REVEALED: Hayden Panettiere’s late brother Jansen suffered from ‘terrible anxiety and depression’ and was ‘having a rough time with his career’ before sudden death at 28: Actress, 33, is left ‘inconsolable’ over his loss
- There is no foul play suspected in Jansen’s death according to TMZ, who first reported his death on Monday
- The Walking Dead actor was the Nashville star’s only sibling
- Jansen and Hayden were last seen together less than one month before his death in an Instagram photo
Nashville actress Hayden Panettiere has been left ‘inconsolable’ over the sudden loss of her only brother and ‘best friend’ Jansen, who died suddenly at the age of 28 on Sunday, following battle with ‘terrible anxiety and depression’.
Jansen Panettiere passed away in an apartment near Palisades, New York, the same picturesque storybook town where he and Hayden, 33, spent their childhood, a source close to the actress confirmed to DailyMail.com today.
No further details have been released at this time and the cause of his death remains unclear – however the insider noted that Jansen, an actor and graffiti artist, had been ‘having a rough time lately with his career’ and felt as though he was ‘being dragged in so many directions’.
‘He had been having a rough time lately with his career and he was dragged in so many directions,’ the source shared.
‘Hayden is just inconsolable. He was her best friend and her only brother. He was such a nice guy but he lived on the edge.’
Tragedy: The brother of actress Hayden Panettiere has died at 28; She and Jansen are pictured in January 2019
Only brother: Jansen was the Nashville star’s only sibling. Hayden has not yet addressed her brother’s unexpected passing; Pictured one month before his death on January 24
Unclear: Jansen (seen with his sister left in 2008 and right in 2013) passed away in New York according to a family source who spoke with TMZ on Monday morning
DailyMail.com has reached out to representatives for Panettiere for comment.
The Walking Dead actor was the Nashville star’s only sibling; Hayden has not yet publicly addressed her brother’s unexpected passing.
Law enforcement sources were called to a residence Sunday night around 5:30PM according to TMZ.
There is no foul play suspected in Jansen’s death according to the publication.
Jansen had been living in an apartment in Nyack, New York, just a stone’s throw from the quaint town of Palisades, where he and Hayden grew up.
Angelina Jolie also grew up in the area, and it has been home to a number of stars over the years, including Al Pacino, Bill Murray, and veteran broadcaster Diane Sawyer.
According to a biography on Jansen’s website, the former actor-turned-artist had been struggling with ‘terrible anxiety and depression’ as an adult, a condition that was triggered while he was living in Los Angeles.
‘After spending time in LA as an adult he was ridden with terrible anxiety and depression,’ the website states – noting that Jansen would later find ‘healing’ in his artwork.
No foul play: There is no foul play suspected in Jansen’s death according to the publication; The siblings pictured with their mother Lesley R. Vogel, a former soap opera actress, in 2019
Career: Jansen, who was five years younger that his sister, followed Hayden’s footsteps into acting. The duo also worked together on Tiger Cruise in 2004, and Racing Stripes in 2005; Pictured 2010
Jansen was also a budding graffiti artist and regularly showcased his work on social media
‘This period in his life eventually produced a spiritual clarity that drove him to start painting his problems, one by one. With more than 50 pieces, Jansen continues to heal himself as well as others with his visceral and emotive work.’
The siblings were last seen together less than one month before his death. Jansen shared a picture of Hayden cutting his hair on January 24.
‘Not the first haircut she’s tried to give me,’ he joked in the caption.
He also posted a throwback of the duo from a rafting trip on November 4, 2022.
He shared his last post over the weekend, featuring a new snap of his graffiti artwork.
On January 12, Jansen had also shared a series of images of himself in a photobooth with his apparent girlfriend, ICU nurse Catherine Michie.
The image collection showed the pair beaming happily for the cameras with their heads together, while one snap captured them sharing a sweet kiss.
He captioned the post, simply: ‘My babe.’
Hayden and Jansen were born to Lesley R. Vogel, a former soap opera actress, and Alan Lee Panettiere, a captain in the Fire Department of New York City.
According to Jansen’s website, he began suffering from ‘terrible anxiety and depression’ after ‘spending time in LA as an adult’
Having started painting at a young age, Jansen ultimately used his art in order to ‘heal himself’ from his mental health struggles
In January, Jansen shared a series of photobooth photos on Instagram in which he is seen kissing his girlfriend, ICU nurse Catherine Michie
Jansen, who was five years younger that his sister, followed Hayden’s footsteps into acting. His IMDb lists the 2022 comedy Love and Love Not as his last role.
His other work includes roles in The Walking Dead, Major Crimes, Shia LaBeouf’s TV show Even Stevens, Blue’s Clues, Ice Age: The Meltdown, and Robots.
He also had a recurring role as Truman X in The X’s on Nickelodeon.
The duo also worked together on Tiger Cruise in 2004, and Racing Stripes in 2005.
Jansen received a nomination for a Young Artist Award in 2008 for his work on The Last Day of Summer.
At the time of his death he was attached to five different projects.
Jansen also had a website for his graffiti art, with his bio reading, ‘I AM a good person. I don’t do anything illegal illegal or at least I don’t do illegal things that hurt people in front of me, if that makes sense.
‘I’ve done drugs but I don’t steal. Not to say that anyone that’s ever stolen something is a bad person and far from it. Meaning I have my moments like everyone else.’
‘I was frustrated with the whole acting thing so I would take it out on weird things things like clothes.’
Last role: His IMDb lists the 2022 comedy Love and Love Not as his last role. At the time of his death he was attached to five different projects; Pictured 2019
Over the years: His other work includes roles in The Walking Dead, Major Crimes, Even Stevens, Blue’s Clues, Ice Age: The Meltdown, and Robots; Pictured 2019
The news of Jansen’s passing is the latest in a line of tragedies to befall Hayden – who spoke out just last year about her devastation at losing custody of her daughter Kaya while she was struggling with substance abuse issues.
Hayden opened up about her lengthy addiction struggles in a July 2022 interview with People magazine, revealing that her drug abuse began when she was just 15 years old – and then spiraled out of control while she was battling postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter Kaya in 2014.
‘As I got older, the drugs and alcohol became something I almost couldn’t live without,’ Hayden confessed – revealing that her struggle with postpartum depression combined with her reliance on drugs and alcohol resulted in her making the ‘heartbreaking’ decision to send her daughter away to live with her father, Wladimir Klitschko, in Ukraine.
‘I would have the shakes when I woke up and could only function with sipping alcohol,’ she admitted. ‘[Sending Kaya away] was the hardest thing I ever had to do. But I wanted to be a good mom to her – and sometimes that means letting them go.’
Hayden said that she did not drink while she was pregnant with Kaya, but she admitted that she fell off the wagon soon after her daughter was born, and from there, her alcohol issues continued to spiral out of control.
After she sent her daughter away to live with Klitschko, 46, from whom she had split just months before following a nine-year on-off relationship, Hayden’s drinking continued to worsen – to the point where she had to be hospitalized with jaundice.
‘Doctors told me my liver was going to give out,’ she admitted. ‘I was no longer a 20 year old who could just bounce right back.’
The former child star, who began acting on-screen at the age of five, when she landed roles in popular soap operas One Life to Live and Guiding Light, says her drug abuse issues started when she was just 15 – one year before she began filming hit TV series Heroes.
Jansen’s death comes less than five years after Hayden lost custody of her daughter Kaya amid her substance abuse struggles
Hayden signed over custody of her daughter to her ex, Wladimir Klitschko, in 2018 – but she has since said that she was forced into the arrangement
At the time, she claims members of her team began giving her ‘happy pills’ in an effort to make her seem more ‘peppy’ during interviews.
‘I had no idea that this was not an appropriate thing, or what door that would open for me when it came to my addiction,’ she explained.
In September, Hayden shed further light on her custody battle with her boxer ex, claiming that Wladimir was refusing to let their daughter visit her mother in California – while accusing him of forcing her to give up her child.
After spending years struggling with substance abuse issues, Hayden signed over full custody of Kaya to Klitschko, 46, in 2018, but in a candid interview on Red Table Talk, she claimed that it was ‘not’ a mutual agreement.
‘I thought she was going over to visit him like she always did – she went back and forth between me in Nashville and Ukraine – but once she was over there, [he] was immediately [like], “I want full custody of her,” which was a shock for me,’ she explained.
‘It wasn’t my decision. In fact, I didn’t even know it was happening until she was already over there. In a country that’s very male-dominated, there wasn’t a heck of a lot that I could do.
‘It wasn’t a discussion. If [Klitschko] had come to me and said, “I think because of where you’re at right now and your struggles that you’re having it would be good for her to be over here with me for a while…”
‘If I had probably had enough of a conversation I would’ve said, “OK, that makes sense, I get it, I’ll come there to visit,” stuff like that.
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