US actress Hayden Panettiere, who is best known for her role in TV show ‘Heroes’, has opened up for the first time about suffering from an addiction to opioids and alcohol.
The 32-year-old star says she’s now sober after hitting rock bottom and coping with post-partum depression. The actress has seven-year-old daughter Kaya with her ex, Ukrainian former boxer Wladimir Klitschko.
“I was on top of the world and I ruined it,” she told People magazine.
Panettiere gained fame playing Claire Bennet, a cheerleader with a superpower, on the series ‘Heroes’ that ran between 2006 and 2010. She attributes the start of her battle with drugs to that time, when she was given “happy pills” before red carpets at the age of 15.
“They were to make me peppy during interviews,” Panettiere said. “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.”
Her dependence on drugs spiralled by the time she was 16, she said.
“My saving grace is that I couldn’t be messy while on set and working. 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 actress added.
After having her baby, the ‘Nashville’ actress says she had some “tough years” with alcoholism and post-partum depression. So much so that she had to send her daughter to live with Klitschko, whom she had split from, in Ukraine in 2018.
“It was the hardest thing I ever had to do,” she said. “But I wanted to be a good mom to her — and sometimes that means letting them go.”
Panettiere is now on the path to good health after entering rehab and trauma therapy in the last year. She’s also set to reprise her role as Kirby Reed in the upcoming ‘Scream’ movie that’s set to release in 2023.
“I feel incredibly accomplished. And I feel like I have a second chance,” she said.