Hayden Panettiere wore an eye-catching rock on her left ring finger when she stopped by Live with Kelly & Michael Wednesday morning and subsequently confirmed her engagement to Wladimir Klitschko.

Panettiere, 24, distracted talk show hosts Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan for a few solid minutes before she had to field a question about the engagement ring she was wearing. Why? She was also wearing a massive snake around her neck.

The Nashville actress brought the reptilian friend onstage due to a running joke she has with former NFL player Strahan. The multi-time Pro Bowl defensive end has a fear of snakes, which Panettiere first exposed on her last visit to the set. That time, she’d only tossed a fake rubber snake on his lap. This time, the real one had Strahan keep his distance from the actress.


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Ripa finally got the interview on track after Strahan took his seat beside her, still noticeably frightened. “I’m sort of distracted, not just by the snake, but there’s a very large diamond ring on your finger,” started Ripa. “I’m not sure if you want to announce anything,” she added. “Does that signify anything? Is that a promise of something?”

Panettire first responded coyly, saying, “I mean, I think it speaks for itself." But when Ripa pressed her about whether or not she was engaged, she relented and confirmed, “I am.”

Rumors about Panettiere’s engagement to Ukranian boxer Klitschko began swirling back in March following their January 2013 reconciliation. "Very few people know, and she isn't wearing her ring publicly yet," an insider told Us Weekly at the time.

Panettiere and Klitschko first dated from 2009 until 2011 before calling it quits.

– Chelsea Regan

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