The Heroes actress quickly became a tabloid favourite after the TV show debuted in 2006 and her on-set love affair with co-star Milo Ventimiglia featured heavily in gossip columns.
But the 19 year old - who split from Ventimiglia in February (09) - is convinced Hollywood couples have it tough because fans' interest in their love lives puts unprecedented pressure on a relationship.
She tells Britain's Company magazine, "It's very, very difficult and people have no idea what they do to peoples' relationships. They destroy them. The paparazzi and the public.
"The public wants to read about your personal life, and the paparazzi give it to them by nosing into your personal life and saying things that are just not true and horrible.
Panettiere insists the ever-present photographers also limit her freedom - because even the most menial of tasks become a chore.
She adds, "I used to walk my dogs in my pyjamas. You know something's not right when you're lying in bed for 15 minutes in the morning going, 'How do I get milk for cereal without having to leave my house?' I would be so happy if I could walk down the street without someone coming out of the buses.".