Hayden Panettiere reveals years of secret addiction

This article mentions allegations of drug addiction and domestic violence.

Hayden Panettiere went from child star to adult star before our very eyes. Many fans may recognize the actor as the daughter of the football-mad coach on Remember the Titans, and more recently she starred opposite Connie Britton in the ABC hit Nashville. According to her IMDb profile, Panettiere appeared on the series from 2012 to 2018.

Panettiere has endured many ups and downs throughout her career in Hollywood, and many of her ailments have sadly made their way into the press. The star had a challenging relationship with her now ex-boyfriend Brian Hickerson. According to People, police charged Hickerson with assault against the actor in 2020. Panettiere spoke to the outlet after the charges were brought to light. “I speak with the truth about what happened to me in the hope that my story will empower others in abusive relationships to get the help they need and deserve,” she said in a statement.

The actor also dealt with a few drug-taking cases, including in 2018 when she was in the middle of a drunken brawl with Hickerson, according to Us Weekly. Radar Online also reported that the star had a rough night in Los Angeles and was spotted throwing up outside a bar. This case happened shortly after her split from her fiancé, Wladimir Klitschko. Now Panettiere opens up about some of her past struggles and how far she’s come in her recovery.

Hayden Panettiere opens up about dark times in her life

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In early July, Hayden Panettiere sat down for an interview with People in which she was incredibly vulnerable about everything she’s been through in recent years. In addition to battling addictions to opioids and alcohol, the star also struggled with postpartum depression. “I was at the top of the world and I ruined it,” she told the outlet, adding that every time she thought she’d hit “bottom, there was this trapdoor that opens.” She confessed to having started using drugs at a young age, and it got worse growing up in the spotlight. “Things kept getting out of control [off set]. And as I got older, the drugs and alcohol became something I almost couldn’t live without,” she shared.

Luckily, the star got the help she needed by going to trauma counseling and inpatient treatment. “I put a lot of work into myself and had to be willing to be incredibly honest,” she said, adding that there were a lot of “up and downs.” But she still looks at the half-full glass. “But I don’t regret even the ugliest things that have happened to me. I feel incredibly fulfilled. And I feel like I have a second chance,” the actor revealed.

There’s no doubt Panettiere uses her platform to raise awareness about drug and alcohol addiction, and she also paid tribute to Mental Health Day on May 20 on Instagram. She’s come this far.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration website or contact the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

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