AceShowbiz - Hayden Panettiere is apparently choosing love over friendship. The actress is reportedly standing by her on-and-off boyfriend Brian Hickerson despite his recent public fight and avoiding her friends who do not approve of him.
A source tells Us Weekly that the 32-year-old star has cut friends and peers "who are anti-Brian" out of her life. "She's become secretive with other friends," the source adds. "She takes ages to respond and sends one-word answers by text and cryptic messages."
Despite his apparent anger issues, Hayden seemingly continues to root for Brian as the so-called insider shares, "Hayden says people can learn from their mistakes." The source goes on detailing, "She swears that Brian has changed for the better since being in jail, and anger management classes have taught him to control his temper."
Brian got into a brawl in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 24. The fight started inside a hotel bar after the actor made a comment about another patron, who left the waitress "a poor tip." Brian reportedly spit on one of the people from the group during an argument, prompting them to get kicked out by the manager.
Things escalated outside, with Hayden trying to separate her ex and the patrons. At one point, she seemingly got kicked in the face while doing so before yelling at her former partner, "Brian, jail!", seemingly reminding him that he's on probation after being arrested multiple times for acts of domestic violence against her.
The actress' rep later assured, "She is okay." The rep further told PEOPLE details of the incident, "While in the restaurant of the Sunset Marquis, Brian Hickerson, who happened to be with Hayden, made a comment to an individual about leaving the waitress a poor tip."
"That same individual, along with the group he was with, began badgering and shoving Brian, at which point security pushed everyone outside," the rep continued, "Brian was attacked by the group, as was Hayden, who in her best effort tried to diffuse the situation. Hayden was refused the opportunity to provide a statement to the police as she was escorted back inside."
Brian was arrested in 2019 for domestic violence after police found "redness and marks" on Hayden following an alleged argument between the couple. The charges, however, were later dropped in September 2019.
In July 2020, Brian was arrested for the second time after allegedly punching the "Nashville" alum in the face. He was charged with eight counts of domestic violence and assault. He pleaded no contest to two felony counts of injuring a spouse or girlfriend, and the remaining six counts against him were dismissed. He served 33 days in prison and was also placed on four years' probation and required to pay a $500 fine.