Sibling swap? Hayden Panettiere was caught holding hands with boyfriend Brian Hickerson's brother Zach Hickerson as they strolled through New York City on September 4, photographs exclusively obtained by In Touch revealed. Brian is not allowed to have any contact with Hayden due to the restraining order against him, which was filed after his arrest for domestic violence in May 2019. The Nashville actress and Zach appeared quite close, but a source told the outlet that their bond is "not romantic."
"Hayden and Zach are just friends. They have been friends for as long as she's been dating Brian; Zach and Brian are close. Zach was in NYC for a job interview and he linked up with Hayden who was already in town. They were just goofing off and holding hands as friends. At one point, she was jumping up and down making funny faces, and he was flexing his muscles and laughing. They looked happy together," the source explained.
Brian, 30, is currently awaiting trial for his felony domestic violence case against Hayden, also 30. His trial is set to begin on September 24. Brian was arrested on May 2, 2019 after allegedly battering the TV star and leaving her with multiple bruises on her body.
He has hired high-powered attorney Shawn Holley to help him fight the charges. She entered a not guilty plea on his behalf during a hearing on July 24.
According to court documents obtained by In Touch, a judge issued a restraining order on May 23 that prevents Brian from coming within 100 yards of Hayden or contacting her in any way. Even though they've been legally kept apart, the pair are still together as a couple.
"It's hard on Brian that he can't be in public with Hayden. He loves her. Brian says that he and Hayden have not broken up. They have never broken up," the source added.
Hayden's family is reportedly very concerned about her relationship with the South Carolina native and they are encouraging her to end things.
Hayden and the aspiring actor began dating in August 2018, shortly after she broke off her engagement to Ukrainian professional boxer Wladimir Klitschko. The former couple are parents to daughter Kaya Evdokia, 4.