Hayden Panettiere said her daughter's asking to call other women "mommy" was a "trauma reaction."
Kaya, 7, has lived with her dad, Wladimir Klitschko, in Europe since 2018.
Panettiere said on "Red Table Talk" she doesn't think her ex understands how much Kaya needs her.
Kaya lives in Europe with her father, Wladimir Klitschko, Panettiere's ex. She's lived there since 2018, when Klitschko petitioned for full custody in Ukraine amid Panettiere's efforts to treat her alcoholism, the "Heroes" star told the hosts Jada Pinkett Smith and Adrienne Banfield Norris and their guest cohost, Kelly Osbourne.
Panettiere said that while she goes to visit her daughter when she can, her absence was affecting Kaya in some alarming ways.
"I also remember her dad calling me, and he said, 'Kaya's going around and asking other women if she can call them mommy,'" she said at about the 27-minute mark of the episode. "And my breath hitched, and my heart stopped. And he was laughing — he thought this was funny."
The "Nashville" star said that learning this information was "horrifying." She said she didn't think Klitschko perceived Kaya's behavior the same way she did. "That's a trauma reaction," she said, adding, "That's a cry for help."
Panettiere said that when she brought the topic up with Kaya, her daughter "went into 'goo-goo gaga' speak" and was "talking gibberish," something Panettiere hadn't ever heard her do before.
The actor said she'd tried to explain to Klitschko that she needs to be in Kaya's life more and that Kaya's not seeing her mother regularly is a "trauma" that will "rear its ugly head" when she's older. But Panettiere said she doesn't think Klitschko understands or believes that, adding that she's worried Kaya will eventually experience anger or depression as a result of her absence.
Panettiere said that she hadn't "gotten any hints" that Kaya's living situation would change soon but that she has hope that when Kaya is older her desires will be respected more and she'll be able to visit her mom in the US.
Earlier in the conversation, Panettiere said she hadn't fully opened up about her custody situation because it had been "very terrifying to talk about" since Klitschko and his family are so prominent in Ukraine; he's a former professional boxer, and his brother, Vitali Klitschko, is the mayor of Kyiv.
While talking to the "Red Table Talk" hosts, Panettiere said that as an athlete without many female influences, Klitschko sometimes misunderstands the physical effects emotions can have on the body.
She said that when Kaya was a newborn and she had postpartum depression, Klitschko "really thought I was doing it to myself."
"When he signs his emails, it says, 'If you control your mind, you can control everything,'" she added.
Panettiere first spoke with the People reporter Aili Nahas in July about having alcoholism, an addiction to opioids, and postpartum depression at various times in her life.
On "Red Table Talk," she said she signed over "full custody" of Kaya to Klitschko in 2018 after her daughter went to Ukraine for what Panettiere had initially thought would be a regular visit while she sought treatment for addiction. But she added that it wasn't "fully" her decision to sign over custody.
"I was going to go work on myself, and I was going to get better," she said, adding that once Kaya was in Ukraine, "it was immediately 'I want full custody of her,' which was a shock to me."
Read the original article on Insider