Back together? Hayden Panettiere was spotted at an airport with her boyfriend Brian Hickerson about a month after domestic violence charges and a restraining order against him were dismissed. They were seen dragging luggage and appeared to be traveling together in spite of the past drama between them.
Hickerson, 30, was arrested for domestic violence on May 2. However, he only spent a few hours in jail and was released after posting his $50,000 bail, according to court records In Touch obtained. About four months later, Panettiere, 30, was spotted holding hands with Zach Hickerson — Brian’s brother. It should be noted, however, that a family source close to the Hickersons told In Touch that Hayden and Brian’s relationship is “not romantic.” The insider said, “Hayden and Zach are just friends. They have been friends for as long as she’s been dating Brian; Zach and Brian are close.”
Apparently, Panettiere stayed on good terms with Hickerson and his family even after he was issued a protective order by a Los Angeles County judge and ordered not to come within 100 yards of the actress after receiving his felony domestic violence charge. At the arraignment in Los Angeles court, he was forbidden from owning any firearms and from reaching out to his girlfriend through phone calls or emails. The District Attorney also claimed that there were other, unreported incidents of domestic violence in the relationship. Hickerson pleaded not guilty.
When Hickerson’s domestic violence case was dismissed on September 26, a source told Us Weekly, “The prosecution did not have their witnesses,” which indicated that Panettiere decided not to participate or testify in a possible trial. The lack of a trial may have disappointed people in her life — an insider told In Touch exclusively in May that Hickerson “becomes a different person” when he drinks and her loved ones hoped he would do “jail time.”
A family source told In Touch in September that Hickerson and Panettiere were still a couple. “It’s hard on Brian that he can’t be in public with Hayden. He loves her,” the insider said. “Brian says that he and Hayden have not broken up. They have never broken up.”
How are Panettiere’s ex, Wladimir Klitschko, and her daughter, Kaya, dealing with all of this? From afar, apparently. The former boxer has physical custody of their daughter, but Panettiere FaceTimes “often” with her daughter because they live in Ukraine. “Hayden frequently travels [there] to see her daughter,” a source said.
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