Hayden Panettiere Says Wladimir Klitschko 'Didn't Want to be Around Me' Amid Alcoholism, Drug Abuse

Hayden Panettiere revealed that she’s “been struggling for a long time” when alcoholism and opiate abuse, as she opened up for the first time about how both have affected her relationships with her ex and daughter, as well as her career.

Speaking with both PEOPLE and “Good Morning America,” the “Nashville” star shared that every time she thought she “hit rock bottom” there’d be another “trap door that opens” only bringing her lower.

The only place she could turn to amid her struggle was “the bottom of the bottle,” saying she had a hard time finding the line between her alcoholism and the postpartum depression she experienced after giving birth to her daughter Kaya, who she shares with ex Wladimir Klitschko.

“I felt like I was walking blind and there was nobody that was able to support me in the way that I needed to be supported and I don’t like asking for help either,” she said on GMA.

“He didn’t want to be around me,” she also told PEOPLE of Klitschko. “I didn’t want to be around me. But with the opiates and alcohol I was doing anything to make me feel happy for a moment. Then I’d feel worse than I did before. I was in a cycle of self-destruction.”

Things got so bad, she “would have the shakes when I woke up” and would have to sip alcohol to “function.” She also suffered from jaundice and was told by her doctors that “my liver was going to give out.” It was around that point she sent her daughter to live with her ex in Ukraine — where Kaya is currently “very safe” and “also has a lot of friends,” despite the war raging through the country.

“It was the hardest thing I ever had to do,” she said of the decision to send Kaya away. “But I wanted to be a good mom to her — and sometimes that means letting them go.”

Hayden has since done an eight-month stint in rehab and has been undergoing trauma therapy.

“It took going to treatment, meeting a lot of great friends in treatment. I’m good. It’s an everyday battle, it really is. I’m grateful to say that I’m sober today,” she said. “I put a lot of work into myself and I had to be willing to be incredibly honest.”

Panettiere said she doesn’t “regret even the ugliest things that have happened to me,” adding that she still feels “incredibly accomplished” and like she’s now been given “a second chance.”

Speaking of second chances, she’ll once again step into the shoes of Kirby Reed — a fan favorite character from “Scream 4” — for the upcoming sixth film.

“I called them up myself and was like, ‘So, you guys don’t happen to want to bring Kirby back, do you?’ I wanted to be in it that badly,” she revealed on GMA. While she wouldn’t divulge any secrets, she added that, “I don’t think anyone’s going to be disappointed.”

Filming is underway now, with the movie set to hit theaters March 31, 2023.

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