Hayden Panettiere Talks Losing Custody on Red Table Talk

Hayden Panettiere is opening up about the pain of losing custody of her daughter in a clip from an upcoming episode of “Red Table Talk” shared on Sept. 27.

Panettiere is appearing on the Jada Pinkett Smith-hosted show on Wednesday. She says in the preview clip that she was dealing with substance-abuse issues in 2018 when she gave up custody of her now 7-year-old daughter, Kaya, who she shares with ex Wladimir Klitschko. Panettiere has previously spoken about allowing Kaya to live in Ukraine with Klitschko, a former boxing champion. Now, she said, she doesn’t feel like there was much of a discussion about Kaya’s living situation before the custody arrangement was decided.

“If [Klitschko] had come to me and said, ‘I think because of where you’re at right now and your struggles that you’re having, it would be good for her to be over here with me for a while’ . . . ” she said on “Red Table Talk.” “If I had probably had enough of a conversation, I would’ve said, ‘OK, that makes sense, I get it, I’ll come there to visit’ and stuff like that.”

For Panettiere, signing the papers that relinquished custody of her child was agonizing. “It was the worst signing those papers, the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever, ever had to do in my life,” she said. She continued, “I was gonna go work on myself, I was gonna get better, and when I got better then things would change and she could come to me and I could have my time with her, but that didn’t happen.”

Panettiere’s talked about her issues with alcoholism and drugs before. “I was on top of the world and I ruined it,” Panettiere said in a July interview with People. “I’d think I hit rock bottom, but then there’s that trap door that opens.”


In the interview, she revealed that members of her team had started offering her drugs when she was just 15. “They were to make me peppy during interviews,” she said. “I had no idea that this was not an appropriate thing, or what door that would open for me when it came to my addiction.” Since then, she said, she has undergone trauma therapy and has had to “put a lot of work into myself” to heal.

At the time of the People interview, Panettiere said that she felt allowing Klitschko to have full custody was “the best thing for my daughter.” She also said that she still has a good relationship with Kaya, who remains living with her father. Following the Russian invasion in February, Panettiere wrote in a comment on Instagram that Kaya was currently “safe and not in Ukraine.”

Panettiere’s full episode of “Red Table Talk” is out on Wednesday, Sept. 28.

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