“We have lovingly and carefully taken the time we have needed to arrive at our decision to separate,” they said in a joint statement. “We share an abundance of love and respect for one another and will continue to lead with our hearts from that place. We kindly request your compassion and respect for our privacy moving forward.”
The pair’s separation comes after Us exclusively reported on April 17 that Hough, 31, and Laich, 36, were “not doing well.” The day before the relationship status update, the former America’s Got Talent judge went for a walk in Los Angeles with actor Ben Barnes amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In January, Us broke the news that the couple “were having problems” in their marriage. However, things were “totally fine” between Hough and Laich by March, as an insider confirmed that they were “working through any issues they previously faced.”
Brooks Laich and Julianne Hough
Hough, 31, and Laich, 36, tied the knot in a romantic ceremony in July 2017 near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. They exchanged their vows before nearly 200 guests, including Hough’s best friend Nina Dobrev, who was also one of the Dancing With the Stars alum’s bridesmaids.
At the start of 2020, Laich shared a cryptic post to Instagram about starting a “new stage” of his life in 2020. “I feel like a lot of my life has been ‘bound’ to certain identities that have come through the sport I spent my life playing. Canadian, male, hockey player, disciplined, competitive, etc…,” Laich, 36, wrote via Instagram on January 7. “And though I am all of those things, they do not define me, and I am not bound by them. In 2020 I look forward to releasing old identities, and stepping into a new chapter in my life.”
Meanwhile, Hough had been spotted without her wedding ring. Most recently, she appeared ringless in an Instagram video she reposted on January 4 of herself discussing her new fitness project, Kinrgy. Weeks before this, she shared a video of herself decorating a Christmas tree sans ring.
Months before, Laich spoke about being ready to become a father on his “How Men Think With Brooks Laich & Gavin DeGraw” podcast in October 2019. He shared that he “wanted to have enough space” in his life to devote the time needed into “being that type of father” he had always envisioned. (He had previously admitted to Us exclusively in June that they were using in vitro fertilization to help “increase” their odds at being able to have a kid on their own.)
“I’m now not an athlete, I’m not playing hockey. So what does life look like now? There’s still a figuring-out process of a new identity for myself,” he said at the time.”Also with my wife, our relationship — it’s a new identity for our relationship as well.”
Hough, for her part, revealed that she doesn’t identify as straight in her September 2019 cover story for Women’s Health. During the interview, she recalled the time she opened up to Laich about how she chose to be with him.
“I think there’s a safety with my husband now that I’m unpacking all of this,” she explained at the time. “There’s no fear of voicing things that I’ve been afraid to admit or that I’ve had shame or guilt about because of what I’ve been told or how I was raised.”
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