Friends of Hayden Panettiere are worried about the Nashville star’s safety following the recent arrest for domestic abuse of boyfriend Brian Hickerson.
Cops arrested Brian at the couple’s home in Wyoming in the US on Valentine’s Day after he reportedly punched Hayden in the face.
They’d responded after a caller reported an incident, saying there was an “intoxicated male locked out of a house” in the early hours of the morning.
Brian – a real estate agent-turned-wannabee actor – allegedly hit his pint-sized girlfriend with a “closed fist on the right side of her face” during a fight in their bedroom, where he also threw her around.
Police noted she had a “red and swollen face” and “a scrape and swelling on her left hand” believed to have come from Brian’s watch.
The thirty-year-old was booked for domestic battery and a second charge of interfering with a police officer, after he allegedly wouldn’t identify himself to authorities, according to TMZ.
He was later released on $5 000 (about R75 000) bail.
Friends of Hayden (also 30) have admitted they fear she’s “in danger with Brian”, a source told Us Weekly.
In May last year he was arrested for hitting the actress during a booze-filled argument. She was seen with injuries and bruises to her arms, ear and neck.
She “believed he’d never hit her again”, according to her friends, and chose not to appear as a witness against him when the case went to trial in September. The case was dismissed.
According to friends, Brian has “isolated Hayden from friends and family” since their relationship started in 2018.
“Don’t blame the victim. She sadly fell in love with a man that hits women. He’s violent but incredibly charming. It’s unlikely this will be enough for Hayden to break it off permanently,” the Us Weekly insider said.
The two were first linked in August 2018 after Hayden was spotted walking barefoot out of a restaurant with Brian.
She’d just split from former fiancé Wladimir Klitschko (43), whom she’d dated on and off since 2009, and with whom she shares daughter Kaya (5).
Kaya currently lives with Wladimir, a professional boxer, in his home country of Ukraine and Hayden reportedly travels occasionally to see her.
“She really hasn't had much time with her daughter,” a source told Us Weekly. “She knows the child being with her is not best for her [the child]. It's a sad situation.”
Hayden is a product of a broken home where her mom, Lesley Vogel, was regularly abused by her dad, Alan Panettiere. In 2008 he was arrested and sent to jail for it. Hayden was just 18 at the time.
Commenting on it later, she said, “When it happened, I knew my denying it or saying it was false wasn't going to do anything. People would just say, ‘Oh, she's in denial.’ My parents are really good people – they’re just not meant to be together.”