“If anyone survives, it’s him”

But she wasn’t always that, especially after the birth of her daughter with Wladimir Klitschko in 2014. “I never had the feeling that I wanted to harm my child, but I didn’t want to spend any time with her,” says Panettiere in retrospect . She didn’t drink anything during pregnancy, and started drinking again after giving birth. The relationship with Klitschko failed, and the couple separated in 2018.

“The hardest thing I could do for my daughter”

That same year, Panettiere decided to send daughter Kaya to her father in Europe. She says: “My daughter lives in Ukraine, between Ukraine and Germany.” She flies to her as often as possible – it was the “hardest thing I could do for my daughter”, but also “the best”. Panettiere emphasizes: “She has a beautiful life. I just met her, she’s a wonderful kid. She’s smart, she’s funny and for some reason she still loves me.”

Seven-year-old Kaya is currently not in Ukraine. “She’s safe,” explains Panettiere. When Russia attacked her ex-partner’s homeland in late February 2022, the actress rushed over to her daughter to “see how she was doing things. I wanted her to know that I was there for her. In the beginning, I was.” panic,” explains Panettiere. “Because I thought Wlad and Vitali were at the front fighting for their country, for their freedom.”

Wladimir (left) and Vitali Klitschko call on the Pope and other world leaders to support war-torn Ukraine.
Wladimir (left) and Vitali Klitschko call on the Pope and other world leaders to support war-torn Ukraine. (Source: Screenshot/Video by Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko)

Another thought came up: “Please don’t make me have to tell my daughter that her favorite person in the world, that her dad is gone. That would be the worst thing that could ever happen.” But Panettiere is certain: “If anyone survives, it’s this man.”

Hayden Panettiere founded a charity for Ukraine in early March. The funds collected go directly to the front, including the delivery of first-aid kits and bulletproof vests. She works hand in hand with her ex Wladimir Klitschko. “It’s a relief to hear he’s okay whenever I hear his voice or text him.”