Hayden Panettiere’s loved ones fear she is still in touch with her boyfriend, Brian Hickerson, despite his domestic violence arrest and the protective order in place.
“It’s disturbing to family and friends that Hayden and Brian may not be following the court order,” a source tells Us Weekly exclusively. “There is not one single person out there who isn’t concerned about Hayden. What Brian did to Hayden is unacceptable behavior, and it’s not to be tolerated.”
Those closest to the 29-year-old actress are unsure whether the two are seeing each other but know how severe the consequences could be if the couple ignore the terms. “Violating the court order puts both of them in jeopardy. They could both get in serious trouble,” the insider says. “Hayden’s friends and family are giving her space because she is going through a lot. They are being supportive as much as they can and as much as Hayden is willing to take it all in.”
In the meantime, Panettiere’s friends want the gravity of the charges against Hickerson — stemming from his May 2 arrest — to set in. “It’s going to take her some time to realize this is all for the best and to protect not just Hayden but other people. If it’s not Hayden, it will be someone else,” the source tells Us. “Everyone hopes she’s following the rules. Her friends check in with her. But when she wants privacy, no one can do anything.”
According to the insider, the aspiring actor is not living with the Nashville alum at the moment.
TMZ reported earlier this month that Hickerson was taken into custody after police found “redness and marks” on Panettiere following a fight between the pair. The South Carolina native allegedly “hit [Panettiere] on the face, causing her to get dizzy,” according to the prosecutor. Hickerson was charged with felony domestic violence on May 23.
The prosecutor requested during a subsequent court appearance that the judge grant a protective order. The document requires Hickerson to stay 100 yards away from the Heroes alum and not contact her via phone, email or any other third party.
Panettiere and Hickerson were first linked in August 2018 following her split from fiancé Wladimir Klitschko. The exes share 4-year-old daughter Kaya.
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