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Simply put?

We really hope Hayden Panettiere knows what she is doing.

According to multiple outlets, the actress was spotted out this past Saturday night with Brian Hickerson, the ex-boyfriend who was arrested in July 2020 for felony assault.

Hayden in 2019

“The two of them were seen line dancing and they chatted with other people at the bar,” an onlooker at the restaurant Justin Queso’s just told Entertainment Tonight, adding:

“Days later, they came in again to watch the NBA finals.

“Brian arrived before Hayden and they hung out at the bar and watched the game.

“They were friendly and relaxed and not showing any PDA.”

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This last point does jibe with what Hickerson himself told E! News about himself and Panettiere.

For starters, he wanted to make it clear that Hayden wasn’t imbibing.

“To clarify, I was enjoying a Miller ‘Latte’ [slang for Miller Lite], and Hayden was not drinking,” Hickerson told this outlet.

“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.

“Hayden and I are not back together but are working on a friendship.

Hayden Panettiere Nashville Benefit African Childrens Choir
(Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Added Hickerson, admitting to his violent past:

“We have a long history together, and the first step in my recovery as an abuser is making amends.

“That’s exactly what Hayden has been gracious enough to allow me to do.”

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Hickerson made these remarks after being sentenced to 45 days of county jail, four years of formal probation and was ordered to attend 52 domestic violence classes.

He also had to pay $500 in restitution and was hit with a five-year protective order for injuring Panettiere.

Regarding the protective order, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office told People Magazine it “does not prohibit the defendant and the victim from amicably interacting with each other.”

Panettiere and Hickerson were first linked romantically in 2018, after reports circulated that she and then-fiancé Wladimir Klitschko had broken up.

The charges that landed Hickerson in jail from May 7 through May 20 stemmed from allegedly abusive incidents between May 2019 and January 2020. 

Following Hickerson’s arrest last summer, Panettiere addressed the alleged abuse she faced at the hands of her ex-boyfriend.

“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 said.

“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.”

It does sound as if the star has learned some valuable lessons, too.

“Hayden is open to forgiving Brian and starting a new chapter, despite her loved ones concerns,” according to a different E! insider.

“Hayden has a huge heart and wants to see the best in everyone.”

We just pray she doesn’t end of regretting taking such a stance.