Tearful Hayden Panettiere wears late brother Jansen’s colorful jacket as she attends his celebration of life with beau Brian Hickerson and her parents – two weeks after his tragic death aged 28
- Jansen passed away on February 19, a police report confirmed
- He died ‘from an enlarged heart’ according to a statement issued by his relatives
- READ MORE: Jansen Panettiere was found ‘unresponsive in a chair’ by friends
Grieving Hayden Panettiere paid a poignant tribute to late brother Jansen as she wore a jacket he designed to his celebration of life ceremony in her hometown of Palisades, New York on Wednesday.
Jansen Panettiere was found dead on February 19 at his apartment in Nyack, New York aged 28 – he reportedly died ‘from an enlarged heart’ according to a statement issued by his relatives, who say it was confirmed by the Medical Examiner.
The actress, 33, wore a colorful custom bomber jacket designed by Jansen and sold through his brand r.a.n.e.38 as she attended the service with on/off boyfriend Brian Hickerson and her parents.
Hayden and Jansen’s father Skip Panettiere carried photos of his beloved son into the church, accompanied by their mom Lesley Vogel.
The Heroes star was seen weeping as she left the church after the service, with Hickerson also in tears after the final farewell to Jansen.
Panettiere recently gave her first interview since losing her younger brother, on Monday’s Good Morning America.
In memory: Grieving Hayden Panettiere paid a poignant tribute to late brother Jansen as she wore a jacket he designed to his celebration of life ceremony in her hometown of Palisades, New York on Wednesday (pictured with beau Brian Hickerson)
RIP: Jansen Panettiere was found dead on February 19 at his apartment in Nyack, New York aged 28 – he reportedly died ‘from an enlarged heart’ according to a statement issued by his relatives, who say it was confirmed by the Medical Examiner (pictured together 2019)
Tribute: The actress, 33, wore a colorful custom bomber jacket designed by Jansen and sold through his brand r.a.n.e.38 as she attended the service with on/off boyfriend Brian Hickerson and her parents
When GMA host Michael Strahan offered his condolences, she placed a hand to her heart and said, ‘Thank you. He’s right here with me,’ as her voice started to crack.
Her family released a statement at the time of his passing, which began, ‘Jansen’s heart could be seen in his eyes, and his charm in his brilliant, engaging smile; his soul in his masterful and revealing paintings, and the joy of life in his dry wit.’
‘His charisma, warmth, compassion for others, and his creative spirit will live forever in our hearts and in the hearts of all whom he encountered,’ the statement added.
‘Though it offers little solace, the Medical Examiner reported Jansen’s sudden passing was due to cardiomegaly (enlarged heart), coupled with aortic valve complications,’ the statement continued.
‘We sincerely appreciate the outpouring of love and support towards our family as we navigate this unthinkable loss, and ask that we be gifted our privacy during this time of mourning,’ the family added.
‘We love you so much Jansen and you will be in our hearts forever,’ the statement concluded.
According to a police report, Jansen’s body was discovered in his home by three friends who found him ‘unresponsive’ in a chair and desperately tried to revive him with CPR.
It was reported in July that Panettiere and Hickerson – who is on probation until 2025 for domestically abusing the actress in 2018 – had finally called it quits on their troubled on/off romance.
Devastating: Hayden was in tears as she left the service clad in her brother’s jacket
Grief: Hayden wept as she left the service after honoring her brother
Hayden broke down in tears as she made her way into the service
By her side: Brian accompanied Hayden to the service in New York
For him: Hayden showed off the jacket as she made her way into her brother’s service
Together: The actress, 33, wore a colorful bomber jacket with a black tracksuit as she accompanied convicted felon Hickerson, 32, into a church.
Photos: The star was joined by her parents Skip Panettiere who carried photos of Janssen into the church
Parent: Hayden and Jansen’s mom Lesley Vogel made her way into the service
The emotional star hugged a relative as she made her way into the church
Hug: The star was comforted by relatives as she made her way into the church
Service: The star made her way into the church with a relative
Support: Hayden held onto her boyfriend’s arm
Speaking to PEOPLE that same month, the Heroes actress referred to her relationship with Hickerson as a ‘very dark and complicated time in [her] life.’
She felt compelled to tell her story because she knows ‘a lot of women go through what I went through, and I want people to know it’s OK to ask for help.’
Back in March, Panettiere and Hickerson made headlines after they were filmed getting into a wild brawl with a group of revelers at a celebrity hotspot in Los Angeles after the convicted felon allegedly spat on one of the rival patrons.
The petite actress, who is five feet tall, can be heard screaming ‘Brian’ as she tried to pull her boyfriend away from the group outside the Sunset Marquis hotel on the evening of March 25 as a woman in the other party screamed: ‘Back the f**k up,’ according to video obtained
Hickerson had spit at someone in the group and the manager of the trendy bar kicked everyone out, a witness told TMZ.
A representative for Panettiere told PEOPLE that Hickerson ‘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. Brian was attacked by the group, as was Hayden, who in her best effort tried to diffuse the situation,’ the representative said.
Both Hayden and Brian were in tears as they left the service in Jansen’s honor
Flowers: Hayden watched as a floral tribute was brought into the church
For him: Hayden wore her brother’s custom-designed jacket
Order of service: A guest held onto an order of service with angel wings emblazoned on it
Heartbreak: A tearful Hayden held hands with a relative as she walked in
Mourners: Guests gathered at the church to pay their respects to Jansen
The video picks up on the West Hollywood street outside the hotel with security asking other patrons not involved in the fight to go back inside.
At one point, the Nashville actress could be heard screaming: ‘Brian, jail!’ Hickerson, a convicted felony, is on probation until 2025 for domestic violence charges for attacking the star in 2018.
Hickerson was sentenced to 45 days in jail and four years probation in 2021 after the actress accused him of domestic violence in 2018. He also had to attend 52 domestic violence classes, pay $500 in restitution, and was issued five-year protective order.
He was arrested on multiple felony charges, including corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant, two charges of assault with a deadly weapon, and one for intimidating Panettiere. He also faced a misdemeanor charge for battery on a spouse/cohabitant.
Most of his charges were dropped.
He allegedly assaulted Panettiere from December 2019 to January 2020 and the actress obtained a restraining order against him in May 2019, which forbade him from coming within 100 yards of her.
Jansen’s father Skip (seen with his ex-wife Lesley and their two children) told EMTs that he had spoken to his son the night before his death, noting that he had ‘sounded okay’
The actor was found in a chair in his apartment in Nyack, New York (exterior pictured), which is located just a stone’s throw from the town of Palisades, where he and Hayden grew up
Jansen’s father, Alan ‘Skip’ Panettiere (seen with his son in 2007), was one of the first to arrive on the scene
Friends of the 28-year-old who discovered his body began performing CPR in a desperate attempt to revive him, but EMTs pronounced him DOA when they arrived at the apartment last month
Hayden (seen with her brother left in 2008 and right in 2013) has been left ‘inconsolable’ by Jansen’s death, a source close to the actress told DailyMail.com
A month later he pleaded not guilty to a count of domestic violence in a case that was later dismissed. He arrested on Valentine’s Day 2020 in Wyoming and was charged with domestic battery after he allegedly punched the actress ‘with a closed fist on the right side of her face.’
She took to Instagram afterward, 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. I am prepared to do my part to make sure this man never hurts anyone again.’ The couple had been broken up at this time.
The pair were first linked after Panettiere split with her then-fiancé Wladimir Klitschko, the former two-time heavyweight boxer champion, with whom she has a daughter Kaya, seven.
Klitschko has custody of the girl after the Heroes actress had a heavy battle with post-partum depression and alcohol abuse.
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