Hayden Panettiere Holds Hands With Boyfriend's Brother Following Domestic Violence Arrest

Just a few short months after Nashville star Hayden Panettiere's boyfriend Brian Hickerson was charged with one count felony domestic violence, she's locking fingers with his brother, Zach Hickerson, in New York City.

"Hayden and Zach are just friends," a source shared with In Touch. "They have been friends for as long as she's been dating Brian; Zach and Brian are close. Zach was in NYC for a job interview and he linked up with Hayden who was already in town. They were just goofing off and holding hands as friends. At on point, she was jumping up and down making funny faces, and he was flexing his muscles and laughing. They looked happy together."

Despite the restraining order against Brian, the actress seems to be keeping close with his family in the meantime. The restraining order was put against him back in May after a physical altercation took place between the couple. Early in the month he was arrested for domestic violence after he allegedly hit Panettiere. Following the feud, he spent just a few hours in jail after posting bond for $50,000 dollars.

"Mr. Hickerson has been charged with one felony count of injuring a spouse, cohabitant, girlfriend, etc.," a spokesperson for the Distract Attorney said according to PEOPLE. If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison.

"Hayden knows Brian has a bad temper and can be controlling, but there is an extreme attraction to it," a source told the outlet. "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 added. "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."

While Hickerson did not immediately speak about the incident shortly after it happened, he 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. "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."


Despite what Hickerson revealed, other sources close to the actress are concerned for their relationship.

"Hayden's friends and family are not happy with the relationship," one source admitted. "She's been acting more out of control since she's been with him" adding that he's "been a bad influence from the beginning."