Hayden Panettiere's ex Brian Hickerson says the former couple remains in each other's lives following his recent release from jail.
After an eyewitness told E! News that Hayden and Brian spent time together with friends at a restaurant in West Hollywood, Calif. on Saturday, July 17, Brian is sharing exclusive details with E! News to clarify the nature of their outing. According to the eyewitness, members of their group appeared to be enjoying beers, and then they were all seen line dancing.
"To clarify, I was enjoying a Miller 'Latte' [slang for Miller Lite], and Hayden was not drinking," Brian says. "We went to a new restaurant that is Texas-based, and being a Southern guy, I'm a big fan of country music. So yes, there was some line dancing involved. Hayden and I are not back together but are working on a friendship."
He continues, "We have a long history together, and the first step in my recovery as an abuser is making amends. That's exactly what Hayden has been gracious enough to allow me to do."
A source who is connected to the 31-year-old Nashville alum tells E! News that the star is focusing on her sobriety and her relationship with her daughter, in addition to healing from her relationship with Brian. The actress shares 6-year-old daughter Kaya with ex Wladimir Klitschko.
"Hayden is open to forgiving Brian and starting a new chapter, despite her loved ones concerns," according to the insider. "Hayden has a huge heart and wants to see the best in everyone."
On May 7, Brian turned himself into police to begin his jail sentence, and he was released later that month, according to media reports. He had been arrested in July 2020 stemming from charges of domestic violence and assault against the star and was sentenced to 45 days in county jail.
Per his sentence, he received four years of formal probation, must attend 52 domestic violence classes and was required to pay a $500 fee. In addition, he received a five-year restraining order, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office told E! News at the time.
In April 2021, Brian pleaded no contest to two felony counts of injuring a spouse or girlfriend, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Following his July 2020 arrest, Hayden—who dated Brian for a year and a half—tweeted in part that she hoped her "story will empower others in abusive relationships" and that she was ready "to regain my voice and my life."
—Reporting by Brody Brown