Hayden Panettiere is getting real about relinquishing custody of her only child amid past battles with substance abuse.
In a teaser clip for this week’s episode of Red Table Talk, obtained by People, the 33-year-old actress tells co-hosts Jada Pinkett Smith and Adrienne Banfield Norris, and guest host Kelly Osbourne that signing legal papers in 2018 to give her ex-fiance Wladimir Klitschko full custody of daughter, Kaya, was the “most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever had to do in my life.”
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The New York Postreports that Panettiere also claimed that the decision to do so “wasn’t a discussion” between the former partners. It also meant that Kaya, now 7, would live in Ukraine with Klitschko.
“If he [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 — which 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,” Panettiere said.
‘“Because of the way that it was done, it was very upsetting,” she added.
“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 continued on reconnecting with her daughter.
But at the time, the child star was dealing with an addiction to opioids and alcohol, telling People in July, “I was on top of the world and I ruined it. I’d think I hit rock bottom, but then there’s that trap door that opens.”
Panettiere sought treatment for depression but leaned on alcohol to deal with the stresses of parenthood. She didn’t drink during her pregnancy but did once Kaya was born.
“I never had the feeling that I wanted to harm my child, but I didn’t want to spend any time with her,” Panettiere admitted. “There was just this grey colour in my life.”
Now sober and despite their living arrangement, Panettiere told the magazine that Kaya “still loves me.”
“She’s a happy kid open to a huge world,” she said. “And she has more love than anybody I’ve ever met.”
In February, Panettiere told People that Kaya and Klitschko “were safe” and out of the war zone amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, she admitted that their daughter was having a “really, really hard time” and Klitschko had been “on the ground fighting.”
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and was reproduced with permission.