Hayden Panettiere Steps Out with Brian Hickerson as Source Says 'They've Remained Friends'

A source tells PEOPLE that Brian Hickerson has "sought to turn his life around" after being involved in a fight outside of L.A. bar with the actress and serving time in jail for domestic violence

Hayden Panettiere is seen traveling on a Thanksgiving day vacation with her on-again, off-again, boyfriend Brian Hickerson who has been arrested for allegedly being violent with Hayden in the past.
Hayden Panettiere and Brian Hickerson. Photo: LionsShareNews/BACKGRID

Hayden Panettiere has reunited with Brian Hickerson ahead of Thanksgiving.

The Nashville star, 33, was spotted with Hickerson — with whom she had a turbulent on-and-off, four-year relationship — at Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday.

The pair were dressed casually as they made their way through the airport. Panettiere sported a black sweatshirt and baseball cap while Hickerson wore a black t-shirt and a backwards baseball cap.

A source tells PEOPLE exclusively that the pair has "remained friends as he's sought to turn his life around" after being involved in a fight outside of an L.A. bar with the actress and serving time in jail for domestic violence.

The pair's Thanksgiving outing comes eight months after Panettiere and Hickerson got into a brawl with other individuals while they were outside the Sunset Marquis in Los Angeles, as seen in video footage obtained by TMZ.

In the clip, Panettiere and Hickerson were captured arguing with a group of people outside of the hotel bar. Eventually, the situation escalated into a physical altercation, with both Panettiere and Hickerson getting involved in the fight.

In an exclusive statement to PEOPLE at the time, a rep for Panettiere expanded on the incident and confirmed the actress was "okay."

"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," said the rep. "Brian was attacked by the group as was Hayden who in her best effort tried to diffuse the situation. Hayden was refused the opportunity to provide a statement to the police as she was escorted back inside. She is okay."

Hayden Panettiere, Brian Hickerson
Hayden Panettiere, Brian Hickerson. Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage; Brian Hickerson/Instagram

In July 2021, PEOPLE confirmed that Panettiere was spending time with Hickerson after he served time in jail for a domestic violence case involving the star.

Hickerson was sentenced in April to 45 days in jail after pleading no contest to two felony counts of injuring a spouse/cohabitant/girlfriend/child's parent, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office confirmed to PEOPLE at the time. He served his sentence from May 7 through May 20, jail records show.

In addition to jail time, Hickerson was sentenced to four years of formal probation, 52 domestic violence classes, $500 in restitution and a five-year protective order for injuring Panettiere.

RELATED VIDEO: Hayden Panettiere and On-Off Boyfriend Brian Hickerson Involved in Fight Outside of L.A. Bar

Regarding the protective order, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office previously told PEOPLE it "does not prohibit the defendant and the victim from amicably interacting with each other."

A source told PEOPLE at the time that Hickerson is "in intensive therapy treatment." The insider added: "Hayden won't forget what he did but she wants to forgive and move on. Hayden is sober and doing very well."

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Of their prior reunion, Hickerson told E! News that he and Panettiere were "working on a friendship."

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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