Sources tell E! News the Nashville star has been abiding by the court’s rules and has separated herself from her boyfriend.
“Hayden Panettiere has recently realized that her relationship with Brian has had numerous negative consequences on her personal and professional life,” one insider tells E! News. “Hayden is now vowing to make changes in order to rebuild her life and career.”
Still, this transition hasn’t been easy.
“It’s been really hard for her, but her family has advised she take time for herself right now and get her priorities straight,” another source says. “Hayden knows she needs to focus on herself and had to split with Brian for now in order to make huge positive strides in her life. She is taking it day by day trying to heal. Hayden is trying to stay low-key and process what’s next for her.”
Hickerson was arrested for domestic violence in the early hours of May 2. He was later released after posting a $50,000 bond. Police did not identify Panettiere or anyone else as the victim.
The actress and her boyfriend were spotted holding hands about two weeks later. But near the end of the month, a judge issued a protective order against Hickerson prohibiting him to come within 100 yards of Panettiere. He was also forbidden from owning any firearms.
Hickerson pleaded not guilty to the domestic violence charge.
A preliminary hearing is set for later this month.
Even after Hickerson’s legal battle, the first source tells E! News “it can be very tough at times for Hayden.”
“She is not able to completely turn off her feelings for Brian,” the insider adds. “However, Hayden also knows that she has to keep some distance between them. Friends and family are now feeling more confident Hayden is heading in the right direction.”