Hayden Panettiere is opening up about the painful decision to turn over custody of her daughter, Kaya, to her ex-husband, Wladimir Klitschko.
The actress, who starred in country music drama, Nashville, shared details about the difficult situation on a recent episode of Red Table Talk on Facebook Watch.
Panettiere gave birth to her daughter in December 2014, and in 2015, she entered treatment for postpartum depression. According to People, Panettiere signed the custody papers in 2018 while struggling with an addiction to alcohol and pills. In a new episode of Red Table Talk, Panettiere tell hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Banfield Norris and guest host Kelly Osbourne that giving up her child “wasn’t a discussion.”
“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,” she explains.
She confirms to the hosts that she signed over full custody to Klitschko, calling it “the most heartbreaking thing” she has ever done. Her daughter now lives with Klitschko in Ukraine.
“Because of the way that it was done, it was very upsetting,” she says.
She continues, saying she was under the impression that she would get more time with her daughter after she received treatment, but “that didn’t happen.”
“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,” she adds.
In another clip from the episode, Panettiere dispels rumors that she flippantly handed over custody to her ex. When asked by Pinkett-Smith about the most misunderstood thing about her, Panettiere says, “The idea that I’m a person who would just easily throw out my child, you know, give away my child.”
“The comments that people made or things they assumed about my situation with my daughter were just so often and heartbreaking,” she adds.
“She has a beautiful life,” Panettiere told People earlier this year. “I was just with her. She’s just an amazing child. She’s smart and she’s funny and for whatever reason, she still loves me.”