“Dancing With the Stars” pro-turned-judge Julianne Hough recently opened up about her divorce from former pro hockey player Brooks Laich, telling People that she is “excited” about what the future holds.
Here is what she had to say about the split:
Hough Said She is Open & Looking Ahead to the Future
In an interview with People tied to her Broadway debut, Hough talked about how early on in her career, she felt like she had to prove her worth all the time, but now, she sees that she can just be herself.
“I think as a woman in general, you’re always going to be underestimated. In earlier stages of my career, there was a moment of needing to prove my worth. But as I’ve gotten older, I don’t feel the need to prove anything; I just am who I am,” said Hough.
Hough went on to talk about her split from retired professional hockey player Brooks Laich, to whom she was married for three years. They separated in May 2020 and finalized their divorce in February 2022.
“You think about what’s important and what you would be left with at the end of your life,” Hough says. “[It’s important to] clear space so that you can put your energy and your heart into the things that you’re really passionate about … I tried to use [the pandemic] break as a personal-growth moment and to reconnect with friends and family and, most importantly, myself.”
With that in mind, she said that her “heart is open” to finding someone new and she is definitely “leading with love,” but she’s “not necessarily searching for anything.”
“I’m focusing on the things that make me happy. I’m focusing on going to the flower shop and buying beautiful flowers to make my house feel great. And I’m focusing on being the best version of myself. I’m excited to be in this state of openness,” said Hough.
Hough is currently starring in “POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive” on Broadway alongside Lea DeLaria, Lilli Cooper, Rachel Dratch, Vanessa Williams, Suzy Nakamura, and Julie White. The show received several Tony Award nominations for 2022 and Hough has been tapped to host the first hour of the awards show for Paramount Plus alongside Broadway star Darren Criss.
Laich is Still Friends With the Hough Family
Laich must have grown closer with Hough’s family during their time together, which spanned over six years from the time they started dating in 2014 because Laich and Julianne’s brother and fellow “Dancing With the Stars” pro-turned-judge Derek Hough is still good friends with Laich.
The two of them recently went on a wakeboarding and waterskiing outing with Hough’s girlfriend Hayley Erbert and several other friends. Hough, Laich, and Erbert all posted videos from the excursion on their Instagram stories.
And Erbert wished Laich’s fiancee Katrin Tanja Davidsdotti a happy birthday on Instagram on May 10. The two of them got engaged on Valentine’s Day 2022 in Iceland, according to In Touch Weekly.
And right around the time that Laich and Julianne Hough split, he wrote a lengthy birthday message to Derek on Instagram, writing, “Happy birthday to my bro and one of my absolute favorite adventure buddies, the incomparable @derekhough! I absolutely love spending time with you D, whether it’s on an epic adventure or just hanging at the house. There’s never a dull moment, and I never know what we’re going to get into – and I love ya for it! Thank you for being you, and the way you have touched my life – I am so grateful for all of it. Love you my man, happy birthday!”
“Dancing With the Stars” returns for its 31st season in the fall of 2022 on Disney Plus.