Nashville actress Hayden Panettiere's ex-boyfriend Brian Hickerson has been sentenced to 45 days in jail following several domestic abuse allegations made against him by Panettiere. Hickerson pleaded no contest to two counts of felony injuring a spouse or girlfriend on April 20. In addition to the jail time, Hickerson is also subject to four years of formal probation, 52 mandatory domestic violence classes, and a $500 fee. He has also received a 5-year restraining order and must surrender himself to jail by May 7.
Hickerson was arrested in July and faced eight charges of domestic violence and assault that allegedly took place during this year-long relationship with Panettiere, and his bail was set at $325,000. The actress alleged that he hit her in the face with a "closed fist," and released a statement on Instagram following his arrest explaining her decision to come forward. "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 wrote. "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."
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"For anyone else affected by abuse and needing support, please know that you can call 1-800-799-7233," Panettiere included in the caption. "If you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474. You are not alone."
Hickerson was also arrested for alleged felony domestic abuse against Panettiere in May 2019 but was released on $50,000 bond the next day. His case was dismissed in September. However, he was arrested again in February 2020 for domestic battery after hitting Panettiere and pleaded not guilty to one count of domestic battery in April 2020.
"After suffering for years as the victim of psychological, emotional and severe physical abuse, Hayden Panettiere has begun the process of taking back her life," her attorney Alan Jackson, told TMZ in July Hayden has found the strength and courage to share the truth about her abuse and her abuser, and she intends to assist the prosecution to see that justice is served. As a survivor, she recognizes that her arduous journey of healing has just begun.