Hayden Panettiere Opens Up For the First Time Ever About Why She Gave Up Custody of Her Only Child

Hayden Panettiere gets honest about what it was like to give up custody of her only child. As fans of the Remember the Titans star may already know, Panettiere and Boxing legend Wladimir Klitschko share a daughter together, Kaya. 

Currently, Klitschko has full custody of their 7-year-old daughter. And Panettiere is opening up about her decision to give her ex-husband full custody of Kaya while a guest on Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk.

Hayden Panettiere Opens Up For the First Time Ever About Why She Gave Up Custody of Her Only Child

While talking with Smith, Panettiere admitted that signing the custody papers was the “most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever, ever had to do in my life.” She continued, saying, “Because of the way that it was done, it was very upsetting. I mean, it was the worst signing those papers.”

However, while Panettiere ultimately signed custody over to Kaya’s father, it wasn’t something Panettiere was always on board with. “At first it was not because it wasn’t a discussion,” the actress told the table. 

“If [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 okay that makes sense, I get it, I’ll come there to visit and stuff like that.”

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Panettiere admitted that she had hopes of working on herself in order to get her daughter back. “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,” she admitted. 

The actress, at the time she signed over custody of her daughter, was struggling with an addition to alcohol and pills in 2018. And this was after dealing with crippling postpartum depression following the birth of her baby girl in 2014. In the end, Panettiere did agree this was the best move for Kaya.

Hayden Panettiere said she’s not a person who easily came to the decision to relinquish custody of her child, even though that’s what some people think. “I felt horribly guilty, but if I’m not okay if I’m not good, then I cannot be the best mom.”

Panettiere continued to say, “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.”

“I hope one day it does change,” Panettiere said of the future. “He’s an amazing father, I have a lot of respect for him,” she said of Kaya’s father, but “in this case, we definitely don’t see eye to eye.”

When asked how her daughter is doing, the actress said the 7-year-old is a very stoic child. “She’s an incredibly strong child.”

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