Hayden Panettiere has taken aim at her former partner Wladimir Klitschko, accusing him of giving her no choice when it came to signing over full-custody of their daughter, Kaya, now seven, back in 2018, amid the actress’s substance abuse issues.
The Nashville star, 33, opened up about the ‘upsetting’ moment that she sent her then-four-year-old child to live in Ukraine with Klitschko, 46, during an upcoming interview on Jada Pinkett Smith’s show Red Table Talk.
In a sneak peek at the episode, which airs in full on Wednesday but was previewed by People magazine, the Heroes alum hinted that the former boxing professional – whom she had dated on-and-off for nine years before they split for good in 2018 – made her give up her daughter, calling it ‘the most heartbreaking thing she’s ever had to do in her life.’
Hayden Panettiere accused former partner Wladimir Klitschko of giving her no choice when it came to signing over full-custody of their daughter, Kaya, now seven, back in 2018
The Nashville star, 33, sat down with Jada Pinkett Smith and Adrienne Banfield Norris for an upcoming episode of their show Red Table Talk, which is set to premiere this Wednesday
The Heroes alum claimed that the former boxing professional made her give up her daughter, calling it ‘the most heartbreaking thing she’s ever had to do in her life’
‘It wasn’t a discussion,’ she told the host Pinkett Smith and her mom, Adrienne Banfield Norris. ‘Because of the way that it was done, it was very upsetting.’
Panettiere previously revealed that she had started abusing drugs and alcohol when she was just 15 years old – and that her addiction spiraled out of control while she was battling postpartum depression after Kaya’s birth in 2014.
‘If [Klitschko] had come to me and said, “I think because of where you’re at right now and your struggles that you’re having it would be good for her to be over here with me for a while…”‘ she trailed off.
‘If I had probably had enough of a conversation I would’ve said, “OK, that makes sense, I get it, I’ll come there to visit,” stuff like that.
‘It was the worst signing those papers, the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever, ever had to do in my life.’
Panettiere explained that she planned to ‘work on herself’ and as soon as she was ‘better,’ she was hoping that Kaya would go back to splitting her time between both of her parents, ‘But that didn’t happen,’ she added.
Panettiere has claimed that her ex (seen with Kaya in 2020) didn’t give her a choice in the matter. She said: ‘It wasn’t a discussion, it was very upsetting’
Panettiere (pictured with Kaya in 2017) said, ‘If [Klitschko] had said, “I think because of your struggles it would be good for her to be with me,” I would’ve said, “OK, that makes sense”‘
It appears that Kaya still lives with her father, but it’s unclear where the pair are currently residing amid Ukraine’s war with Russia.
After the country got invaded in February, Hayden revealed in an Instagram post that her daughter was ‘safe and not in Ukraine’ anymore, but she has not specified where they’re living now.
Back in July, the former child star, who began acting at the age of five, spoke out about her past battle with addiction, telling People that it started when she was just 15 – one year before she began filming the hit TV series Heroes.
She claimed that members of her team began giving her ‘happy pills’ at the time in an effort to make her seem more ‘peppy’ during interviews.
‘I had no idea that this was not an appropriate thing, or what door that would open for me when it came to my addiction,’ she said.
‘As I got older, the drugs and alcohol became something I almost couldn’t live without.’
Panettiere told the outlet that she did not drink while she was pregnant with Kaya, but that she she fell off the wagon soon after her daughter was born.
Panettiere previously revealed that she had started abusing drugs when she was just 15 – and that her addiction spiraled out of control after Kaya’s birth in 2014. Kaya is pictured in 2020
Panettiere (seen with Kaya in 2020) explained that as soon as she was ‘better,’ she was hoping that Kaya would split her time between both of her parents, but said ‘that didn’t happen’
‘I would have the shakes when I woke up and could only function with sipping alcohol,’ she recalled.
‘[Sending Kaya away] was the hardest thing I ever had to do. But I wanted to be a good mom to her – and sometimes that means letting them go.’
Speaking to Good Morning America, the actress also explained that her battle with postpartum depression made her alcoholism all the more difficult to deal with because she couldn’t see where her battles with substance abuse ‘ended’ and where her depression ‘began.’
‘I didn’t have any negative feelings towards my child, I just knew I was deeply depressed. And I didn’t know where the alcoholism was ending and the postpartum was beginning and I ran myself pretty ragged,’ she said.
‘People around me were more concerned about my usage of alcohol than they ever were about the postpartum depression.’
She added that many of those around her were quick to pass off her postpartum depression and alcoholism as signs that she was being ‘overly emotional’ or acting like ‘a crazy woman,’ which in turn made her feel all the more isolated.
‘I felt like I was walking blind and there was nobody there that was able to support me in the way I needed to be supported,’ she added.
It appears that Kaya still lives with her father (pictured in March 2022), but it’s unclear where the pair are currently residing amid Ukraine’s war with Russia
‘And I don’t like to ask for help either. You know, I want to be that strong, stoic woman, but when you see a [previously] happy-go-lucky girl… suddenly on the floor in a puddle of mess and alcohol, you’ve got to know something is wrong.’
After Kaya moved to Europe, Panettiere said her drinking continued to worsen – to the point where she had to be hospitalized with jaundice.
Panettiere said her abuse battles began at the age of 15 (pictured) when people on her team gave her ‘happy pills’ to make her ‘peppy’ in interviews
‘Doctors told me my liver was going to give out,’ she recalled to People. ‘I was no longer a 20-year-old who could just bounce right back.’
But when Panettiere realized her life was at risk, she finally found the strength to seek treatment for her addictions and ultimately entered rehab for eight months.
However, she added to GMA that her experiences in rehab was difficult because she was identified specifically as an alcoholic, rather than someone also battling postpartum depression, which meant she struggled to make herself heard.
‘Oh, it was horrible,’ she said. ‘Once you’re the identified patient as the alcoholic – and not as a girl, a woman going through postpartum depression – then they don’t believe anything that comes [out of] your mouth. So even when you’re telling the truth, even when you’re doing well, I’ve been told “No”, almost gaslit, and told, “No, I wasn’t.”
‘It’s frustrating. It’s heartbreaking. You want to break down and cry, which makes you look even worse. But not being believed, I think to anybody not being believed is – when they’re telling the truth – is painful.’
While the actress is now sober, she admitted at the time that her struggles are still far from over.
‘I’m good [but] it’s an everyday battle, it really is,’ she shared. ‘I’m grateful to say I’m sober today.’
She also told People: ‘It’s an everyday choice, and I’m checking in with myself all the time. But I’m just so grateful to be part of this world again, and I will never take it for granted again.’