Los Angeles Times
That viral footage of Hayden Panettiere and on-off boyfriend Brian Hickerson getting into a brawl at a West Hollywood hotel on Thursday was incited by an argument about leaving a “poor tip” for a server at a restaurant there.
In a video obtained and posted online by TMZ, the “Nashville” star and Hickerson got into an expletive-laden fistfight involving multiple people outside the Sunset Marquis. At first, Panettiere and several others try to deescalate the situation, but as it moved away from the hotel, they end up participating in it and, at one point, also end up on the ground in the scrum.
Panettiere, 32, is heard yelling “Brian, jail!” in the footage as she tries to stop Hickerson from getting physical, apparently referring to the fact that he’s on probation following multiple domestic violence charges dating back to 2018. (The sales executive pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 45 days in jail in 2021 and wound up serving 13 days last May. He also got four years of probation, 52 domestic-violence classes, $500 in restitution and a five-year protective order for injuring Panettiere.)
Hickerson declined to comment when reached by phone on Friday. However, a rep for Panettiere said that the “Nashville” actor was OK after the altercation.
“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,” her spokesperson said in an email to The Times.
“Brian was attacked by the group as was Hayden who in her best effort tried to [defuse] the situation. Hayden was refused the opportunity to provide a statement to the police as she was escorted back inside. She is okay.”
The incident occurred around midnight and law enforcement was called in at 12:18 a.m. Friday, authorities said. The first officers arrived at the hotel within two minutes of the call.
“When we arrived nobody was there and at this point nobody has reached out to file an incident report, which could’ve been a battery assault,” said Sgt. Jason Duron with West Hollywood division of the L.A. County Sheriffs Dept. “All we had was a fight call last night and when we arrived nobody who was involved was present.”
It’s unclear who called in the incident.
Panettiere and Hickerson made headlines repeatedly for their on-again, off-again romance. And following Dickerson’s arrest in July 2020, Panettiere released a statement on Instagram saying she was coming forward with her story in the hope that it would “empower others in abusive relationships to get the help they need and deserve.”
“I am prepared to do my part to make sure this man never hurts anyone again. I’m grateful for my support system, which helped me find the courage to regain my voice and my life,” the statement said.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.