Hayden Panettiere Speaks Out About Ex Brian Hickerson's Assault Charges

He could face up to 10 years in prison.

build presents charles esten hayden panettiere discussing "nashville"
(Image credit: Roy Rochlin)

  • Hayden Panettiere is breaking her silence about ex-boyfriend Brian Hickerson's felony assault charges.
  • Hayden alleges that her ex was abusive during their relationship.

Hayden Panettiere is no longer staying silent about the alleged abuse she endured from her ex-boyfriend, Brian Hickerson. On July 17, she shared an Instagram post telling domestic abuse survivors that they are "not alone."

Brian was charged with seven felonies and one misdemeanor on Thursday, July 16, Us Weekly reports (opens in new tab). If he's convicted on all charges, he could face a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and eight months," the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office spokesperson said.

A post shared by Hayden Panettiere (@haydenpanettiere) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

"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," Hayden wrote. "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."

The charges include allegedly injuring Hayden in a May 2019 incident, misdemeanor battery, allegedly injuring her again in December 2019 and January 2020, and an incident including assault with a deadly weapon. Brian is pleading not guilty, and his bail is currently set at $320,000. He's due to appear in court at the end of July. Hayden also has filed a protective order against him.

Hayden and Brian dated from August 2018 to February 2020 before calling it quits. Her attorney, Alan Jackson, gave a statement to Page Six (opens in new tab): "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."

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or call 800-787-3224 for TTY.

For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.

subscribe here (opens in new tab)


nuku'alofa, tonga october 25 uk out for 28 days meghan, duchess of sussex arrives at nuku'alofa airport on october 25, 2018 in nuku'alofa, tonga the duke and duchess of sussex are on their official 16 day autumn tour visiting cities in australia, fiji, tonga and new zealand photo by poolsamir husseinwireimage

(Image credit: Pool/Samir Hussein)
Paulina Jayne Isaac
Paulina Jayne Isaac

Paulina is the Weekend Editor at Cosmopolitan.com. When she isn’t covering celeb and pop culture news, she can be found listening to Taylor Swift, watching a teen drama (One Tree Hill is her favorite), or perfecting her skincare routine.