Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich have announced their separation less than three years after getting married.
The pair have been beset by rumors of marital problems ever since they went into lockdown separately amid the coronavirus pandemic.
‘We have lovingly and carefully taken the time we have needed to arrive at our decision to separate,’ Julianne, 31, and Brooks, 36, told People together.
End of the road: Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich have announced their separation less than three years after getting married
‘We share an abundance of love and respect for one another and will continue to lead with our hearts from that place.’
The duo noted in their statement: ‘We kindly request your compassion and respect for our privacy moving forward.’
An insider told People they ultimately decided to split after discovering they were ‘perfectly happy and fine being apart’ while self-isolating in separate states.
The Dancing With The Stars alumna is hunkering down in Los Angeles, while the ice hockey hunk remains in Idaho.
‘Love and respect’: ‘We have lovingly and carefully taken the time we have needed to arrive at our decision to separate,’ Julianne, 31, and Brooks, 36, told People together
A day before the separation announcement, Brooks posted ‘THIRST TRAP!’ shirtless photos from Idaho and Julianne commented that they were ‘awesome.’
‘It’s over, it’s been over for a while, and it’s time to just call it what it is – and it is over. There is honestly no ill will. He loves her. She loves him. I can truly say they always will. But they both understand they are not meant to go through their lives as husband and wife to each other,’ said the People source.
Julianne is said to be a ‘deeply different person than she was when they got married,’ and is ‘proud of those differences and changes she’s made and she doesn’t want to go back. He is the man he is and he shouldn’t change a thing. But they shouldn’t spend the rest of their lives together – not as spouses, anyway.’
The insider shared: ‘They are both on the same page about that now. It took them a while to get here, but now they both understand that and they are hoping to move forward as deeply loving friends forever who will always be supportive and encouraging of one another.’
Country boy: The Dancing With The Stars alumna is hunkering down in Los Angeles, while the ice hockey hunk remains in Idaho where he is pictured
During an Instagram Live session with Oprah Magazine last month Julianne said of being in lockdown without Brooks: ‘I don’t feel lonely, but I definitely feel alone.’
Earlier last month amid rumors of marriage trouble with Brooks, Julianne wrote on Insta Stories: ‘Never betray yourself to be loyal to others.’
Amid the lockdown, during an Instagram Live session for her dance-influenced Kinrgy workouts she spilled that she was ‘Releasing all this stagnant energy built up from what’s going on personally and in the world.’
Julianne, who has described herself as ‘not straight,’ was glimpsed in April on a stroll with dashing 38-year-old English actor Ben Barnes who is an old pal of hers.
Meanwhile that month on his How Men Think podcast Brooks gushed that he was having a ‘great’ time in Idaho with his ‘awesome’ husky Koda.
Calling himself an ‘introvert by nature’ he acknowledged: ‘I love having my dog – if it wasn’t for my dog, I’d probably be a little more antsy with the isolation.’
Brooks drew notice in January when he said on How Men Think that he was ‘really explore learning about sexuality’ going forward.
However on a later episode of How Men Think he clarified that he was looking into ‘exploring my sexuality, and by that I don’t mean if I’m gay or straight.’
Brooks explained: ‘I mean like in my sexual relationship, what is my sexuality and what am I craving and what are my desires and what are my wife’s, and like, how can we have this language to feed each other in – and get everything we want and be sexually expressed to the nth degree and everything?’
He also said: ‘When I think of being married and being in my relationship, truthfully at my core, I don’t see any other life for me. Like that’s the life that I choose.’
Julianne reportedly began dating him near the end of 2013 and they married in July 2017 by the lakeside town of Coeur D’Alene, Idaho.