The Heroes alum, 32, was attempting to separate the South Carolina native, 30, after he got into a brawl with some fellow patrons outside the Sunset Marquis hotel in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 24, according to video footage obtained by TMZ. The on-and-off couple were dining at the hotel’s restaurant when Hickerson “made a comment to an individual about leaving the waitress a poor tip,” Panettiere’s representative said in a statement to Us Weekly one day later. “That same individual along with the group he was with began badgering and shoving Brian at which point security pushed everyone outside.”
Once outside, Hickerson was allegedly “attacked” by the group, per the rep, while the Nashville alum attempted to break up the fight. Though Panettiere appeared to have been knocked to the ground during the incident, she was ultimately unharmed. “Hayden was refused the opportunity to provide a statement to the police as she was escorted back inside,” her rep claimed.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s West Hollywood station confirmed to Us on Friday, March 25, that someone from the hotel called the police at 12:18 a.m. regarding a fight outside. “Upon deputies’ arrival there was no evidence of a crime,” a spokesperson noted in a statement. “There was nobody complaining of pain, and no one came forward saying they were a victim of an assault.”
By the time the authorities arrived, everyone involved in the incident had left and there were no eyewitnesses still present on the scene. As a result, the spokesperson told Us that police did not file a report.
In November 2018, cops from South Carolina’s Greenville City Police Department responded to a call about “a domestic assault in progress” after an alleged altercation between Hickerson and his father. Per a police report filed at the time, Panettiere appeared to be “intoxicated” and “frantic” when she answered the door.
The following May, Hickerson was arrested for domestic violence after police discovered “redness and marks” on Panettiere’s body following an alleged argument between the twosome. Though the couple were spotted smiling and holding hands two weeks after the incident, Hickerson was later charged with felony domestic violence. A prosecutor-requested protective order was granted that same month, mandating that he could not come within 100 yards of Panettiere or contact her via phone, email, or third party. The prosecutor in the case claimed at the time that Hickerson had “hit [Panettiere] on the face, causing her to get dizzy” during their altercation. The actor’s charges were dismissed in September 2019.
A separate insider noted that the Bring It On: All or Nothin star’s family were “being supportive as much as they can,” adding, “There is not one single person out there who isn’t concerned about Hayden.
Five months after his first case was dismissed, Us confirmed that Hickerson had been arrested yet again for allegedly punching the Ice Princess actress in the face. The M.F.A. actor was eventually charged with eight counts of domestic violence and assault — seven felonies and one misdemeanor. In August 2020, he was accused of intimidating or influencing a witness in Wyoming, leading to a 50-statewide warrant for his arrest.
Hickerson pleaded no contest to two felony counts of injuring a spouse or girlfriend in April 2021, and the remaining six counts were dismissed. He served 33 days in prison and was placed on four years’ probation and required to pay a $500 fee. Panettiere previously made a passionate statement to Us about her relationship after Hickerson was charged.
“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,” she claimed in July 2020. “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.”
For anyone affected by abuse and needing support, call 1-800-799-7233, or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474.
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