Hayden Panettiere says her daughter 'still loves me' after being sent to Ukraine to live with her father

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  • Hayden Panettiere told People her daughter, Kaya, who lives in Europe, "still loves me."

  • She said Kaya, who moved in 2018 while Panettiere focused on her health, "has a beautiful life."

  • Panettiere also said her ex Wladimir Klitschko, who's Ukrainian, was "on the ground fighting."

Hayden Panettiere recently told People that her daughter, Kaya, whom Panettiere decided to send to Ukraine in 2018 to live with her father, "still loves me."

The "Nashville" star said she sent Kaya to live with Wladimir Klitschko as Panettiere's dependence on alcohol escalated. "I would have the shakes when I woke up and could only function with sipping alcohol," she said.

Panettiere said Kaya, 7, "has a beautiful life" in Europe and lived between Ukraine and Germany.

"She's smart and she's funny and she for whatever reason still loves me," Panettiere said in a video accompanying the cover story.

Sending Kaya to live overseas was "the hardest thing that I could do," she said. "The best thing that I could do for my daughter was to make sure that she was OK, and take care of myself, and make sure that I could be a good mom to her. So that sometimes means you have to let them go."

Panettiere's substance use began when she was a teenager

Hayden Panettiere
Panettiere in 2003.J. Vespa/WireImage

Panettiere said she began drinking alcohol at 13, adding that she'd be served drinks she didn't ask for at parties in Hollywood. She said that when members of her team took her to parties, she often instinctively knew she was "not supposed to be here" and that "this is not a place for me."

She said a member of her team introduced her to opioids, which she called "happy pills," when Panettiere was 15.

Experiences like that are why Panettiere, who was in her first commercial at 11 months old, described being a child actor as "horrible."

"I would never wish it on my worst enemy," she said.

The "Remember the Titans" star said she got sober while she was pregnant with Kaya in 2014 but struggled with postpartum depression and alcoholism after giving birth.

"I never had the feeling that I wanted to harm my child, but I didn't want to spend any time with her," she told People.

The actor founded a charity to help support Ukraine's 'heartbreaking' war

Hayden Panettiere and Wladimir Klitschko in 2016.
Panettiere and Wladimir Klitschko in 2016.Sean Zanni/Getty Images

Panettiere said she travels to Europe and visits Kaya often. Though she said on social media in February that her daughter was "safe and not in Ukraine," she told People that Russia's invasion of the country affected Kaya, whose paternal uncle is Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv.

"What she's dealing with and what we're all going through right now in regards to Ukraine is really, really hard," Panettiere said. "I had a conversation with her, and the only question she had was 'Why is Putin doing this?' It's so heartbreaking."

In March, Panettiere founded a charity to help Ukraine raise money called Hoplon International. Panettiere told People that Wladimir Klitschko and his brother were "on the ground fighting for their country," adding, "It's a relief every time I get to hear his voice or he sends a text."

Panettiere didn't say where Kaya was currently living but did say that "we are fortunate that we can travel a lot."

She said her daughter is "a happy kid open to a huge world."

"And she has more love than anybody I've ever met," the "Scream" star added.

Read the original article on Insider