Hayden Panettiere reunited with his ex-boyfriend Brian Hickerson after spending time in jail for domestic violence, but he insists they are not together again.
Hickerson, 32, confirmed he hung out with the actor, 31, at a restaurant in West Hollywood on Saturday nearly two months after he became a free man again.
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“To clarify, I enjoyed a Miller ‘Latte’ [slang for Miller Lite]and Hayden did not drink, ”he told E! News Wednesday about Panettiere being sober.
“We went to a new Texas-based restaurant and as a Southern guy I’m a big fan of country music. So yeah, there was some line-dance involved.”
Hickerson told the outlet that he and Panettiere “are not together again” but they are “working on” rebuilding their friendship.
“We have a long history together, and the first step in my recovery as an addict is to do well,” he explained. “That’s exactly what Hayden has been gracious enough to allow me to do.”
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A representative of the “Heroes” alum did not immediately respond to our request for comment.
However, a source close to Panettiere told E! News that she is focusing on her relationship with her 6-year-old daughter, Kaya, which she shares with ex-fiancé Wladimir Klitschko, as well as her sobriety and healing from her stony relationship with Hickerson.
“Hayden is open to forgiving Brian and starting a new chapter despite his dear concerns,” the source said. “Hayden has a huge heart and wants to see the best in everyone.”
Hickerson was sentenced in April to 45 days in jail in the county after failing to plead guilty to two counts of injuring a spouse or girlfriend. He surrendered to prison on May 7 and was released early on May 20.
He was also ordered to serve a four-year probationary period, attend 52 home violence courses and pay a $ 500 fee.
While Panettiere has a five-year detention order against Hickerson, a spokesman for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office told People that it “does not prohibit defendant and victim in friendly interaction with each other.”
Hickerson’s convictions came after he was arrested in July 2020 for alleged assault on Panettiere on several occasions between May 2019 and January 2020, for which he initially pleaded guilty.
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Panettiere publicly addressed the abuse allegations on his Instagram at the time, writing: “I come forward with the truth about what happened to me in the hope that my story will empower others in violent relationships to get the help they need and deserves. “
She continued, “I am ready to do my part to ensure that this man never harms anyone again. I am grateful for my support system, which helped me find the courage to regain my voice and my life.”
Hickerson was previously arrested for domestic battery on Valentine’s Day in 2020 and for domestic violence in May 2019. Both of these incidents also involved Panettiere.
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