Star’s boyfriend charged over domestic attack
US actress Hayden Panettiere's boyfriend could face jail time following his arrest earlier this month for allegedly attacking the actress.
The LA County District Attorney's Office has charged Brian Hickerson with one count of felony domestic violence, TMZ reported. If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison, reports the New York Post.
Los Angeles police arrested Hickerson for domestic violence in May at the couple's home after they allegedly got into a physical altercation following a night of drinking in Hollywood. He is accused of starting the fight.
Police reportedly noticed redness and marks on Panettiere's body as well.
It's not the first time the couple has got into an altercation; last November, Panettiere and Hickerson were reportedly involved in a drunken altercation with Hickerson's father.
The 29-year-old Panettiere was first linked to the aspiring actor last August, not long after reports emerged that she and then-fiance Wladimir Klitschko (the father of her four-year-old daughter Kaya) had split.
According to People magazine, the couple's relationship has been a source of concern among the actress' friends.
"Hayden knows Brian has a bad temper and can be controlling, but there is an extreme attraction to it," one source reportedly told the magazine. "And despite warnings from family and friends, the relationship seems solid."
"Brian's reputation as a party boy is no secret in Hollywood," the source said. "Those close to Hayden are more worried than ever about this and his temper. But Hayden is taken with him. She thinks he is what she needs in her life now."
Hickerson has defended their relationship in the past.
"Just to be clear, Hayden's friends and family are not worried about her at all," he told Access Hollywood in 2018. "Hayden is happy and healthy and so is our relationship. That is all I will comment on so please respect my privacy. Have a great day."
Another source also told People magazine that Hickerson "has been a bad influence from the beginning."
"Hayden's friends and family are not happy with the relationship," the source reportedly said. "She's been acting more out of control since she's been with him."
Panettiere has spoken in the past about other issues including her struggles with post-natal depression after giving birth to Kaya in 2015, when she sought treatment in rehab.