The Laguna Beach Star Hayden Panettiere Once Dated

The following article contains mentions of domestic violence.

Hayden Panettiere's love life has been rather difficult. Sharing a daughter with ex-heavyweight boxing champ Wladimir Klitschko, Panettiere first met the Ukrainian native at a 2009 book launch, per inTouch. With Klitschko still living in his home country, their long-distance romance was turbulent and ended in May 2011 before rekindling two years later. They announced their engagement in October 2013, only to break up for good in 2018. They welcomed their daughter, Kaya, in December 2014 but Panettiere chose to relinquish custody of Kaya to Klitschko due to issues with addiction and postpartum depression. "I was just with her ... She's smart and she's funny and for whatever reason, she still loves me," the "Scream VI" star told People in July 2022.

Panettiere's relationship after Klitschko, with actor Brian Hickerson, made headlines for much darker reasons. She met Hickerson in 2018, but Panettiere was still navigating an addiction to alcohol and opioids at the time, per People. Hickerson was physically abusive in their relationship. "It was a very dark and complicated time," the "Nashville" alum recalled to People. In July 2021, Hickerson pled no contest to two felony counts of injuring a partner, spending 13 days in jail. As of July 2022, she and the "M.F.A." actor were on friendly terms again. Having endured much in her adult dating life, it's easy to forget Panettiere's erstwhile fling with a certain cast member of "Laguna Beach."

Hayden Panettiere dated Stephen Colletti before she turned 18

It was 2006, MTV's "TRL" was still happening, and Hayden Panettiere and "Laguna Beach"'s Stephen Colletti were a hot item.  Only 17 when their romance began (Colletti is three years older), Panettiere was Colletti's first high-profile girlfriend outside the realm of reality TV, per E! News. Following their breakup over one year later, the "Heroes" alum told Seventeen (via E!) that "this is the time I need to be with myself." Without delving into the specifics of their relationship, Panettiere elaborated that "it takes such a secure person to be with someone like me — it takes so much confidence; it takes so much trust." 

Calling it quits with Panettiere in September 2007, Colletti was spotted hanging with another famous ex later that month, per TMZ. Seen partying with Lauren Conrad, Colletti dated his fellow reality star right before Panettiere from 2004 to 2005, per Life & Style. Although his relationship with Conrad always seemingly overlapped with his and Kristin Cavallari's, the two remained friends through the years. 

As for Colletti and Panettiere, it sounded like she wasn't ready for a committed relationship just yet. "The more you learn to be okay with yourself and know yourself, the easier it is to love somebody and allow them to love you," Panettiere told Seventeen of taking time to work on herself. However, she didn't stay single for long after breaking up with Colletti.

Hayden Panettiere's pattern of dating older men continued with Milo Ventimiglia

Hayden Panettiere and Stephen Colletti's three-year age gap was nothing compared to that between her and her next beau — fellow "Heroes" alum, Milo Ventimiglia. First meeting on the set of the NBC hit drama, they started dating in 2007 when she was 18 and he was 29, per TheThings. Naturally, their May-December romance attracted the attention of many gossipmongers. In a 2013 interview with The Telegraph, the "Nashville" alum explained that she was naturally drawn to those with more wisdom than her. "It was never a case of me making a decision, saying, 'I want to date older men,'" she said, echoing her 2007 Seventeen interview by saying she wanted a partner "who can give me guidance and is completely secure and comfortable with who they are."

According to a People source, Ventimiglia was certainly the nurturing type. "He really takes care of her, even down to the little things like giving her a back massage and going with her to work things," the insider shared in December 2007. Alas, the two still called it quits by 2009, one year before "Heroes" went off-air, per People. One source blamed the age difference, claiming, "She still has growing up to do and he's very low-key." Ventimiglia himself, reflecting on the experience in a 2017 interview with Mr. Porter, shared that it made certain he would "never" date a co-star again — although he "wouldn't change a thing" about it.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.