Actress defends her family

Hayden Panettiere has opened up about her dad’s arrest in 2008.

Alan Panettiere was charged with misdemeanor battery after allegedly hitting wife Lesley Vogel during an argument at the family home in LA last summer.

He pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 24 months probation, ordered to pay £265 in fines and told to attend 52 weeks of domestic violence counselling.

‘I mean, it’s hard enough going through it personally within your family, let alone when the entire world knows about it,’ reveals Heroes star Hayden.

‘It put my dad in this light that is so not him. You know your mind goes to: “He abuses, he beats his wife.” For my dad to have that reputation now – which is so not who he is – kills me.’

Hayden, 19, admits she’s fiercely protective over her loved ones.

‘I’m less concerned about myself,’ she tells Seventeen. ‘But when it involves my family or people I care about, I mean, I’ll fly off the handle for my family.’

Alison Adey