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Hayden Panettiere’s Relationship History Before Dating Brian Hickerson

Hayden Panettiere has come a long way since getting her first big break on One Life to Live back in 1994 – including welcoming a daughter with heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko.

“Oh my gosh, that child came out of me,” the Remember the Titans star said of daughter Kaya during an interview with People in July 2022. “But she is smarter than me. And she’s going to be taller than me!”

“She has a beautiful life,” she said of her daughter who lives in Ukraine with her father. “I was just with her. She’s just an amazing child. She’s smart and she’s funny and for whatever reason, she still loves me.”

Hayden began dating the then-world heavyweight champion in 2009, after meeting at a book launch for their mutual friend Diana Jenkins. 

“I said, ‘You’re huge.’ He said, ‘You’re tiny,’” the Heroes actress recalled of meeting her 6-foot-6 ex during a 2013 appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. “That’s God telling us we’re too far on either side of the spectrum. He needs to make normal people … He’s got bowlegs, I’ve got knock knees, so they’re going to have straight legs, [and will] be normal height.”

Their long-distance romance came to an end in May 2011 but picked up again two years later. The rekindled pair announced their engagement in October 2013. Though she never made it down the aisle, Hayden gave birth to their only child in December 2014. The Nashville star and the Kazakhstan native called it quits for good in 2018.

After suffering from postpartum depression and a subsequent substance abuse battle, Hayden agreed to give her ex full custody of their daughter. In a September 2022 interview for Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk, host Adrienne Banfield Norris questioned whether Hayden thought the decision was best for Kaya.

“At first it was not because it wasn’t a discussion,” Hayden explained. “If [Wladimir] had come to me and said, ‘I think because of where you’re at right now and the struggles that you’re having, it would be good for her to be over here with me for a while’ — to which I probably, if I had enough of a conversation, would’ve said, ‘OK, that makes sense, I get it. I’ll come there to visit and stuff like that.’”

“Because of the way that it was done, it was very upsetting. I mean, it was the worst signing those [custody] papers,” she continued, calling it “the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever, ever had to do in my life.”

“I was gonna go work on myself, I was gonna get better, and when I got better then things could change and she could come to me and I could have my time with her but that didn’t happen,” Hayden explained.

The New York native began dating Brian Hickerson in August 2018. Hayden and Brian had an unhealthy on-again, off-again relationship for nearly four years. 

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

Scroll down for Hayden Panettiere’s complete dating history.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for confidential support.

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