“Jules, just to start, [my cohosts] Sisanie and Tanya have been asking me if this is awkward for me,” the American Idol host, 47, said while interviewing the dancer, 33, and her brother, Derek Hough, during the Friday, March 4, episode of On-Air With Ryan Seacrest. “And I said, ‘Not at all because we’re friends’.” The Hough siblings were speaking about their upcoming ABC special, Step Into … The Movies, where they’ll recreate some of the most iconic song and dance moments in film history.
The Dancing With the Stars alum agreed, noting, “We’re friends! We chat [a lot].”
Explaining that he has remained close to his ex since their 2013 split, Seacrest said that there’s no tension when he and Julianne see each other. “There is nothing uncomfortable about it, because we’ve remained friends,” the Live With Kelly and Ryan host said, while Julianne added that they treat each other with “respect and love and all those things.”
The Footloose star also poked fun at the idea that she and Seacrest were no longer allowed to spend time together. “I have a new publicist now, so it’s like, ‘It’s fine! They can talk!'” Julianne said with a laugh.
The pair were first linked in 2010. “I’m kind of dating my first celebrity crush, so I feel pretty fortunate,” Julianne told Us Weekly in October 2012. One year later, the Safe Haven actress confessed that she still got “giddy” whenever she saw Seacrest on TV. “It was super exciting to see my man on TV. I was so proud of him,” she gushed to Us in February 2013.
Even after their breakup, Julianne harbored no ill will toward her former partner. “Every relationship, there was nothing wrong or bad, but there was nothing right,” the Rock of Ages star told Redbook in July 2014. “I had one foot out because I didn’t want to get hurt. And I didn’t say what was on my mind because I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers. I needed to be perfect.”
She continued: “Now I’m not holding anything back, because I’d rather get my heart broken than never know what it is to be completely, madly in love,” Hough added. “If I had been this open in my last relationship, who knows?”
Seacrest, for his part, congratulated the Burlesque star on her July 2017 wedding to Brooks Laich on Live With Kelly and Ryan. “I guess there were a couple of weddings over the weekend … Julianne Hough from Dancing With the Stars, congratulations to Jules!” he said at the time while discussing celebrity weddings with his cohost. “She looks stunning … I know this family and they are terrific people … super talented, she is, so congratulations, Julianne! Happy to see you happy.”
Julianne filed for divorce from Laich, 38, in November 2020 and their divorce was finalized in January 2022. Seacrest, meanwhile, has moved on with model Aubrey Paige Petcosky. Us confirmed the new romance in June 2021.
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