Julianne Hough opens up about Ryan Seacrest romance, feeling 'lost' after their breakup

Suzy Byrne
·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·3 min read

While Julianne Hough is going through a divorce from husband Brooks Laich, she’s reflecting on another one of her high-profile romances — with Ryan Seacrest.

In an Instagram Live with social media influencer Valeria Lipovetsky, the 32-year-old actress and professional dancer opened up about a revelation at age 25 — at the end of her relationship with the Live With Kelly and Ryan co-host — that she felt “lost” and “empty inside.”

TODAY -- Pictured: Julianne Hough on Thursday, December 5, 2019 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Julianne Hough, pictured in 2019, has opened up about the end of her relationship with Ryan Seacrest. (Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

"It was 2013 and I had just got out of a relationship that was very high-profile," said Hough, who dated Seacrest from 2010 to 2013. "I was on private planes and yachts and living in a very, very well-off house — pretty different from where I grew up," in a Mormon household in Utah.

Ryan Seacrest and Julianne Hough pose on arrival at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit celebrating the opening of Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, in New York, May 2, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT FASHION)
Ryan Seacrest and Julianne Hough at the 2011 Met Gala. (Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Hough, who had shot to stardom as a pro dancer on Dancing with the Stars, said having so many luxury things — that she didn’t earn herself — left her with a negative energy.

"I had just got out of that relationship because I wanted to create that for myself,” she said. “I kind of felt like I didn't deserve it. I didn’t earn that. So now I need to go create that for myself.”

She said she spent 2013 doing things “different than I had before.” She felt she had been living “in a state of perfection” as far as the “image” she projected and “doing everything the right way.” So she decided, “F it.” She was going to stop trying to be perfect.

In doing so, “I kind of got a little lost,” she admitted.

She continued, “I didn’t really have any friends, because all my friends were much older,” as Seacrest was 13 years her senior. So Hough recalled making girlfriends and going to Coachella “and we did certain things I was not proud of, but also kinda like: Get it, girl,’” referring to experimenting a bit after being raised in a strict Mormon community where she couldn’t swear, watch R-rated movies, smoke, drink, ingest caffeine or have sex.

Hough, who counts Nina Dobrev among her close girlfriends, called her year post-Seacrest her “wild year of abandon and freedom, and I realized that the pendulum swing went from one side to the extreme. I was like: 'OK, there’s gotta be something in the middle where I can find fulfillment without having to be so dynamic and extreme.’”

She said her brother Derek Hough introduced her to Tony Robbins and that was the start of doing work on herself and a big “identity shift” for her. It’s since “been many years of transformation.”

And the transformation continues as she works past her split with Laich. Last week, she filed for divorce after she had briefly split from the former hockey player and then reconciled. During that marriage, she came out as “not straight” to her husband. “He was like, ‘I’m sorry, what?’” she recalled to Women’s Health in 2019. “I was like, ‘I’m not. But I choose to be with you.’”

In the latest on the divorce, Hough is requesting that Laich not receive spousal support, per their pre-nup. However, it noted she doesn't expect any spousal support in return.

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