How Hayden Panettiere hit ‘rock bottom’ of drugs and depression years before brother Jansen’s death

How Hayden Panettiere hit ‘rock bottom’ of drugs and depression years before brother Jansen’s death
Hayden Panettiere's (L) brother Jansen Panettiere (R), has reportedly died at the age of 28 (Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

ALBANY, NEW YORK: Actress Hayden Panettiere's brother Jansen Panettiere has reportedly died at the age of 28. The cause of his death is unknown at present. An investigation is underway into the death of Jansen, who was a voice-over actor. He notably had a role in 'Ice Age: The Meltdown'. 


The 'Nashville' actress' brother was reportedly battling anxiety and depression. An insider told the Daily Mail that Hayden is devasted after Jansen's death. "He had been having a rough time lately with his career and he was dragged in so many directions," the source said, adding, "Hayden is just inconsolable. He was her best friend and her only brother. He was such a nice guy but he lived on the edge."


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Hayden Panettiere (L) and Jansen Panettiere arrive at a screening of Freestyle Releasing's
Hayden Panettiere (L) and Jansen Panettiere (R) (Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)


Hayden, 33, who was reportedly very close to her brother, had struggled with addiction to opioids and alcohol in the past. In 2022, she opened up about her past struggles in an interview. Her addiction nearly ended her career and made her hit "rock bottom". Besides her battle with addiction, Hayden also struggled with postpartum depression.

'This hasn't been easy'

"I was on top of the world and I ruined it," Hayden told People, adding, "I'd think I hit rock bottom, but then there's that trap door that opens." She eventually decided to get help. "I put a lot of work into myself and I had to be willing to be incredibly honest," she said.


Hayden and her ex Wladimir Klitschko have a daughter named Kaya. She reportedly went on to undergo trauma therapy and inpatient treatment, and gradually returned to the set to resume work. "This hasn't been easy and there were a lot of ups and downs," Hayden said of her journey. "But I don't regret even the ugliest things that have happened to me. I feel incredibly accomplished. And I feel like I have a second chance," she added.

Hayden said she was only 15 years old when someone on her team offered her the "happy pills" before the red carpets. Hayden had become a star by the time she was 11, having worked in soap operas and in 'Remember the Titans'. "They were to make me peppy during interviews," said Hayden, adding, "I had no idea that this was not an appropriate thing, or what door that would open for me when it came to my addiction."


At a time when Hayden's career was flourishing, she would often drink alcohol and take opioids. "My saving grace is that I couldn't be messy while on set and working," she said. At 16, she got the role of Claire Bennet on 'Heroes'. "But things kept getting out of control [off set]. And as I got older, the drugs and alcohol became something I almost couldn't live without." the star added.

Hayden Panettiere's battle with postpartum depression

In 2014, after Kaya's birth, Hayden battled severe postpartum depression. She sought treatment for depression but it did not seem to work enough, and she would turn to alcohol to survive the days. "I never had the feeling that I wanted to harm my child, but I didn't want to spend any time with her," Hayden, who did not drink during her pregnancy, said, adding, "There was just this gray color in my life."


Meanwhile, her relationship with Klitschko began to fall apart. The two had begun dating in 2009. "He didn't want to be around me," she said. "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," she further added.

'The hardest thing I ever had to do'

"I would have the shakes when I woke up and could only function with sipping alcohol," Hayden said of her lowest point. In 2018, she decided to send Kaya to live with Klitschko in Ukraine. The two had split by that time. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do," she said, adding, "But I wanted to be a good mom to her — and sometimes that means letting them go."


Hayden was hospitalized soon after as she contracted jaundice at a time when her drinking had worsened. "Doctors told me my liver was going to give out," she said, adding, "I was no longer a 20-year-old who could just bounce right back."

Hayden then went to rehab for eight months. She said her stay there helped her get over her addiction, but that it was just recently that she found the peace she wanted. "It's an everyday choice, and I'm checking in with myself all the time," the actress said. "But I'm just so grateful to be part of this world again, and I will never take it for granted again," she further added.

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 How Hayden Panettiere hit ‘rock bottom’ of drugs and depression years before brother Jansen’s death