After years of relationship and legal troubles, Hayden Panettiere and Brian Hickerson remain friends – and travel companions.
The two were seen together in a departure lounge at Los Angeles International Airport on Nov. 23, the day before Thanksgiving.
“Hayden and Brian have remained friends as he sought professional help to turn his life around,” a source with expertise tells E! News. “This was a condition of her remaining friends with him.”
E! News has reached out to her representative and his lawyer and has not received any comment.
The two began dating in 2018. The following year, Hickerson was arrested following an alleged violent confrontation with Panettiere in Los Angeles. He pleaded not guilty. The actress received a temporary conservatory attachment against him. In the end, no charges were filed and the case was dismissed.
In 2020, Hickerson was arrested in Wyoming on Valentine’s Day for alleged domestic violence against the actress, who soon ended their relationship and got another temporary restraining order against him.
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“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,” Panettiere tweeted at the time. “I am willing to do my part to make sure this man never hurts anyone again. I am thankful for my support system, which helped me find the courage to get my voice and my life back.”
In April 2021, Hickerson pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor charges of injuring a spouse or girlfriend in connection with the case and was sentenced to 45 days in jail and four years of formal probation and ordered to attend 52 domestic violence classes . He also received a five-year restraining order.
Months later, Panettiere and Hickerson were spotted with friends at a restaurant in West Hollywood, California. “Hayden and I are not back together, but are working on a friendship,” he told E! News only at the moment. “We have a long history together, and the first step in my recovery as an abuser is making amends. That’s exactly what Hayden has been kind enough to allow me to do.”
Panettiere and Hickerson were spotted again in Los Angeles in March 2022, this time outside a hotel.
She has since become candid about her personal life, particularly through talking Red Table Talk in September about her past of addiction and “healing” journey.
“I’ve never been so brutally honest about myself or my personal life,” she said at the time. “There’s just something liberating about being yourself.”
The actress also recently signed with the APA talent agency and is returning to the screen Scream 6 in 2023.
Panettiere shares 7-year-old daughter Kaya Evdokia Klitschko with former boxer Vladimir Klitschko.
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