Hayden Panettiere Gets Emotional In First Interview Since Brother Jansen’s Death
Hayden Panettiere is opening up about the devastating loss of her little brother Jansen Panettiere.
On Monday morning, the actress appeared on Good Morning America to promote her upcoming horror flick Scream VI, but it also happened to be her first TV interview since the loss of a dear family member. After host Michael Strahan took a moment to share his condolences with the performer, Hayden got emotional as she tearfully placed her hand on her heart and said:
“He’s right here with me.”
Aw! We cannot imagine how difficult this must be for her.
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You can hear Hayden discuss her new film and the tough loss (below).
As we’ve been following, Jansen was found dead on February 19 in New York. He was just 28. The artist’s family revealed about a week later that his cause of death was “cardiomegaly (enlarged heart), coupled with aortic valve complications,” writing in a statement:
“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.”
According to a police report obtained by TMZ, Jansen’s friend grew concerned when he didn’t show up for a business meeting. The friend decided to go to Jansen’s apartment to check on him but stumbled upon the young man unresponsive while sitting upright in a chair. They called 911 and started doing CPR, but the painter was declared dead on the scene. The former child star’s father Skip Panettiere said, per the police report, that he had spoken to his son the night before and he sounded, “OK.”
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Insiders told Daily Mail that the Even Stevens alum had struggled with addiction and even reportedly gone to rehab for drug use in recent years. Another source told Entertainment Tonight that the actor was open about his mental health struggles with his family, including the Nashville alum who has faced her own battle with addiction in the past, noting:
“Art was his therapy and escape. In the past, Jansen was open to family and friends about his struggles. Hayden was always there for him and constantly tried to help Jansen when she could.”
The confidant also said Hayden was “absolutely heartbroken” by the loss of her only sibling, expressing:
“She loved her brother unconditionally, and the two shared a special bond.”
Aside from their close relationship off-screen, Hayden and Jansen starred together in Tiger Cruise and Racing Stripes. In January, they also appeared on Instagram together in a cute photo of Hayden cutting her brother’s hair (inset). We are sending our love to Hayden as she continues to mourn this unbearable loss.
[Image via Good Morning America & Jansen Panettiere/Instagram]