Hayden Panettiere Gets Cozy With Her Boyfriend's Brother Zack Hickerson — All The Juicy Deets

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Who Is Zack Hickerson? New Details On Why Hayden Panettiere Is Hanging Out And Holding Hands With Her Boyfriend's Brother

What's going on with Hayden Panettiere? She was recently seen out and about with her boyfriend Brian Hickerson's brother Zack and the the two engaged in a very public PDA. Brian, if you remember, has been accused of abusing Panettiere and she has a protection order filed against him. Now, she seems to be stepping out with none other than her alleged abuser's brother. Who is Zack Hickerson?

1. He's a pastor

Zack Hickerson is a South Carolina-based pastor who was spotted strolling around downtown Manhattan with the Nashville actress on September 4. Her friends are concerned for many reasons but the one area they are not so concerned is that being a pastor, they assume he doesn't have the violent temper that his brother has.

2. What happened with Brian?

Brian is facing a felony domestic abuse charge. On May 2, officers responded to Hayden's home and found her with bruises on her arms and eyelids. Her face was also swollen. Brian allegedly beat Hayden up. A protective order was issued against Brian by a Los Angeles County judge on May 23. He must stay at least 100 yards away from the actress. A jury trial begins on September 24 in Los Angeles. 

RELATED: Who Is Brian Hickerson? New Details About Hayden Panettiere’s Boyfriend — And His Massive Credit Card Debt

3. Rebounding with his brother?

As Panettiere walked through New York City with Zack Hickerson. According to InTouch, an eyewitness said “They were walking hand-in-hand, talking and laughing together. She was jumping up and down making funny faces, and he was flexing his muscles and laughing. They looked happy together.”

4. They've been together for two months

Sources told Radar that Hayden and Zack have been together for about two months but Hayden's family and friends don't love her latest love connection. The source said:“Those close to Hayden are not going to pretend to understand it or condone it but there’s nothing anyone can do. She has been reluctant to talk about it because she knows how people feel — it’s definitely something she would not want to discuss. And she doesn’t want to share too much especially because of what’s going on with Brian and his legal issues.”

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5. Zack and Brian's family's reaction

Despite the reports from people allegedly close to Panettiere, a source close to the Hickerson family told Us Weekly that Hayden and Zack's relationship is not romantic. The source said: “They have been friends for as long as she’s been dating Brian; Zach and Brian are close. Zach was in NYC for a job interview and he linked up with Hayden who was already in town. They were just goofing off and holding hands as friends.”

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6. Still in touch with Brian?

Friends and family of Panettiere allegedly believe that she and Brian may be violating the protection order and still be in touch. A source told Us back in May: "It’s disturbing to family and friends that Hayden and Brian may not be following the court order. There is not one single person out there who isn’t concerned about Hayden. What Brian did to Hayden is unacceptable behavior and it’s not to be tolerated.” The source said that "violating the court ourder puts both of them in jeopardy. “They could both get in serious trouble. Hayden’s friends and family are giving her space because she is going through a lot. They are being supportive as much as they can and as much as Hayden is willing to take it all in.”

Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based writer and editor covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.