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Hayden Panettiere reflects on ‘heartbreaking’ decision to relinquish custody of daughter

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Hayden Panettiere

Hayden Panettiere has opened up about giving her ex-partner Wladimir Klitschko full custody of their daughter Kaya.

The Nashville actress welcomed a child with the Ukrainian boxer in December 2014, and Kaya was sent to live with her father in his homeland four years later while Hayden secretly battled an addiction to opioids and alcohol.

During an appearance on Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk, Hayden told co-hosts Jada Pinkett Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris, as well as guest host Kelly Osbourne, that signing papers to give her ex full custody of Kaya was the “most heartbreaking” moment of her life.

“It wasn’t a discussion,” the 33-year-old explained in a preview clip shared with People. “If he had come to me and said, ‘I think because of where you’re at right now and the struggles that you’re having it would be good for her to be over here with me for a while’ – to which I, probably, if I had had enough of a conversation, would’ve said, ‘O.K. that makes sense, I get it, I’ll come there to visit and stuff like that.’

“Because of the way that it was done, it was very upsetting. I mean, it was the worst signing those papers, the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever, ever had to do in my life.”

The Heroes star admitted that she thought the custody situation would change once she sought treatment for her addiction.

“I 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,” she shared.

Earlier this year, Hayden told People that Kaya “has a beautiful life” with her father, and assured fans that she is safe and no longer in Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion.

The actress and sportsman were in an on-off relationship between 2009 and 2018.

– Cover Media