Hickerson, 32, confirmed that he hung out with the actress, 31, at a West Hollywood restaurant Saturday, nearly two months after he became a free man again.
“To clarify, I was enjoying a Miller ‘Latte’ [slang for Miller Lite], and Hayden was not drinking,” he told E! News Wednesday of Panettiere, who is sober.
“We went to a new restaurant that is Texas-based, and being a Southern guy, I’m a big fan of country music. So yes, there was some line dancing involved.”
Hickerson told the outlet that he and Panettiere “are not back together,” but they are “working on” rebuilding their friendship.
“We have a long history together, and the first step in my recovery as an abuser is making amends,” he explained. “That’s exactly what Hayden has been gracious enough to allow me to do.”
A rep for the “Heroes” alum did not immediately respond to our request for comment.
A source close to Panettiere, however, told E! News that she is focusing on her relationship with her 6-year-old daughter, Kaya, whom she shares with ex-fiancé Wladimir Klitschko, as well as her sobriety and healing from her rocky relationship with Hickerson.
Hayden Panettiere and Brian Hickerson are seen on January 31, 2019 in Los Angeles.
“Hayden is open to forgiving Brian and starting a new chapter, despite her loved ones’ concerns,” the source said. “Hayden has a huge heart and wants to see the best in everyone.”
Hickerson was sentenced in April to 45 days in county jail after pleading no contest to two felony counts of injuring a spouse or girlfriend. He surrendered to jail on May 7 and was released early on May 20.
He was also ordered to serve four years of probation, attend 52 domestic violence classes and pay a $500 fee.
While Panettiere has a five-year restraining order against Hickerson, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office told People it “does not prohibit the defendant and the victim from amicably interacting with each other.”
Hickerson’s sentencing came after he was arrested in July 2020 for allegedly assaulting Panettiere on multiple occasions between May 2019 to January 2020, to which he initially pleaded not guilty.
Panettiere publicly addressed the abuse allegations on her Instagram at the time, writing, “I am coming forward with the truth about what happened to me with the hope that my story will empower others in abusive relationships to get the help they need and deserve.”
She continued, “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.”
Hickerson was previously arrested for domestic battery on Valentine’s Day in 2020 and for domestic violence in May 2019. Both of those incidents also involved Panettiere.
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