Hayden Panettiere calls relinquishing custody the ‘most heartbreaking thing’

Hayden Panettiere got so much criticism when she relinquished custody of her then-toddler daughter to her daughter’s father, Wladimir Klitschko. I remember covering it in early 2019 and giving her credit for doing the difficult thing to make sure little Kaya was well cared for by family. Hayden was in an abusive relationship at the time and was struggling with addiction. She also sought treatment for postpartum depression, which she was open about. It must have been hard for her to give up custody of her daughter. It turns out it wasn’t her decision. In a clip from Red Table Talk, the new episode of which comes out this afternoon, Hayden talks about how hard it was to sign over custody. While she’s clearly parsing her words, it sound like she was forced to by her ex. Here’s more.

appears on this week’s new episode of Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk, opening up to co-hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Banfield Norris, and guest host Kelly Osbourne about the “very upsetting” experience of relinquishing custody of her only child to ex Wladimir Klitschko.

In a clip from the RTT conversation shared exclusively with PEOPLE, Panettiere calls signing the custody papers the “most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever had to do in my life.”

“You thought this was an agreement that you came to that it was best that your daughter be with her dad,” Banfield Norris asks the actress to clarify.

“At first it was not because it wasn’t a discussion,” the actress explains. “If [Klitschko] had come to me and said I think because of where you’re at right now and your struggles that you’re having it would be good for her to be over here with me for a while — which if I had probably had enough of a conversation I would’ve said okay that makes sense, I get it, I’ll come there to visit and stuff like that.”

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“Because of the way that it was done, it was very upsetting,” she continues. “I mean, it was the worst signing those papers, the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever, ever had to do in my life.”

“I was gonna go work on myself, I was gonna get better, and when I got better then things would change and she could come to me and I could have my time with her but that didn’t happen,” she adds.

[From People]

Hayden’s then boyfriend was arrested multiple times for assaulting her, she wasn’t sober and it seems like Kaya was in the right place. Hayden has since gotten sober from an alcohol and opioid addiction and she’s made peace with Wladimir and his family. At least she posts nice things about him. Maybe she’s doing that out of necessity because she hopes to get more time with her daughter.

In Hayden’s cover People interview, which came out this July, she said that she visits with Kaya, now seven, and that they’re close. I am interested to see if she talks more about that in her RTT interview. Again, she’s wording things carefully. If she doesn’t have custody of Kaya, she is probably scared to say anything bad about her ex and his family. Sometimes people make tough decisions because the other parent isn’t able to care for their children.

photos credit: Cover Images and Avalon.red

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70 Responses to “Hayden Panettiere calls relinquishing custody the ‘most heartbreaking thing’”

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  1. Melissa says:

    My (wonderful) ex just fought tooth and nail for his daughter and won full custody. H mother is not there fault choice, and praise these fathers for calling hard shots to protect their children. We need more of this. The mother is not just the assumed best guardian, and this is the best solution.

  2. Lauren says:

    Sad story – good yo hear that Hayden’s been able to recover from such a dark place.

    Wasn’t her ex partner Vladimir Klitschko fighting in Ukraine?

    • Sandy says:

      There is a video from March of this year HP and Brian were out they (together) got involved in some kind of altercation with patrons outside of the establishment they were at. There is a video online.

      I think maybe July of this year was when the break up was announced so (other than the custody) a lot of this seems pretty fresh still. I truly hope she is out of a dark place

  3. ML says:

    It sounds like Hayden is doing much better, and that is good. However Vladimir absolutely made the right decision by taking custody of their child. Hayden, addicted and in a violent relationship at the time, might not have put her daughter’s needs first.

  4. New-kay says:

    I remember following this story and always suspected that she was forced to give up custody. Her ex seemed very controlling as welll. I’m sorry for her that this was the case. Awful and traumatic and abusive to both her daughter and her. Not to mention he removed the child to another country.

  5. Meghan says:

    Congrats to her for getting clean. It ain’t easy, especially with a small child and everything else she was going through. I’m lucky that I didn’t lose custody. My mom thought about it because she wanted to be like a legal guardian or make medical decisions for my son, stuff like that. But when she talked to a lawyer she found out she would have to declare me as an unfit parent and she didn’t want me to go through that. So grateful for her support during my recovery. 5 years clean for me!!!

    Hopefully Hayden is in a good place and can get custody back, or at least partial custody.

  6. New-kay says:

    Given her wording it sounds like he blackmailed her into signing the papers

    • Nuks says:

      I agree, he had that leverage and still does.

    • Christine says:

      My guess is he brought evidence to his lawyers and it was a “do this or else” situation with him threatening to go public. I don’t have a problem with that assuming she was being difficult about it (due to her drug use) and it was the best interest of their daughter. I’m sure there are regrets on both sides but maybe it was necessary. We don’t know the full story.

  7. Noki says:

    I understand sometimes people feel they need to re-tell their story so they dont look terrible. Sometimes being ‘forced’ to do something is exactly the best choice. She seemed in a bad way and her bf was an absolute mess. As long as she is better and Vlad is not alienating her from her daughter she should be grateful.

    • butterflystella says:

      Agree 100% with this comment.

    • MaryContrary says:

      This exactly.

    • tealily says:

      Yes, it’s easy to think in hindsight that she she would have made the right decision if he had approached it in a different way, but he must have had a reason for going about it the way he did. She wasn’t thinking clearly at the time. Who knows how she would have responded.

    • Call_Me_AL says:

      ITA, Noki.

      See: Hunter Biden’s memoir, Beautiful Things, which he wrote with like 6 months abstinence from crack. He’s trying to rewrite history that he doesn’t even remember.

      I truly wish both Hunter and Hayden health and healing in long-term sobriety.

  8. Lauren says:

    I’m glad she was “forced” to give up custody. She was an addict who boyfriend at the time and up until fairly recently (I believe) was abusive. Why wouldn’t he get full custody? If the roles was reversed and it was he was who an addict and with a violent partner this would be a non story. I am getting sick of the narrative that the best option is being with the mother. She shouldn’t get full custody back. Partial, yes. But why should the child be uprooted from her life? Also, I believe they aren’t in Ukraine anymore since the war broke out

  9. Molly says:

    She’ll get a lot of sympathy for this because she’s a pretty white lady who’s presumably healthy and sober NOW, but no one would bat an eye if a woman sought full custody from a man who was in the throes of drug and alcohol addiction, a dangerous mental illness, and surrounded by violence.

    I have a great deal of respect for her and the work she’s clearly done, but she isn’t the most reliable narrator of the past. Addicts often see themselves as the victims in these (and all) situations.
    Glad everyone seems to be in a good place.

    • Lauren says:

      Thank you. I agree 100% with everything you said. I am also getting fed up with the archaic view that women are inherently better off with their mother. I also don’t use understand why people are saying she should get custody back. Partial…yes. But why full?

    • MrsCope says:

      Also as recently as July, she was still “friends” or more with the abusive guy who had been arrested and charged for hitting her. The two of them were clearly unhealthy together for a number of reasons,but she was spinning it as showing grace to those who want to make amends as if she was removed enough from their toxic dynamic to make that call. She was making excuses for the fight they got into with some people at a bar in March. There were tough, but necessary decisions made for her daughter.

    • Gillysirl says:

      Love the term “reliable narrator”. She isn’t. And it does seem like she’s being very careful to make sure she doesn’t make herself look bad. Which doesn’t bode well for full recovery.

      On another note- I was going to listen to it but saw Kelly Osbourne was co-host. Never mind.

      • molly says:

        Addicts LOVE to rewrite history with “wow, if only you would have come to me calmly and just asked, I would have happily said yes!”

    • WiththeAmerican says:

      I agree with the overall point, but in real life, men get away with being violent drunks and keep their rights to visit their children every day. It is much harder to take away a man’s rights than it is a woman’s. That’s just a fact, it’s history, it’s patriarchy.

      None of that changes that she wasn’t a fit parent and it seems like she’s trying to do a rewrite now, which she has done pretty consistently over the last few years about her addiction and relationship.

  10. Moderatelywealthy says:

    What I believe it happened: wladimir saw waht was happening and di not want to reason with her, He wanted Kaya gone as aoon as yesterday and forced Hayden´s hand in some way that is upsetting.
    She knows and agrees it was the right choice, but wished ti have been a temporary solution and been granted some grace. I get that. I also think Wladimir should have considered Hayden´s reaction. This obiviously affected her mind and soul and might have placed her in a darker place.
    Ultimately, it is in his best interest to have Hayden well and good and he should have been nicer to her, but maybe he just panicked. Hayden herself had not so nice parents and I think he wanted to avoid that.
    Here is hoping Hayden manages to get a better custody agreement and that she remains sober.

    • Josephine says:

      When someone is deep in addiction there is often no way to grant them grace or work with them or be “nice” to them. Addicts can be extremely manipulative while in the depths of their addictions, even using their children for what they want. Maybe he was a jerk, but I can also believe that her addiction backed him into a corner and he did what he needed to do to make sure it didn’t touch his daughter. I admire all of the work Hayden has done and hope for the best solution for their child together.

    • Miss Owlsyn says:

      No, I’m sorry but that is a bad take.

      Living with a parent who is a using addict and has an abusive partner is a very dangerous situation for a young child (or any child, really). Kaya’s father should have, and did, make Kaya’s *safety* the first priority. A child being safe trumps hurting Hayden’s feelings.

      • Moderatelywealthy says:

        I don’t think it is a bad take. I said he was right to be afraid and to have Kaya as soon as he could. Being nice in this case is not allowing Hayden to be out if her mind drunk next to a toddler and ask politely. I never says that.
        I said for what Hayden is saying, the agreement is permanent…and that maybe Wladimir could have made her sign something that opened the way for her eventually having 50/50…

        I don’t think he should be Hayden’s saviour but it is in his best interests to have her at least functioning for when she in contact with Kaya. Children do understand a lot and this will leave scars.

      • AmyB says:

        @Miss Owlsyn

        I agree with you 100%. For a child living with an addict parent, that leaves permanent scars, psychological damage, and can be VERY dangerous. I know, my ex-husband was a cocaine and heroin addict for years, and after my daughter was 4, I filed for divorce. I couldn’t live in that hell anymore, and I wasn’t going to subject her to it either. I couldn’t “save” him, and finally came to that realization. The father here did the right thing!! Addicts are liars, manipulators and the most important thing to them is their addiction. That trumps everything, including kids. I am glad to see Hayden got sober and healthy, because now she can work on having a stable relationship with her daughter. But kudos to the father here for keeping his daughter safe. Unless you have lived in that hell, you might not understand how awful it is!

      • Josephine says:

        @ Moderatelywealthy – they can redo the custody agreement. Permanent does not mean that they both can’t agree to a new arrangement. He may have thought that leaving that door open at that time was dangerous and possibly the wake-up call she needed. From what other people have posted it sounds like she’s still in a dangerous relationship. Permanent means he can wait that out as needed.

    • Mel says:

      You can’t be “nice” to an addict after awhile, you can’t give them the room to manipulate you or the situation because they will do that to keep doing what they do. This is naive, she was using, living with a violent use and had her child around that. Sorry, the child comes first and your “feelings” are absolutely last.

  11. Emmi says:

    I’m not going to judge whether or not anybody in this scenario forced anyone or if the choices that were made were the right ones. I just think we need to remember a few things. Her ex, Klitschko, was a LOT older than she was when they got together. She was 21, he was 34 I believe. The man grew up with discipline and hard work, his father had a very successful military career and seeing how both brothers succeeded in life – both in sports and academically as well as politically in Vitaly’s case – I don’t believe for a second that the power in the relationship was anything close to balanced. The man has a PhD. He won an Olympic gold medal when Hayden was seven years old. I don’t mean to minimize her intelligence but she was young and a child actor. She then clearly struggled with mental health issues and addiction as well as an abusive boyfriend. I think we all agree that for a time, she could not be the mother she wanted to be but to say he did the right thing to make her (I guess that’s what she’s saying) sign over custody is a LOT. And no, I would say this about a man in her situation because men don’t suffer from PPD and they rarely if ever become parents in their mid-20s with a woman who’s 40.

    She would not have stood a chance against him and he must have known. There must have surely been other ways than for her to completely give up her child??? In general, the child comes first. I’m just not sure if she in fact did come first.

    • Arizona says:

      would you feel comfortable with your young child being alone and cared for by someone who is abusing drugs and alcohol and is in a volatile, violent relationship?

      if someone’s not capable of caring for themselves, they’re not capable of caring for a young child. I’m sure we only know the surface level of what was going on with Hayden.

      • Emmi says:

        Did you even read what I wrote? How is that question a response to my post?

      • Arizona says:

        @Emmi yeah, I absolutely did read your whole comment. and I’m not sure how you are questioning whether he did the right thing in taking full custody and insinuating he wasn’t putting his child first. HAYDEN wasn’t putting her child first, she was putting alcohol, opioids, and an abusive relationship before her child. him being 13 years older than her is completely immaterial given what her situation was at the time.

        not taking custody away completely would mean that there would be times where Hayden was responsible for the child. she couldn’t even take care of herself at the time. him not taking full custody would have been putting Hayden’s interests and feelings above his daughter’s.

    • Kokiri says:

      I guess you don’t realize how recent all this is.
      It’s not “for a time” Hayden was in an abusive situation. It was literally in the past year.
      After he got out of jail, they got back together. Had a violent altercation at a bar. It was horrible for her. He finally moved out this year. Like, 2022.
      This is all very recent.
      Kaya & her dad are in Europe & he goes off to war, & Hayden is back with her abusive ex. All the same time.
      It’s not Hayden’s fault. Not at all.

      But to post like she has healed & it’s awful Kaya is not with her is a false narrative. Hayden is still in trouble & needs help.

      • Emmi says:

        I don’t know what the timeline has to do with what I wrote. Where did I say it’s over and the girl should be back with her mom? Where did I say she should get custody immediately? Where did I say it’s all in the past? And what does him “going off to war” have to do with this? I guess for Americans that makes him an untouchable hero whereas the mother is clearly unfit. You all say it’s not her fault etc. but clearly, there’s a lot of judgment on this thread.

        I really wish people would read posts instead of having knee-jerk reactions.

      • Kokiri says:

        Well, I’m Canadian. We have no army to speak of here. More peacekeepers & sending help/aid.
        And yes, I do think Ukrainiens fighting are heroes, every single one of them. Absolutely I do.
        I understand your post, & you seem to want everyone to agree that the initial issue was a power differential & that’s why Hayden had to give up custody. You listed many points backing your claims that she didn’t stand a chance with him because of that power difference.
        I just disagree with you. She was with him, they were raising their child together. She is an addict, who needed help. His priority wasn’t here needs though, it was Kaya’s, & he did what he thought best for her with what information he had.
        You seem hellbent to paint him as someone who coerced Hayden, I don’t buy that.
        To each his own.

      • AmyB says:


        I think what you are saying here is problematic (and maybe that is what others are picking up on):

        “She would not have stood a chance against him, and he must have known. There must have surely been other ways than for her to completely give up her child??? In general, the child comes first. I’m just not sure if she in fact did come first.”

        WHAT other alternative could there be, if Hayden was active in her addiction and in an abusive relationship, other than giving full custody to the father?? Having her daughter around that IN any way is damaging. Period. Not only would she not be taken care of properly, but if Hayden’s ex was abusive to her, he very well could be that way to her daughter. In addition to AA, there is Al-Anon and that is b/c family members (and especially children) of addicts suffer immensely!

        The child did come first here, and that is the most important thing.

      • Frnk27 says:

        A child can live with a parent without the other parent giving up custody. It’s not an either or decision. A child can live in another country with one parent without the other giving up custodial rights. Parents and children live separately all of the time. Hayden’s daughter should not have been in her care, certainly not living with her when she was actively using, struggling with mental wellness, and with an abusive partner. No way.. Maybe she could have had supervised visits if it was in her daughter’s best interest but that doesn’t seem to be the case in this situation. Even with all of that, Hayden didn’t have to sign over her parental rights. She was in a bad place and had bad advisors. Maybe she still is but she’s having visits with her daughter so she must be making some progress.

    • MF says:

      You know, your point about the age gap and power dynamics between them is a good one. This woman didn’t get to grow up properly, and Wladimir is part of the cause. He owes her an apology.

      That being said, I do think he was right to take the child away from her.

    • Gillysirl says:

      I think the important thing here is that she was (and still is) a drug addict and has mental health issues. From this interview, she hasn’t come to grips with that and still struggles. The thing is, we don’t know how bad it was. We don’t know if her daughter had been in physical danger. Was this scorched earth – having her give up custody? Yes, But maybe that is what was needed. We don'[t know what else had been tried to get to this point. It seems like Hayden has hit bottom again and again and hasn’t found her way out. Which is really sad.

      “She would not have stood a chance against him and he must have known. There must have surely been other ways than for her to completely give up her child??? In general, the child comes first. I’m just not sure if she in fact did come first.”

    • Madchedda says:

      Thanks for saying that Emme. There was quite a few blinds back in the day about her struggles and what type of relationships she had.
      Of course a child shouldn’t be around drug and alcohol abuse so good for him for ensuring her safety. Perhaps he isn’t the good guy when it comes to Hayden but is a great Dad, both of these could be true

  12. Kokiri says:

    Thing is, her issues are in her very recent past.
    She got back with the abusive ex. They got into a bar fight, a violent one.
    She finally could break free of his abuse, which is such strength.
    She’s not spent time recovering herself yet, so I hope that’s next for her. He’s back working & I hope she doesn’t date for a very long time.

  13. Stacey Dresden says:

    It’s a sad situation but I believe her child’s best interests were served removing her from Hayden’s custody. Hopefully they will have a meaningful, close relationship in the future.

  14. HeyKay says:

    It would be devastating and heartbreaking for anyone.
    But, children must to cared for and kept safe. Period.

    At that time in her life, Hayden was in no condition to be a custodial parent.

    I hope Hayden has a bright, safe future ahead and in time will be able to be present and close with her child.

  15. Cait says:

    I’m the daughter of an addict and grew up in an abusive household. A few things about growing up in that sort of space – with the major caveat that I always root for addicts to get and remain clean and to live healthy, joyful lives:

    -Addicts are deeply manipulative and veer into narcissism quite easily. They believe their own lies because it’s a coping mechanism.
    -Even in my 40’s, as a parent, I still battle significant anxiety and view my value through the lens of my ability to care for and do things for others. Many addicts’ kids grow up prematurely in the role of caretakers, and it’s profoundly impactful throughout life.
    -Addicts often assume the role of the victim, even in sobriety.

    We’re not privy to what happened, but I’d imagine there was an intervention and that it was probably hurtful to her. Mr. Klitschko has helped maintain what sounds like a loving mother-daughter relationship, and while she clearly has regrets, my head is sounding off red flags about how she’s parsing everything.

    • Kokiri says:

      I see red flags too.
      Rewriting her own story won’t help her at all.

    • AmyB says:


      Yes, to all of what you said!! I see red flags as well, especially if Hayden cannot accept that this was the absolute correct decision to give full custody to the father.

      Addicts do have to hit rock bottom, and that can take many forms (loss of jobs, loss of relationships, even legal problems/jail). Losing her daughter in this way could be the impetus for her to remain sober and take that seriously.

    • Mel says:

      Yes, she’s talking about what was “done” to her instead of facing the fact that her daughter had to be saved from her. As usual, people are so mired in the “women are infantile and are always taken advantage of” theory that they can’t see that she is NOT owning up to her addiction or what caused her to lose her child. She is casting her ex in the bad light like he took custody to hurt her. She’s still a mess and has a lot of work to do.

  16. Christine says:

    She was also a child star, and as we’ve seen far too often, that messes up people mentally as adults. It sounds like what happened was the best thing for her daughter and that should be all that matters. While I think Hayden is being truthful that she is working on herself, her recent history shows she has a long way to go. I don’t blame a father for wanting to keep his daughter away from that sort of erratic behavior, especially when it involves abusive boyfriends.

  17. Erika says:

    Didn’t Hayden and her off and on again bf just get into a bar brawl this summer??😒Hmm. Doesn’t seem like she’s that far removed from the situation.

  18. Lizzie Bathory says:

    My guess is he knew he was moving their child to be near his family outside the US & that required full custody. My other guess is that visitations with Kaya were contingent on Hayden being sober & not in the presence of her abusive boyfriend, so she likely didn’t see her daughter as much as she would have liked.

    I don’t know how fair all of that was to Hayden or Kaya, nor do I know how fair it was to Wladimir who understandably wanted to protect his kid. I’m lucky not to be in a position to make choices like that for a child. I hope Hayden continues her recovery.

    • Katherine says:

      Yes, exactly, it could be about travel more than anything – if he has full custody, he doesn’t need her permission for their child to cross a border. And if not, it’s possible that he needs to travel and she is unavailable to provide the permission in time due to her issues at the time.

  19. AnneL says:

    It is heartbreaking but the child’s needs had to come first. The father did the right thing. It is possible that he misused his power in the relationship in some way, but that doesn’t change the fact that he needed to get his daughter into a healthy living situation. She wasn’t safe with her mother.

    I think we need to give women grace when it comes to the custody issue. Sometimes the father is in a better position to care for the child or children, and that’s fine. Obviously we also need to help women struggling with PPD and the stress and anxiety that comes with parenting in general. We need to step it up when it comes to health care and child care and support for mothers and parents in general.

    But it’s not like Hayden was just dealing with PPD. She was using dangerous drugs, in an abusive relationship. She was making bad choices and creating an unstable environment for her child. I feel for her. She didn’t end up in that place because she’s a bad person. But she was in that place. She needed the time and space to work on herself, and her daughter needed to be away from that situation. It was best for everyone that she live with her father.

    I’m glad she is able to spend time with Kaya now and that they have a good relationship. I’m also glad the father has custody.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      All of this. It’s good that the child was removed from that situation. Back when people thought it was entirely Hayden’s decision for him to have custody though, people shamed her for “abandoning” her child and rushed to play the tired reverse sexism card. You’re right about the need to show women grace in situations like that. Whether a person is male or female, it’s better for them to put the child’s health over their desire to be with them. If a mentally ill young male victim of domestic violence made that decision, he’d absolutely be supported for at least being unselfish enough to do that despite his addictions.
      It seems like Hayden is in a better place now than she was before, even though she still has work to do, and hopefully that continues.

    • Miss Owlsyn says:

      Annel, that was wonderfully thought out and expressed. Much kinder than my comment, and I absolutely agree with everything you put.

  20. B says:

    Can you imagine, if you weren’t quite in the right frame of mind and your parental rights were terminated through whatever pathway, and then you cleaned up significantly and had to live with that even though you weren’t the same person anymore?
    And I don’t think the Ukraine is going to revisit her custody agreement any time soon.

    • tealily says:

      Even if the custody agreement isn’t changed, unless there’s something in the agreement directly barring her from seeing her daughter, she and Klitschko could always work out more regular visits. It seems like have those protections put in place is the most important thing, and she can prove over time that she’s ready for more responsibility for Kaya.

    • Kokiri says:

      That’s a point a lot of us are making here though, she hasn’t healed significantly. The work that goes into change is just starting now.
      She just broke free of her abusive ex this year, just a few months ago.
      She was just being abused by him publicly this year.
      The work is just starting for her.
      This poor woman has been through so much.
      But Kaya needs to be safe, & Hayden just couldn’t provide that stability even as close as this year.

    • Katherine says:

      One would think not being in the right frame of mind is exactly the time when one usually loses custody…. Also, it’s Ukraine, without ‘the.’
      Either way, I hope Hayden gets lots of visitation and is able to maintain a good relationship with her daughter and hopefully improve it over time as she gets better and spends more time with her daughter in the future.

  21. girl_ninja says:

    She was struggling badly and needed to get right for herself and her child. Her ex took over and did what he felt he needed to do to protect their child. He had every right to do this and hopefully she and her daughter will continue to love each other and have a deep bond. She seems to be doing well and that is not always the case with addiction issues.

  22. Case says:

    I admire her ex for doing what was right for their child, and Hayden for agreeing to it while in the middle of an addiction battle, even if it wasn’t exactly her choice. That was the right thing to do to make sure Kaya grew up in a healthy, happy environment and probably will help preserve her relationship with her mother, as she wasn’t around Hayden to see her in her worst moments.

    I hope Hayden continues to heal and get back on her feet. She’s returning to the next Scream movie, and I’m really excited to see her in it!

  23. MangoAngelesque says:

    I know it’s likely an unpopular opinion, but I think he did the right thing. She was abusing drugs and alcohol, and bringing abusive men into her life/home, around her child. She was in a bad place, yes, and needed help herself. But that doesn’t have priority over the child’s safety and well-being. I remember all the photos of her stumbling into and out if this place and that, fighting with her boyfriend and making horrible choices. That child needed to be taken and made safe. Of course there wasn’t some big discussion and compromise when he did it; she was prioritizing her bad choices over her daughter, and was in no place to make rational decisions considering her addictions.

    She still has a relationship with her daughter, her ex hasn’t prevented that. She just doesn’t have legal authority over her, and that makes sense.

  24. Frnk27 says:

    Custody is different then placement. Custody is the right to make decisions based on your child’s best interests for things like schooling, medical care, military service, etc. Placement is where the child will spend their time and with which parent. I never understood why Hayden signed over custody. Actually, let me rephrase that—I never understood why her “people” felt signing over custody was a good long term decision. Hayden was in a very vulnerable state and needed strong advocates to guide her and fight for her on her behalf. Her daughter could have had full placement with her dad without Hayden giving up her custodial rights. My heart goes out to Hayden. She’s overcome a lot in her life and should be proud of her achievements. I’m happy to hear she still has a relationship with her daughter.

  25. Lea says:

    I understand how heartbreaking it must have been but at some point Wladimir needed to step up for his daughter’s safety and he did. Could he have done things differently ? Probably. But Hayden was an addict and was in a horrible relationship with plenty of domestic violence incidents. Wladimir has maintained contact with her consistently and she said herself that she was welcome to visit with her child whenever she wanted. I don’t know how long she’s been sober but she was still involved in an incident with her nasty boyfriend just a few months ago. I can understand why Wladimir doesn’t feel ready to send their kid to the US.