Hayden Panettiere Reflects on "Heartbreaking" Decision to Relinquish Custody of Daughter

During an appearance on Red Table Talk, Hayden Panettiere shared the real story behind how her ex Wladimir Klitschko was able to get full custody of their daughter Kaya.

By Tamantha Gunn Sep 27, 2022 3:00 PMTags
Watch: Hayden Panettiere Shares Past Alcohol & Opioid Addictions

Hayden Panettiere is ready to reveal why she signed over custody of her 7-year-old daughter Kaya.

The Scream actress—who has previously been about her struggles with opioid and alcohol addiction—recently shared that there initially "wasn't a discussion" between her and her Ukraine-based ex Wladimir Klitschko regarding him getting full custody in 2018.

"If he'd 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,' to which if I had probably had enough of a conversation, I would've said, ‘Okay. that makes sense,'" Hayden explained on a recent episode of Red Table Talk. "I get it. I'll come there to visit and stuff like that."

But that's not how it went down. "Because of the way that it was done, it was very upsetting," she added. "I mean, it was the worst signing those papers, the most heartbreaking thing I've ever, ever had to do in my life."

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Hayden clarified to hosts Jada Pinkett SmithAdrienne Norris and guest host Kelly Osbourne that the "papers were to give him full custody."

The plan, she continued, was she "was gonna go work on myself, I was gonna get better and when I got better then things could change and she could come to me, and I could have my time with her but that didn't happen."

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After Hayden and Wladimir split in 2018, the Nashville actress made the tough decision to have Kaya live with her father in Ukraine as she worked on recovering from postpartum depression and alcohol and drug addiction

"It was the hardest thing I could do," she told People in July 2022. "But the best thing for my daughter was to make sure she was okay, take care of myself and make sure I could be a good mom to her. And sometimes that means letting go."

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Hayden ultimately entered rehab for eight months and has since completed trauma therapy and inpatient treatment. She is now planning to make her acting comeback as she was recently signed by talent agency APA and just finished filming Scream 6, in which she reprises her role as Kirby Reed.

"This hasn't been easy and there were a lot of ups and downs," Hayden told People. "But I don't regret even the ugliest things that have happened to me. I feel incredibly accomplished. And I feel like I have a second chance."

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