Hayden Panettiere's Relationship Is Messier Than Ever

The following article includes reports of domestic abuse. 

Concerns for Hayden Panettiere's relationship with Brian Hickerson date back to 2018 when they were still a new couple. After police were called for a domestic incident between Hickerson and his father, a source revealed that people close to the "Heroes" star were worried her relationship was "not a healthy situation," per Us Weekly. Unfortunately, those concerns wound up being merited, as Hickerson was arrested and charged with domestic battery in February 2020, per TMZ. Police were called for a domestic disturbance between him on Valentine's Day of that year.

That was not the last time Hickerson was arrested for assault. In April 2021, he was sentenced to 45 days in jail, plus four years probation after he pled no contest to two counts of injuring a spouse or girlfriend, per Page Six. The sentence stemmed from when Hickerson was arrested in July 2020 for assaulting Panettiere. Following her boyfriend's arrest, Panettiere took to Instagram to speak about the incident. "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," she wrote at the time.

After Hickerson served his sentence, he was spotted with Panettiere and a group of their friends at a bar in July 2021. Hickerson claimed he and the actor were just friends. "Hayden and I are not back together but are working on a friendship," he told E! News. The next year, the pair made headlines after a disturbing incident at another bar.

The couple was involved in a brawl

On March 24, Hayden Panettiere and Brian Hickerson were allegedly involved in a brawl outside a hotel. Video footage captured Hickerson fighting with a group outside Sunset Marquis Hotel in Los Angeles, per TMZ. Reportedly, the disturbance started inside the establishment when Hickerson was accused of spitting on a member of the other party. They argued inside until the manager had enough and kicked all of them out. Once outside, a melee ensued as Hickerson broke free from security and launched toward the other group.

Panettiere tried to de-escalate the situation, and was heard yelling, "Brian, jail!" per TMZ. This was to remind her boyfriend that he was still under probation until 2025. The "Nashville" actor apparently took a hit while she tried to break up Hickerson from fighting. Eventually, the men were separated and Panettiere went back into the hotel with Hickerson, where she apologized to staff for the commotion.

In July 2021 — after Hickerson was released from jail and the couple were spotted hanging out at numerous locations together — a source revealed that Hickerson was undergoing "intensive therapy treatment," per People. Panettiere wanted to maintain a relationship with him. "Hayden won't forget what he did but she wants to forgive and move on," the source added. Meanwhile, Hickerson claimed his relationship with Panettiere was integral to his own healing. "We have a long history together, and the first step in my recovery as an abuser is making amends," he told E! News in July 2021.

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.