Hayden Panettiere talks about decision to relinquish custody

Hayden Panettiere looks back on the “heartbreaking” moment when she handed over custody of her daughter Kaya to Wladimir Klitschko amid her addiction problems.

The “Nashville” alum told Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Banfield-Norris and Kelly Osbourne on “Red Table Talk” that the decision was “no discussion”.

Panettiere, 33, claimed in a sneak peek of Wednesday’s episode obtained by People that her ex-fiancé didn’t “come to her” and shared his reasoning as to why “it would be good for” Kaya to live with him.

“If he had… I would have said, ‘Okay, that makes sense, I get it, I’ll be there to visit and stuff like that,'” she said.

Hayden Panettiere speaking "Red Table Talk."
The actress got emotional reflections on the “disturbing” time on “Red Table Talk”.
Red Table Talk/Facebook

The actress described signing the papers to give the former professional boxer, 46, full custody of Kaya as “deeply disturbing”.

She also called the moment “the worst” and “most heartbreaking thing” she’s ever had to do.

As the clip drew to a close, Panettiere said that while she planned to “work” on herself and “get better” so that her now 7-year-old could join her in the future, “that won’t happen.”


Kaya moved to Ukraine in 2018 with father Wladimir Klitschko.



Kaya moved to Ukraine in 2018 with father Wladimir Klitschko.


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The “Heroes” alum welcomed Kaya in December 2014, and the little one was sent to her father in Ukraine four years later, while Panettiere was secretly battling an addiction to opioids and alcohol.

“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 mother to her,” she explained to People in July. “And sometimes that means letting go.

Hayden Panettiere on a red carpet.
Panettiere said in July that Kaya “still loves her”.
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“She has a beautiful life,” Panettiere continued, noting that Kaya was safe and out of Ukraine during the Russian invasion.

In 2019, the Golden Globe nominee’s representative told Vidak For Congress that she had seen Kaya “regularly” since the move and that she had spent “considerable time” with her daughter, both in the United States and Ukraine.

The mother-daughter couple appeared to be celebrating Kaya’s birthday together the following year, with Panettiere posting a “How to Train Your Dragon” themed cake via Instagram.

“Six years ago today I met the most amazing (not so little) creature,” she captioned the December 2020 photo. “Can’t believe my little girl is getting this big!”

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