Hayden Panettiere‘s ex-boyfriend Brian Hickerson allegedly threatened to release "embarrassing" information about the Nashville actress after being arrested for domestic violence in February, reports Us Weekly. A source with knowledge of the investigation told the publication following Monday's pre-trial conference that Hickerson had "direct communication" with Panettiere, during which he "threatened to release certain information" if she didn't drop the charges, specifically "videos of her."
Earlier this month, the outlet reported Hickerson was accused of influencing or intimidating a witness in Teton County, Wyoming, resulting in a felony arrest warrant being put out on Hickerson on Aug. 10, which will result in a potential $25,000 bond if he is apprehended. Hickerson’s attorney filed a motion to end the warrant, saying the South Carolina native did not violate any release conditions or contact with Panettiere, but a judge denied the request Monday.
In legal documents obtained by Us Weekly, Hickerson allegedly tried to get in touch with Panettiere in March, but his communications were "much more directed and threatening in manner" toward the end of June. In June, her attorney spoke with the Teton County Sheriff’s department, claiming Hickerson called the actress and sent her videos and text with "embarrassing" information about her he was implying he would release if the charges were not dropped.
"Some of the ’embarrassing’ information … appears to be for short video clips that were sent from [Hickerson] to [Panettiere] during this exchange from a previous incident at an unknown date and time," the documents state. "[Hickerson] used threatening language throughout the texts and videos referencing having information that would be embarrassing to [Panettiere] if she refused to drop the charges that have been brought against him."
Hickerson was arrested in February in Jackson, Wyoming, after allegedly punching Panettiere in the face during a fight. He was booked on charges of domestic battery and interfering with a police officer after allegedly refusing to identify himself during the arrest. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in April, but was hit with another eight charges of domestic violence and assault in July.
"I am coming forward with the truth about what happened to me with the hope that my story will empower others in abusive relationships to get the help they need and deserve," Panettiere said in a statement on July 17. "I am prepared to do my part to make sure this man never hurts anyone again. I’m grateful for my support system, which helped me find the courage to regain my voice and my life."