Following years of relationship and legal issues, Hayden Panettiere and Brian Hickerson remain friends—and travel companions.
The two were spotted together inside a departures terminal at Los Angeles International Airport Nov. 23, one day before the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Hayden and Brian have remained friends as he’s sought professional help to turn his life around,” a source with knowledge exclusively tells E! News. “This was a condition of her remaining friends with him.”
E! News has reached out to her rep and his attorney and hasn’t received a comment.
The two began dating in 2018. The following year, Hickerson was arrested after an alleged violent confrontation with Panettiere in Los Angeles. He pleaded not guilty. The actress obtained a temporary protective order against him. Ultimately, no charges were filed and the case was dismissed.
In 2020, Hickerson was arrested in Wyoming on Valentine’s Day for alleged domestic battery against the actress, who soon ended their relationship and obtained another temporary restraining order against him.
“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,” Panettiere tweeted at the time. “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.”
In April 2021, Hickerson pleaded no contest to two felony counts 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 was ordered to attend 52 domestic violence classes. He also received a five-year restraining order.
Months later, Panettiere and Hickerson were spotted together with friends at a restaurant in West Hollywood, Calif. “Hayden and I are not back together but are working on a friendship,” he told E! News exclusively at the time. “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 gracious enough to allow me to do.”
Panettiere and Hickerson were spotted again in Los Angeles in March 2022, this time outside a hotel.
Since then, she’s gotten candid about her personal life, notably speaking on Red Table Talk in September about her past addiction and “healing” journey.
“I’ve never been this brutally honest about myself or my personal life,” she said at the time. “There’s just something freeing about being yourself.”
The actress also recently signed with the APA talent agency and will make a return to the screen in Scream 6 in 2023.
Panettiere shares 7-year-old daughter Kaya Evdokia Klitschko with former boxer Wladimir Klitschko.
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