She’s coming clean. Hilary Duff opened up in a new interview about divorce, marriage, monogamy and more while discussing past relationships and her current love life.
The 29-year-old singer-actress sat down for a very candid conversation with her Younger costar Nico Tortorella on the Tuesday, November 8, edition of the podcast The Love Bomb.
“All of my relationships have been in the public eye. Whether people care or not, that’s a different story,” Duff told Tortorella, 28. “But enough people seem to have cared that it’s talked about.”
Despite the trouble of dating in the spotlight, the former child star — who rose to fame thanks to her titular role on the Disney Channel’s Lizzie McGuire — never shied away from her search for love. Duff revealed that her first serious relationship came when she was just 16 years old.
“I was like, ‘I get it. Like, I actually get it.’ It was so all encompassing,” she said of her three-year romance with Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden (who is now married to Nicole Richie). “It was so intense. It was my life. It was like every minute of my day. It was pretty major.”
After calling it quits with the “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” rocker, now 37, in 2007, she became hyperfocused on her career. Ultimately, though, she felt unfulfilled.
“I think I feel really lucky. I made a choice when I was about 19 to stop music and to stop acting. I finished my tour and I took two years where I didn’t do anything. I didn’t mean for it to last that long, but I just wasn’t fulfilled in any way. I was just going on stage at night and I was like, ‘I don’t even know what town I’m in.’ … It just became so repetitive, and I was like, ‘Why am I working like this? I’m supporting all these people.’ It was just crazy,” she said. “Taking that break, I think, really helped me step back from the whole ‘Hilary Duff’ thing and prioritize.”
During that break she found love again with hockey player Mike Comrie, whom she later wed in 2010. “When we were deciding to get married, I was totally down and I felt totally ready. I had already been working as an adult since I was 12 years old,” she said on Tuesday. “So 22 doesn’t seem that crazy to get married. But I never, like, pictured my wedding dress and all that.”
Duff and Comrie welcomed son Luca, now 4, in March 2012. They eventually split in 2014 and finalized their divorce in February. Although they are no longer together, the “Sparks” songstress insisted to Tortorella that she and her onetime hubby remain friends.
“It is a sacred thing, obviously,” she explained. “It’s something to be taken very seriously, and I was so happy to be married. I think that I was in a very successful marriage for a long time. I never want to have any negative. .. .I mean, that’s hard to say: ‘no negative feelings.’ But we got together based on love, and we separated in a very loving way. I can’t imagine going through that process with anyone but him, and he continues to be my very good friend. That’s honestly speaking from my heart. So, I think we handled it very consciously and with a lot of love. But marriage is sacred and marriage is not for everyone. Marriage is work. Marriage is really hard. Everyone’s like, ‘Are you going to get married again?’ I’m like, ‘I don’t know!'”
While Duff — who is currently dating personal trainer Jason Walsh — doesn’t “feel the need to get married again,” she is open to the idea if it is important to her significant other.
“As much as I was ready and excited, you’re like, ‘Oh, next step: We get married.’ That’s kind of the traditional person I’m talking about that’s inside of me, or however I was raised. But I don’t feel the need,” she admitted. “I got to have the experience and it was awesome. So, I guess if it mattered to someone else that much, I would consider it.”
Still, the thought of settling down with someone for the rest of her life is “too scary to think about,” Duff said. But that doesn’t mean she is giving up on monogamy.
“I’m kind of traditional. But I get it. I get that it’s hard to be with one person. You get really comfortable,” she shared, adding that she’s “not a jealous person by nature.”
The “Come Clean” singer added, “I understand boredom or not connecting after however many years of marriage or a relationship, but that’s where the work comes in. I feel like I’d have a really hard time with that.”
For now, Duff is completely content with the way her life is. “I have dreams and aspirations, but I’ve never really been one of those people who has set dates: ‘I’m this age, so this, this and this needs to happen.’ That’s just not really realistic. I have a kid. My life is very full, so I feel blessed and lucky,” she enthused. “There are still things I want to do and experiences I want to have, and maybe more kids, but it’s not like it needs to happen at this time and I need to be married. All those pressures need to go away.”
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