Hayden Panettiere Has Addressed Her Ex-Boyfriend's Alleged Abuse

Kimberly Truong

Hayden Panettiere has spoken out after her ex-boyfriend Brian Hickerson was charged for felony assault after being arrested on Thursday.

People reports that a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department confirmed Hickerson was charged with corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant. He currently remains in custody and is being held on a $320,000 bail.

"Brian Hickerson was charged last night in an 8-count felony complaint alleging domestic violence and assault," a source told People. "Hayden reported to the Teton County Sheriff in Wyoming, the LAPD and the Santa Monica PD with multiple serious instances of extreme domestic violence perpetuated by [Hickerson] against Hayden during their year and a half of relationship."

In a statement to People, the former Heroes actress said, "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. 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."

Her attorney Alan Jackson added in a statement, "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. 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."

RELATED: Hayden Panettiere’s Boyfriend Could Face up to Four Years in Prison for Domestic Violence

Last year, Hickerson was charged with one count of felony domestic violence following his arrest on May 3. He pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Panettiere previously filed to register an out-of-state restraining order against Hickerson in California, and a source close to the actress told People this is a "turning point" for her.

"She has been undergoing successful treatment for alcohol abuse issues and is focused on healing, sobriety and recovery," the source said. "She wants to be honest about what happened in the hope that it may help someone else who is dealing with emotional abuse, intimidation or physical violence."

If you are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224 for confidential support.

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