‘Most Heartbreaking Thing’: Actress Hayden Panettiere Discusses Giving Up Custody of Daughter While Battling Drug And Alcohol Addiction

Hayden Panettiere
Jason Kempin/Getty Images for The Critics’ Choice Awards

Hayden Panettiere is opening up about relinquishing parental rights for her daughter, Kaya, while dealing with drug and alcohol addiction. 

The 33-year-old actress made the comments on this week’s edition of Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk with hosts Jada Pinkett Smith and Adrienne Banfield Norris. The episode technically airs Wednesday, but clips of the conversation started circulating online Tuesday, per People.

Panettiere said giving custody of Kaya to her ex Wladimir Klitschko was the “most heartbreaking thing” she’s ever had to do.

“You thought this was an agreement that you came to that it was best that your daughter be with her dad,” Norris said.

“At first it was not because it wasn’t a discussion,” Panettiere replied. “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.”

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

The actress said she did it for a reason.

“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,” the “Nashville” star explained.

Panettiere also discussed her opioid addiction earlier this year, as The Daily Wire previously reported.

“I was on top of the world and I ruined it,” she said. “I’d think I hit rock bottom, but then there’s that trap door that opens.”

“Those were really tough years,” the actress continued. She admitted to suffering from severe postpartum depression and being addicted to drugs and alcohol. “I could relate to a lot of those storylines like the alcoholism and postpartum depression. They hit close to home.”

Panettiere recalls having negative feelings after her daughter 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,” she said at the time. “There was just this gray color in my life.”

“I would have the shakes when I woke up and could only function with sipping alcohol,” the actress continued. She also expressed sorrow over relinquishing custody to her ex in Ukraine, despite acknowledging it was something that had to be done. 

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

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