Hayden Panettiere Says Relinquishing Custody of Daughter Was the 'Most Heartbreaking Thing'
Hayden Panettiere is sharing her truth about the custody of her daughter Kaya.
The actress, 33, appears on this week's new episode of Facebook Watch's Red Table Talk, opening up to co-hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Banfield Norris, and guest host Kelly Osbourne about the "very upsetting" experience of relinquishing custody of her only child to ex Wladimir Klitschko.
In a clip from the RTT conversation shared exclusively with PEOPLE, Panettiere calls signing the custody papers the "most heartbreaking thing I've ever had to do in my life."
"You thought this was an agreement that you came to that it was best that your daughter be with her dad," Banfield Norris asks the actress to clarify.
"At first it was not because it wasn't a discussion," the actress explains. "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."
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"Because of the way that it was done, it was very upsetting," she continues. "I mean, it was the worst signing those papers, the most heartbreaking thing I've ever, ever had to do in my life."
Panettiere went on to clarify that the "papers were to give [Klitschko] full custody."
Red Table Talk @Angela Andaloro
"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 July, Panettiere spoke to PEOPLE about her relationship with 7-year-old daughter Kaya.
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"Oh my gosh, that child came out of me," said the Nashville star with a laugh. "But she is smarter than me. And she's going to be taller than me!"
In 2018, amidst Panettiere's battle with addiction to alcohol and pills, the actress made the heartbreaking decision for Kaya to go live in Ukraine with boxing champ Klitschko, Kaya's father, from whom Panettiere split that year.
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"It was the hardest thing I could do," she recalled. "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."
The Facebook Watch original series Red Table Talk airs Wednesdays at 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET. New episodes stream weekly.