Hayden Panettiere, 32, recently spoke out about the ups and downs of her past, including the co-parenting relationship she now shares with her ex Wladimir Klitschko, 46, in a new interview with People in June 2022. The former lovebirds are both raising their daughter Kaya, 7, who currently lives with her dad in Ukraine, together, after years of an on-again, off-again relationship, and remain close. Both of them have kept the struggles of Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine close to their hearts and the actress is thankful him and their daughter have stayed safe.
“We’ve been working hand-in-hand,” she said of their efforts in Ukraine. “He’s busy fighting, so every time I get to hear his voice or get a text, it’s a relief.”
Find out more about Hayden and Wladimir’s relationship, both past and present, below.
Hayden & Wladimir’s first met in 2008.
Hayden and Wladimir, who is a Ukrainian former professional boxer, first met in 2008. The Scream 4 star said she and her future boyfriend went to a party for a mutual friend, in a 2013 interview with Ellen DeGeneres. She admitted to talking to him first. “You’re huge,” she hilariously told him. “You’re tiny,” he responded.
They started dating in 2009.
Although Hayden was dating actor Milo Ventimiglia when she first met Wladimir, they broke up in 2009. She and the hunk then reconnected and started their romance. It’s not clear exactly when their relationship began, but they were seen together that year and the rest was history.
Hayden & Wladimir broke up for the first time in 2011.
The couple called it quits after almost two years of dating in May 2011. “Even though we’ve decided splitting up is best for both of us, we have an amazing amount of love and respect for each other and remain very close friends,” Hayden said at the time. Wladimir also spoke out about the breakup.
“We had a great time together, but it’s not that easy to manage a relationship between two continents,” he said in a statement. “I have a lot of respect for Hayden as a person and as a friend, and I believe we’ll keep our friendship even after the separation.”
They rekindled their romance in 2013.
Hayden and Wladimir were first seen once again hanging out in public in Feb. 2013. They were having lunch at a taco restaurant in in Hollywood, FL, and were then reportedly showing off PDA on a beach. The outing happened two months after Hayden broke up with her boyfriend of over a year, New York Jets wide receiver Scotty McKnight.
Hayden & Wladimir confirmed their engagement in Oct. 2013.
Although rumors of an engagement were swirling all year after Hayden was seen wearing what looked like an engagement ring, she didn’t announce that she and Wladimir were planning on walking down the aisle until her interview on Live! With Kelly and Michael in Oct. 2013. “There’s a very large diamond ring on your ring finger. … I’m not sure if you want to announce anything. Does that signify anything, is that a promise of something?” Kelly asked the beauty. “It might be … I mean, I think it speaks for itself,” Hayden responded before saying “I am” after Kelly then straight up asked, “Are you engaged?”
Hayden later opened up about Wladimir’s sweet proposal, in a 2014 interview with Brides. It was “very sweet and simple and genuine,” she told the outlet. “It wasn’t about being overwhelmed by fireworks or a mariachi band. I think it’s amazing when people do that, but I like that mine was simple and from the heart.”
“I have always dreamed of a wedding day!” she continued. “Not over the top or crazy, but yeah, I’ve always thought about it. It’s one of those things you have to just cross your fingers and hope everything will go smooth. You will plan and plan and at the end of day you just have to kick back and see what happens.”
The engaged couple moved into a home they bought in Nashville, TN in Dec. 2013.
At the time, Hayden was filming the show, Nashville, in the city and when it became successful, she thought it would be perfect to purchase a home in the location with her future husband. She spoke of the normalcy of their life after they moved into the house, in an interview with Southern Living. “I like being in a place where people appreciate the little things and don’t need a lot of stuff to be happy,” she said. “Living in Nashville gives me a sense of normalcy that I wasn’t sure I was ever going to get back in my life.”
Hayden & Wladimir welcomed their daughter Kaya in Dec. 2014.
Six months after reports first announced they were expecting, the pair became parents to their little girl and shared photos with People just a short time later. “He is just so over the moon,” Hayden told the outlet about Wladimir as a dad. “I’m lucky if I can get my hands on the kid. He’s like, ‘No, no, I got her.’ Which is exactly what I thought he would be like.”
Hayden got treatment for postpartum depression in 2015 and shut down breakup rumors in 2016.
“It’s something a lot of women experience. When [you’re told] about postpartum depression you think it’s ‘I feel negative feelings towards my child, I want to injure or hurt my child.’ I’ve never, ever had those feelings,” she said about her struggles with new motherhood, on Live! With Kelly and Michael in Sept. 2015. “Some women do. But you don’t realize how broad of a spectrum you can really experience that on. It’s something that needs to be talked about. Women need to know that they’re not alone, and that it does heal.”
The next year, she was spotted without her engagement ring, and when rumors that she and Wladimir split began to start, she took to the internet to dismiss them. “Missing rings don’t mean the end of relationships,” she wrote alongside a photo of her and Wladimir with their adorable daughter. “Blessed to be with my beautiful family.”
Hayden & Wladimir split around Aug. 2018.
Hayden was spotted holding hands with Brian Hickerson in Los Angeles, CA and her mom was quick to confirm that her relationship with Wladimir had ended. “There are a lot of changes going on in her life,” Lesley Vogel told RadarOnline. “She needs to take a little bit of a break and make some decisions on her own of what she wants to do. So I think she is in a very good place.”
It was also confirmed that Kaya had moved to Ukraine with her dad after the split. Lesly said the parents were happy co-parenting her and were on good terms.
Hayden opened up about the split & the reason she wanted her daughter to move to Ukraine in June 2022.
In 2022, Hayden admitted she was going through struggles with substance abuse and depression at the time of her split from Wladimir, and although she was seeking treatment, it was part of the reason their romance ended. She said it was also the reason she let Kaya move to Ukraine.
“I never had the feeling that I wanted to harm my child, but I didn’t want to spend any time with her,” she explained before opening up about Wladimir’s alleged feelings. “He didn’t want to be around me. I didn’t want to be around me. But with the opiates and alcohol I was doing anything to make me feel happy for a moment. Then I’d feel worse than I did before. I was in a cycle of self-destruction.”
“It was the hardest thing I could do,” she added, referring to letting Kaya move away. “But 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 mom to her. And sometimes that means letting go.”
In Feb. 2022, the doting mother also confirmed that Kaya was “safe” and “not in Ukraine” at the time of Russia’s invasion.