Us that Panettiere was “totally pregnant” with her first child in May 2014. She revealed she was expecting a baby girl at the 2014 Emmys that August, and she and Klitschko welcomed daughter Kaya that December. “You hear that they’re healthy, and you just don’t care about yourself anymore,” she said on Good Morning America in April 2015. “It’s the most out-of-body experience, where you go, ‘I will completely lay myself on the line for my child. Without even a hesitation.’”


Battling the Blues

“I suffered a bit of postpartum depression,” the Heroes alum told Us in September 2015. She elaborated on Live! With Kelly and Michael that same month, saying, “It’s something that needs to be talked about. Women need to know that they’re not alone, and that it does heal.”


Seeking Help

Panettiere took a leave from Nashville and checked into a treatment facility in October 2015 as she continued to battle postpartum depression. “If you think for one second that a mother wants to feel that way toward her child, you’re outta your mind,” she later told Yahoo! Style. “It is one of the most debilitating, scary, guilty feelings that you can ever feel.”

Chelsea Lauren/Variety/Shutterstock

‘Custody’ Drama

Panetierre made a big-screen return in the courtroom drama Custody, starring opposite Viola Davis and Tony Shalhoub. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2016.

T Concordia/Lucky Monkey/Kobal/Shutterstock

Back in Treatment

The actress sought help for her postpartum depression again in May 2016. “The postpartum depression I have been experiencing has impacted every aspect of my life,” she tweeted at the time. “Rather than stay stuck due to unhealthy coping mechanisms I have chosen to take time to reflect holistically on my health and life. Wish me luck!”

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Making a Comeback

Panettiere spoke out about her ongoing battle in a January 2017 GMA appearance. “Women are so resilient, and that’s the incredible thing about them,” she said at the time. “I think I’m all the stronger for it. I think I’m a better mom because of it. Because you never take that connection for granted.”


Separate Ways

Panettiere split with the former boxer after nine years of dating off and on, their breakup making headlines in August 2018 after she was spotted with a mystery man.

Picture Perfect/Shutterstock

Rebound Romance

Us confirmed days later that the mystery man she was spotted with was Hickerson. Around the same time, a source told Us that Panettiere and Hickerson had been dating “for a couple months” and were “having fun.” The following month, a source said that the duo were “getting serious” and were “full steam ahead.”

Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock

Police Action

Cops from South Carolina’s Greenville City Police Department responded to a call about “a domestic assault in progress” after an alleged altercation between Hickerson and his father in November 2018. The cops allegedly found Panettiere “intoxicated” and “frantic” during the incident. Later that month, a source told Us the actress’ pals were worried her relationship was “not a healthy situation.”


Baby Drama

An insider told Us in February 2019 that the Nashville alum hadn’t “had much time” with Kaya since her split with Klitschko. “She knows the child being with her is not best for [Kaya right now],” the insider added. “It’s a sad situation.”


Wedding Hopes

“I’ve lived a big life, I’ve met a lot of people. I learn something new from [Brian] every day, and that’s something that not many people can provide me with,” Panettiere told Us later that month. When asked if she thought she and Hickerson would get married someday, she responded, “I think so. I hope so.”


A Scary Situation

Hickerson was arrested for domestic violence in Hollywood in May 2019 after police discovered “redness and marks” on Panettiere’s body following an argument the couple had. A 911 caller reported that the duo were “in both [a] physical and verbal argument,” according to Radar Online.



Two weeks after Hickerson’s arrest, he and the actress were spotted holding hands on a coffee date in Los Angeles.

Lies Angeles / MEGA

Protective Order

Three weeks after the incident, Hickerson was charged with felony domestic violence and subjected to a prosecutor-requested protective order mandating that he cannot come within 100 yards of Panettiere or contact her via phone, email, or third party. The prosecutor in the case claimed Hickerson “hit [Panettiere] on the face, causing her to get dizzy” during the May 2 altercation.


Family Concerns

“The restraining order is the beginning of something good,” a source told Us that same day. “Change is different, and to be honest with yourself, but everyone is very afraid for Hayden, and her friends and family believe that people with this history do not change overnight.” A week later, a source told Us that the actress’ family and friends were worried that she and Hickerson weren’t following the court order. “There is not one single person out there who isn’t concerned about Hayden,” the source added. “What Brian did to Hayden is unacceptable behavior, and it’s not to be tolerated.”

Stewart Cook/Shutterstock

Charges Dismissed

The domestic violence case and the protective order against Hickerson were dismissed in September 2019. “The prosecution did not have their witnesses,” a source told Us, indicating that Panettiere declined to participate or testify in the prospective trial.

Munawar Hosain/startraksphoto.com

‘Toxic’ Relationship

“Brian’s family is extremely concerned for his safety when he is with Hayden,” a source told Us in November 2019. “They are terrified that Brian will once again find himself accused of domestic violence. Hayden and Brian are very toxic for each other.”

Donn Jones/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

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