Hayden Panettiere Explains Why She's FORGIVING Abusive Ex Brian Hickerson Again!

After opening up about her secret battle with addiction, Hayden Panettiere is getting candid about an even more controversial part of her past. Or should we, unfortunately, say her present..?

While speaking with People on Wednesday, the Heroes star not only discussed her relationship with abusive ex-boyfriend Brian Hickerson — she explained why she’s giving him a second chance! Yes, really. The 32-year-old began by sharing:

“It was a very dark and complicated time in my life. But a lot of women go through what I went through, and I want people to know it’s OK to ask for help.”

100% agree with that!

As Perezcious readers know, Hayden and Brian began dating in 2018, in the middle of Hayden’s addiction to alcohol and opioids after her split from baby daddy Wladimir Klitschko. She had also just come off of six seasons of Nashville, so she was ready to let loose, the actress recalled:

“I wanted to party, I wanted to do everything I wasn’t supposed to do. Acting was my life, but I felt so bad about myself that I lost trust in myself. And that is very detrimental. The idea of not having a responsibility was very appealing at the time.”

Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse when the relationship became toxic. In May 2019, Hickerson was charged with domestic violence and a judge even wrote up a protective order to keep Panettiere safe following an alleged altercation. But the charges were dropped, and they got back together. As is so often the case, a few months later things escalated.

In July 2020, Brian was arrested on eight counts of domestic violence charges. Last year, he pleaded no contest to two felony counts of injuring a partner (the rest of the charges were dropped) and spent 13 days in jail. At the time of his arrest, the Hayden released a vulnerable, honest statement about the incidents that had continued to make headlines, saying:

“I am coming forward with the truth about what happened to me in the hope that my story will empower others in abusive relationships to get the help they need and deserve. I am prepared to do my part to make sure this man never hurts anyone again.”

And yet, this wasn’t the last of their relationship. Shockingly, the pair reunited shortly after Brian was released from jail earlier this year, to the shock and confusion of fans. On her statement supporting victims of domestic abuse, Hayden insisted to People:

“I still feel the same way. None of it is OK. But I want to make sure that everybody knows that each person who goes through something like that, they’re on their own journey. No two things are exactly alike.”

We’re sorry, while that’s true, it’s also a dangerous trap — every woman who’s stayed with an abusive partner obviously thought things were going to be different for them. That they would be OK and figure everything out. Every woman who ended up being murdered by their significant other thought that.

It’s specifically hard to believe Brian is a completely different person when, as the former couple met up for the first time after he was released from jail, he was involved in a scary brawl outside of a hotel in Los Angeles. The incident occurred last March supposedly over an argument about a poor tip. While Hickerson admitted he had been drinking, he insisted his counterpart had not been.

Hayden spoke on that incident as well. First, she clarifies that they are not back together — that they have reconnected as friends this time. However, acknowledging that things got way out of hand, the Remember The Titans alum told the outlet:

“It was not my best behavior, it was not anyone’s best behavior. But it was not as insane as it was made to look, and everyone is OK.”

But why is she reconnecting with her ex — even if as a friend — in the first place? Especially considering he was abusive toward her? Hayden had this to say about their turbulent past:

“None of it is OK, and I want to make sure that everybody knows that. But I am open to people who are willing to get help and make amends. He’s gone to treatment and done his time. And I’m trying to live in a place of forgiveness.”

She also knows what it’s like to have made mistakes in her past, adding:

“I am trying to live in a place of understanding.”

The mom of one continued:

“I think has done his time and was willing to get help. I think about the things I have done in my life that people forgave me for. Making amends is a really important thing that you learn in treatment. And it gives you a lot of inner peace.”

That’s commendable, truly. While battling her addiction and mental health struggles, she surely hurt people she loved, so we understand why she’s trying to be forgiving in the way that others were toward her.

But that doesn’t make up for the abusive way Brian treated her. We’d hate to see this “friendship” once again turn into an unhealthy situation for her, especially after all the work Hayden has done to regain control of her life. According to the outlet, within the last year, Hayden has undergone trauma therapy and inpatient treatment. She seems SO committed to her health these days. Let’s just hope her willingness to forgive Brian doesn’t get in the way of that!!

Thoughts on this, Perezcious readers?

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