Last summer, news broke that Hayden Panettierre and Wladimir Klitschko, her former boyfriend and father of her daughter, Kaya, had split. Shortly after, the paps spotted the actress holding hands with a "mystery man." Turns out the "mystery man" Panettiere moved on with was a man named Brian Hickerson, and the pair have been together until recently.
Earlier this year, Hickerson and Panettiere were reportedly involved in a domestic violence incident resulting in Hickerson charged with a felony in connection to the incident. Now, Hayden's family members are opening up about the actress's relationship, "begging" her to end things, according to People.
Here, a breakdown of the couple's low-key romance.
On the heels of her split from Klitschki, Hayden and Brian were first spotted leaving dinner at Craig's in West Hollywood in August. The paparazzi caught the new couple holding hands and smiling—and Hayden walking barefoot—in a parking lot before they went inside a car.
A source told E! that Brian had relocated to Los Angeles to do real estate and begin his acting career. He and Hayden met through mutual friends.
At the time, her mother revealed the Heroes actress was going through "a lot of changes" and needed a break.
"But I think they’re positive changes. And I think that she’s taking some time,” Lesley Vogel, her mom, told RadarOnline, per People. “She needs to take a little bit of a break and make some decisions on her own of what she wants to do. So I think she is in a very good place.”
Later in the month, a source confirmed the two had been seeing each other "for a couple of months now” and have been partying a lot and "having fun.”
In October, Hayden was entangled in an alleged domestic assault incident after police received a call about "a domestic assault in progress" involving Brian and his father.A month later, TMZ reported that the responding officer claimed to have seen Brian "chasing his father through the house with a Gatorade bottle in his hand." Hayden was in a state of panic and appeared to be drunk according to the report, though sources told the outlet Hayden denied being intoxicating.
In the same month, Us Weekly reported that Hayden's friends believed her relationship with Brian "is not a healthy situation" presumably after the incident with Brian and his father. According to a statement given to Access Online, Brian denied that Hayden's friends didn't approve of their relationship. "Just to be clear, Hayden’s friends and family are not worried about her at all. Hayden is happy and healthy and so is our relationship. That is all I will comment on so please respect my privacy,” he told Access Online. “Have a great day.”
Hayden and Brian were spotted hanging out at Rock & Reilly's on Sunset Strip and according to a fan-shot video obtained by TMZ, Brian jokingly got down on one knee to propose to the actress. "Dakota Fanning, will you please marry me," he quipped, as Hayden laughed.
Hayden and Brian were snapped by paparazzi on January 31, 2019. The pair seemed to be going on a fancy date with her mom, Lesley Vogel, as they were both dressed up—Hayden in a sheer black blouse, wide-leg navy pants and a leather jacket, and Brian in jeans, a t-shirt, and a navy blazer.
Hayden hints that wedding bells could be in the future for her and Brian. According to Us Weekly, Hayden gushed about her new beau and revealed she would definitely marry him one day.
“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,” she told Us Weekly. Us Weekly asked the actress if they'll eventually marry and she said, “I think so. I hope so.”
She added that she loves to spend time with Brian "being low key, being mellow, having experiences, having conversations, really in-depth conversations."
TMZ reported that Hayden and Brian went out drinking one evening before heading back home where they reportedly got into a heated argument. The cops were called and sources claimed they saw red marks on Hayden's body. Brian was booked and later released on $50,ooo bond. Following the alleged incident, Hayden and Brian were spotted for the first time since the news broke holding hands in casual denim outfits. Shortly after, Brian was issued a protective order to stay 100 yards from the actress.
Hayden's friends and family have come forward to urge the actress to stay far away from Brian. According to People, sources revealed that her friends and family believe Brian is trying to bring her down.
“Her friends and family have been worried about her for quite a while, and things seem to have gotten worse,” one source said. “She needs to do some soul-searching. For whatever reason, she continues this relationship, but it has done nothing but take her down lower. It’s a sad situation.”
Nerisha Penrose Assistant Editor Nerisha is the assistant editor at ELLE.com, covering all things beauty and fashion.