Hayden Panettiere Says Brother Jansen "Is Right Here With Me" 2 Weeks After His Unexpected Death

In an interview with Good Morning America March 6, Hayden Panettiere acknowledged her brother Jansen's unexpected death at 28 years old.

By Mike Vulpo Mar 06, 2023 8:38 PMTags
Watch: Hayden Panettiere Gets Emotional in First TV Interview Since Brother's Death

Hayden Panettiere is speaking out about brother Jansen Panettiere nearly two weeks after his death.

While appearing on Good Morning America March 6, the Scream VI actress thanked co-anchor Michael Strahan for his condolences before showing her never-ending bond with her late sibling.

"He's right here with me," she said while holding back tears at the end of her interview. 

Hayden, 33, and her family experienced a tragic loss when Jansen passed away Feb. 19 in New York at the age of 28. Soon after, his family paid tribute to his life in a personal statement. 

"Jansen's heart could be seen in his eyes, and his charm in his brilliant, engaging smile; his soul in his masterful and revealing paintings, and the joy of life in his dry wit," Hayden—along with mom Lesley Vogel and dad Skip Panettieretold E! News Feb. 27. "His charisma, warmth, compassion for others, and his creative spirit will live forever in our hearts and in the hearts of all whom he encountered."

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Jansen's family also shared details about his cause of death, noting the Medical Examiner reported his "sudden passing was due to cardiomegaly (enlarged heart), coupled with aortic valve complications."

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"We sincerely appreciate the outpouring of love and support towards our family as we navigate this unthinkable loss, and ask that we be gifted our privacy during this time of mourning," the family concluded. "We love you so much Jansen and you will be in our hearts forever."

Like his older sister, Jansen broke into Hollywood at a young age. His earliest gigs included an appearance on a 2002 episode of Disney Channel's Even Stevens and voice work for the Jacob Two-Two animated series.

Outside of acting, Jansen had a passion for painting and frequently shared his work on Instagram. One of his last posts was a photo of his partner, Catherine Michie, posing next to a colorful portrait. 

After Jansen's death, Catherine mourned the artist in a tribute on social media.

"Words cannot express the pain of knowing I won't hear your laugh again," she wrote Feb. 19. "I hope you find peace, and I'm sorry I wasn't there when you needed me most. The world is better because you were in it. I know we will paint together again someday."

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