On Sunday, February 23, the Nashville actress, 30, posted a photo of Klitschko, 43, dancing playfully with their daughter, Kaya, in a room filled with colorful balloons and confetti.
“Best father ever,” she wrote in the caption.
Fans quickly took to the comments section, with one even asking Panettiere if the photo was taken “before or after he beat you,” confusing Klitschko for Hickerson, 30.
“Wrong guy. Klitschko’s r legends. That’s my CHAMP,” the star answered, breaking her silence on her boyfriend’s arrest.
Moments later, Panettiere deleted her tribute to her ex.
As RadarOnline.com readers know, the actress and the former professional boxer called it quits in 2018 following nine years together. Despite the fact that they called off their wedding with no explanation, sources say they’ve remained friends and are very much committed to amicably co-parenting their daughter, 5.
After her split from Klitschko, Panettiere moved on with Hickerson. All was seemingly well until Valentine’s Day 2020, when the South Carolina native allegedly beat up the actress following a fight in her Jackson, Wyoming home.
He was taken into police custody shortly before 2:30 a.m. on February 14, for allegedly striking Panettiere “with a closed fist on the right side of her face,” leaving her “red and swollen,” according to court documents obtained by Radar.
He was released soon after on a $5,000 bail.
It’s unclear if Panettiere and Hickerson will reunite, but a source close to the actress told Radar exclusively that her family members “want Brian behind bars.”
The insider said the star’s loved ones are furious Hickerson started drinking again after swearing off alcohol due to his alleged anger issues.
“He had told Hayden after his last arrest and when they got back together that he was taking a break from drinking, but Brian started drinking again and this is what happened,” the source said. “He has serious anger issues and when he drinks it brings it out, it magnifies it 1000 percent.”
Still, Panettiere “has reservations” about helping them jail her beau.
Hickerson is scheduled to appear in court in Jackson, Wyoming, on March 12.