Hayden Panettiere shares her truth about custody of her daughter Kaya.
The actress, 33, appears on this week’s new episode of Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talkopens 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 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 it was an agreement that you came to that it was best for your daughter to be with her father,” Banfield Norris asks the actress to clarify.
“At first it wasn’t because it wasn’t a discussion,” the actress explains. “Whose [Klitschko] had come to me and said that I think because of where you are right now and your struggles that you are doing well it would be good for her to be here with me for a while – which if I had probably had enough of a conversation, I would have said okay, that makes sense, I get it, I’m coming there to visit and stuff.”
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“Because of the way it was done, it was very upsetting,” she continues. “I mean, it was the worst signing of those papers, the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever had to do in my life.”
Panettiere went on to clarify that “the papers were to provide [Klitschko] full custody.”
Red Table Talk @Angela Andaloro
“I wanted to work on myself, I wanted to get better, and when I got better, things would change and she could come to me and I could have my time with her, but that didn’t happen,” she adds.
In July, Panettiere spoke to PEOPLE about her relationship with 7-year-old daughter Kaya.
Michael Kovac/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty
“Oh god, that kid came out of me,” it said Nashville star with a grin. “But she’s smarter than me. And she’ll be taller than me!”
In 2018, amid Panettiere’s battle with alcohol and pill addiction, the actress made the heartbreaking decision for Kaya to live in Ukraine with boxing champion Klitschko, Kaya’s father, whom Panettiere left that year.
“It was the hardest thing I could do,” she recalled. “But the best thing for my daughter was making sure she was okay, taking care of myself and making sure I could be a good mom to her. And sometimes that means letting go.”
The Facebook Watch original series Red Table Talk sent on Wednesdays at 9am PT/12pm ET. New episodes are streamed weekly.