Hayden Panettiere’s Family Reveals Brother Jansen’s Cause of Death
The Panettiere family have offered a statement on the death of Jansen Panettiere, a 28-year-old actor and the younger brother of Nashville star Hayden Panettiere. Jansen died last Sunday (Feb. 19), in a story that was first reported by TMZ.
The actor's immediate family — Hayden Panettiere, mother Lesley Vogel and father Skip Panettiere — issued a joint statement to ABC News that spoke to their memories of Jansen, and also offered some clarity as to his cause of death.
"Though it offers little solace, the Medical Examiner reported Jansen's sudden passing was due to cardiomegaly (enlarged heart) coupled with aortic valve complications," the statement explains.
Jansen's family remembers him as a luminous talent with a passion for visual art and a sharp sense of humor.
"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," they add. "His charisma, warmth, compassion for others and his creative spirit will live forever in our hearts and the hearts of all whom he encountered."
This statement marks the first official comment from the Panettiere family on Jansen's death. In the days after the news broke, an insider close to the family reportedly told Entertainment Tonight that Hayden was "absolutely heartbroken" over her brother's death, commenting, "She loved her brother unconditionally and the two shared a special bond."
That same source also alluded to some mental health struggles that Jansen may have been facing. "Jansen suffered from mental health issues and art was his therapy and escape. In the past, Jansen was open to family and friends about his struggles. Hayden was always there for him and constantly tried to help Jansen when she could," the source continues.
In their official statement, the Panettiere family shared gratitude for the fan response to their family tragedy, and requested privacy as they grieve.
"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," they state. "We love you so much Jansen and you will be in our hearts forever."
Jansen's acting career dates back to the early 2000s, with roles in Even Stevens, Blues Clues and more. He and his older sister have occasionally worked on the same sets — they both had roles in the 2004 Disney Channel original movie Tiger Cruise and the 2005 American sports comedy Racing Stripes. When not acting, Jansen shared his graffiti-inspired artwork with his Instagram followers. He was tied to multiple new projects at the time of his death.
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