Hayden Panettiere has released an emotional statement, after her ex-boyfriend Brian Hickerson was arrested on felony assault charges this week.
The 31-year-old was arrested on Thursday, and charged in an eight-count criminal complaint regarding a series of alleged abusive instances that occurred between May 2019 and January 2020.
The charges include four felony charges of corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant; two felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon; and a misdemeanor charge of battery on a spouse/cohabitant.
He was also charged with a felony for dissuading a witness from prosecuting a crime.
According to the complaint, he tried to “prevent and dissuade Hayden P., a victim and witness of a crime from causing a complaint, indictment, information, probation and parole violating to be sought and prosecuted and assisting in the prosecution thereof.”
During an arraignment on Friday, Brian pleaded not guilty to the multiple felony charges against him.
A preliminary hearing for his case has been set for July 30, and his bail remains at $350,000.
After the news of his arrest hit headlines, Hayden released the following statement on her Instagram: “I am coming forward with the truth about what happened to me with 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. I’m grateful for my support system, which helped me find the courage to regain my voice and my life.”
Hayden captioned the post: “For anyone else affected by abuse and needing support, please know that you can call 1-800-799-7233. If you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474. You are not alone.”
The actress’ attorney, Alan Jackson, also shared a statement with a number of news outlets.
He wrote: “After suffering for years as the victim of psychological, emotional and severe physical abuse, Hayden Panettiere has begun the process of taking back her life.”
“Hayden has found the strength and courage to share the truth about her abuse and her abuser, and she intends to assist the prosecution to see that justice is served. As a survivor, she recognizes that her arduous journey of healing has just begun.”
The news comes just days after Hayden “filed to register an out-of-state restraining order” against Brian, which she originally obtained in Wyoming.
The 30-year-old asked the court to honour and actively enforce the order in Los Angeles, where she is currently living.
Hayden reportedly ended her relationship with Brian in June, months after he was arrested over a domestic violence incident on Valentine’s Day.
Brian was arrested by officers at around 2.30am, after he allegedly struck Hayden “with a closed fist on the right side of her face” during a row at their home in Wyoming.
Officers said her face appeared red and swollen, and she also had a scrape and swelling on her left hand.
Hayden’s boyfriend was booked for domestic battery, and they also charged him with interfering with a police officer after he allegedly refused to identify himself.
That wasn’t the first time Brian had been arrested for domestic violence.
In May 2019, the LAPD arrested the real estate agent for domestic violence after he and Hayden got into an alleged “physical altercation” at their home.
The actress was allegedly found with “redness” and “marks” on her body.
At the time, Brian was ordered to stay 100 yards away from Hayden, however, the case against him was later dismissed in September when the district attorney’s office failed to “secure a material witness.”
The news comes after Hayden recently shared a sweet snap with her 5-year-old daughter Kaya, after she made her Instagram page public.
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Hayden shares Kaya with her ex-fiancé Wladimir Klitschko, and it’s understood the 5-year-old lives with her father in Ukraine.
The Nashville star and the former world heavyweight boxing champion were in a relationship from 2009 until 2011.
The couple then rekindled their romance and got engaged in 2013, and welcomed their daughter in December 2014.
Four years later, Hayden and Wladimir called it quits, and Hayden started dating Brian Hickerson in 2018.
On this week’s episode of the Gosscast, Goss.ie Founder Ali Ryan and Goss.ie Editor Kendra Becker discuss Johnny Depp’s explosive libel trial, involving his ex-wife Amber Heard.
Plus as Meghan Markle’s battle against the press continues, the girls discuss her latest attempt to protect her image – amid her lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday.
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