‘He’s right here with me… always’: Emotional Hayden Panettiere forces back tears as she’s asked about her late brother Jansen – who died from an ‘enlarged heart’ two weeks ago

  • Actress Hayden Panettiere, 33, teared up on Good Morning America on Monday when GMA host Michael Strahan gave her his condolences for brother’s death
  • Jansen Panettiere, 28, was found dead February 19 at his Nyack, New York home  
  • Jansen reportedly died ‘from an enlarged heart,’ according to his family

Hayden Panettiere forced back tears when she was asked about her late brother during her first TV interview since his unexpected death.

Panettiere, 33, who appeared on Good Morning America on Monday to promote her new movie Scream VI, became emotional GMA’s Michael Strahan offered his condolences to her at the end of their interview. 

‘Thank you,’ she said tearfully, placing a hand on her heart. ‘He’s right here with me,’ she added as her voice cracked. 

The actress’s brother Jansen Panettiere, 28, was found dead on February 19 at his apartment in Nyack, New York.

Jansen reportedly died ‘from an enlarged heart’ according to a statement issued by his relatives, who say it was confirmed by the Medical Examiner.

Actress Hayden Panettiere, 33, appeared on Good Morning America on Monday, her first TV interview since the unexpected death of her 28-year-old brother Jansen Panettiere

Jansen reportedly died ‘from an enlarged heart’ according to a statement issued by his relatives, who say it was confirmed by the Medical Examiner

Panettiere’s appearance on Good Morning America on Monday is her first since the sudden death of her brother. 

She put on a brave face as she arrived at the GMA studios in New York City and looked chic in a cream shirt which was tucked into a pair of black flared trousers.

She boosted her height in a pair of chunky gold heels and hid her eyes behind a pair of dark sunglasses.

Panettiere bundled up in a beige fur trim coat as she flashed a smile and waved at onlookers as she arrived.

The actress smiled and laughed with Strahan during the interview about her new movie – the latest in the slasher Scream franchise. 

At the end of the interview, Strahan said: ‘Before we go, we want to just tell you we’re sorry about the passing of your brother Jansen.’

When Panettiere became emotional and said that he was right there with her, Strahan responded: ‘Always.’

Panettiere recently paid tribute to her beloved younger brother’s ‘warmth and compassion for others.’

Panettiere’s appearance on GMA Monday is her first since the death of her brother

When GMA host offered her his condolences, she replied: ‘Thank you. He’s right here with me’

Grieving: Hayden Panettiere put on a brave face as she arrived at Good Morning America in New York City on Monday – after her brother Jansen’s tragic death aged 28 last month

Jansen Panettiere, 28, was found dead on February 19 at his apartment in Nyack, New York

In a statement, the family said: ‘Jansen’s heart could be seen in his eyes, and his charm in his brilliant, engaging smile; his soul in his masterful and revealing paintings, and the joy of life in his dry wit.

‘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.

‘Though it offers little solace, the Medical Examiner reported Jansen’s sudden passing was due to cardiomegaly (enlarged heart), coupled with aortic valve complications.

‘We sincerely appreciate the outpouring of love and support towards our family as we navigate this unthinkable loss, and ask that we be gifted our privacy during this time of mourning.

‘We love you so much Jansen and you will be in our hearts forever.’

Jansen, who was 5 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 a budding graffiti artist who wrote on his website: ‘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’

According to the insider, Jansen had been ‘having a rough time lately with his career’ and felt as though he was ‘being dragged in so many directions’ 

According to a police report, Jansen’s body was discovered in his home by three friends who found him ‘unresponsive’ in a chair and desperately tried to revive him with CPR.

Upon arrival, the friends – who have been identified as Benjamin Brown, Joe Fails, and Lars Arianti – found Jansen ‘sitting upright in a chair unresponsive’ and desperately began performing CPR in the hopes of reviving him.

Fails phoned 911, while one of the others got in touch with Jansen and Hayden’s father, Alan ‘Skip’ Panettiere, who arrived on the scene as Brown was doing chest compressions.

Skip told EMTs that he had spoken to his son ‘via telephone the night before’ and that he had ‘sounded okay’.

The police report was released to the public just hours after a source close to Hayden revealed that she had been left ‘inconsolable’ by the loss of her only brother and ‘best friend’ – who had been battling ‘terrible anxiety and depression’ before his death.

According to the insider, Jansen had been ‘having a rough time lately with his career’ and felt as though he was ‘being dragged in so many directions’.

His final photo, posted to Instagram on February 6, showed him grinning broadly in the small town. ‘Graffiti is illegal,’ he captioned the picture.

His girlfriend, Catherine Michie, commented: ‘The law can’t stop Jansen Panettiere.’

Panettiere, an actor and graffiti artist, was struggling with his mental health.

‘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.’

The siblings were last seen together less than a 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.

Jansen was the Nashville star’s only sibling. Hayden has not yet addressed his unexpected passing; They are pictured on January 24, less than a month before his death


Jansen (seen with his sister left in 2008 and right in 2013) passed away in Nyack, New York

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.

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.

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