Hayden Panettiere's Behavior Reportedly Continues To Concern Those Around Her

The following article includes reports of intimate partner violence.

The latest alarming update regarding the relationship between Hayden Panettiere and Brian Hickerson is as troubling as the last. As TMZ first reported, the on-again, off-again couple was involved in a brawl outside a hotel bar on March 24, 2022. Video footage from TMZ captured Hickerson in an altercation with a group of men, with Panettiere later swept up in the scrum while attempting to break it up. The video showed the "Heroes" actor yelling, "Brian, jail!" to try and deter Hickerson. Representatives for Panettiere released a statement the following day, explaining how the couple became involved in the dust-up. "Brian was attacked by the group, as was Hayden, who in her best effort tried to diffuse the situation," the reps told People at the time. "She is okay."

Since their relationship first began in 2018, friends and family had been worried about the "Nashville" actor's involvement with Hickerson, per Us Weekly. Hickerson was later arrested multiple times for assaulting Panettiere, and in April 2021, he was sentenced to 45 days in jail plus four years probation, and mandated to attend domestic violence classes, per People. Shortly after Hickerson's release, Panettiere was reportedly eager to welcome Hickerson back into her life. "Hayden won't forget what he did but she wants to forgive and move on," a source told the magazine at the time. Less than a year later, her relationship with Hickerson once again became an area of concern.

Hayden Panettiere is purportedly shutting out her friends

Despite it all, Hayden Panettiere purportedly believes that Brian Hickerson has reformed. "Hayden says people can learn from their mistakes," a source told Us Weekly. The actor also allegedly thought his stint behind bars had a positive impact on Hickerson. "She swears that Brian has changed for the better since being in jail, and anger management classes have taught him to control his temper," the insider added.

The pair's involvement in the brawl outside the hotel bar worried those closest to Panettiere. "She has her own issues and insecurities, and she and Brian make a bad combo," the same source disclosed to the magazine. Apparently, the "Remember the Titans" actor started to shut out those who were unsupportive of her relationship with Hickerson. "She's become secretive with other friends," the source added. "She takes ages to respond and sends one-word answers by text and cryptic messages."

After the couple appeared to reunite following Hickerson's jail sentence, Hickerson stated publicly they only did so as friends. "Hayden and I are not back together but are working on a friendship," he told E! in July 2021. Hickerson mentioned how reconnecting with Panettiere was essential to his own growth. "We have a long history together, and the first step in my recovery as an abuser is making amends," Hickerson added. 

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.