Heroes star Hayden Panettiere felt she “almost couldn’t live without” opioids and alcohol during the peak of a secret battle with addiction, she shared in a personal new interview.
The actress, 32, was just 15 when she was introduced to pills by a member of her team to help energise her before she walked red carpets, she told People in the piece published Wednesday (July 6).
She says she was able to balance using drugs and alcohol with her acting career during her youth, but that her struggles with addiction grew as she got older. Her longtime partner, former boxer Wladimir Klitschko, “didn’t want to be around me” amid her issues, she said.
“I didn’t want to be around me,” Panettiere told People. “But with the opiates and alcohol I was doing anything to make me feel happy for a moment. Then I’d feel worse than I did before. I was in a cycle of self-destruction.”
Panettiere, who was born in Palisades, Rockland County, said she didn’t drink while pregnant with her daughter, Kaya, now 7, but her issues with alcohol returned after she gave birth in 2014.