What Julianne Hough's Exes Have Said About Her

Julianne Hough first burst onto the Hollywood scene in 2006 at the age of 17, dancing her way to success on "Show Me the Money," before stealing fans' hearts as a professional dancer (and later, a judge) on "Dancing With the Stars" and as Sandy in 2016's "Grease Live!" When she first arrived in Los Angeles in 2007, Hough was engaged to her childhood beau, Zack Wilson, with whom she'd grown up in Utah. The pair made their long-distance relationship work for a while but called it quits the following year.

Since then, Hough has had a few high-profile relationships with celebs like Chuck Wicks and Ryan Seacrest (as well as rumored romances with comedian Dane Cook and director Ari Sandel) before getting together with hockey player Brooks Laich in 2013. Not long after they married in 2017, Hough opened up about her sexuality, telling Women's Health in 2019 that she came out to Laich. "I [told him], 'You know I'm not straight, right?' And he was like, 'I'm sorry, what?' I was like, 'I'm not. But I choose to be with you,'" she said.

While this openness did strengthen their relationship, the duo eventually called it quits in 2020. Two years later, the Broadway star told The Blast that she was open to love again and has since sparked dating rumors with several celebs, including model Charlie Wilson. But while she's moving forward, let's take a look back, as the blonde beauty has obviously left quite an impression on her former romantic partners. Here's what Julianne Hough's exes have said about her.

Chuck Wicks claimed their breakup 'wasn't his fault'

Julianne Hough moved on from her first love, Zack Wilson, with country music star Chuck Wicks, having met the "Hold that Thought" singer while they were both touring with Brad Paisley in 2008. The pair's burgeoning romance continued to flourish as they were paired together on "Dancing With the Stars" early the following year.

According to Wicks, who spoke about their relationship with Carly Pearce on his podcast "Talk to Chuck" in 2020, he and Hough met while they were on top of the world and things got pretty serious fast — they even purchased a house together. "[But] then out of nowhere, you find out that they are not the person that you thought they were," Wicks said. "... And you break up." At the time, they agreed to publicly claim that their November 2009 breakup was amicable. But in reality, they were apparently completely at odds. "It wasn't fine," Wicks said. "S*** hit the fan. ... I'm not going to throw anybody under the bus, but it wasn't my fault." 

Of course, time heals all wounds — or at least this one — as Wicks is happily married to Kasi Williams, with whom he shares one son and three stepdaughters. "Now, I just don't even care. ... It's on you. You get past it," he said of his breakup with Hough. However, Wicks added that the pair don't keep in touch and had only crossed paths once in the previous decade.

Ryan Seacrest has nothing but love for Julianne Hough

Ryan Seacrest addressed his romantic past with Julianne Hough during an episode of "On Air With Ryan Seacrest" in 2022, when he interviewed both his ex and her brother, Derek Hough, who were promoting their TV Special "Step Into... The Movies with Derek and Julianne Hough."

The TV host and the dancer dated from the summer of 2010 until March 2013. Julianne gushed about Seacrest while the pair were dating, telling Parade that she felt very lucky in her relationship because they worked well as a team and shared a similar work ethic and passion for their career goals. These two were even the subject of engagement rumors before their breakup.

During the 2022 interview, the former couple explained that things between them ended on good terms, with Julianne noting that they consider themselves to be friends, keep in touch these days, and still love and respect each other very much. For his part, Seacrest told his co-hosts — Sisanie Villaclara and Tanya Rad — that there's no awkwardness between these famous exes, explaining that he and Julianne have proven that it's possible to remain pals after breaking up. "She feels the same as I do. There is nothing uncomfortable about it because we remained friends for years and still are," he said.

Brooks Laich has respected Julianne Hough's privacy

Later in 2013, after breaking up with Ryan Seacrest (and that aforementioned rumored relationship with Ari Sandel), Julianne Hough began dating Canadian ice hockey player Brooks Laich. The pair enjoyed a two-month digital romance before finally meeting in person. Sparks flew, and less than two years later, the couple announced their engagement. They tied the knot in 2017, as previously mentioned, and enjoyed a three-year marriage before separating in May 2020.

Hough and Laich released a joint statement to People announcing their split, which cited their continued love and respect for one another. And the former NHL star has continued to talk about how it has affected him. Although he has respected Hough's privacy by not commenting on the reasons behind their breakup, Laich has seemingly managed to find something positive out of it, revealing on his "How Men Think" podcast that November that he's more in touch with his emotions than ever. "I've learned how to honor emotions in the moment and let them come up and through me and out of me, and a lot of times that's through crying," he explained.

Julianne Hough and Laich seem to have since remained close, with Laich serving as a groomsman at Derek Hough's August 2023 wedding to Haley Erbert. This came about a year after they finalized their divorce. For his part, Laich has since moved on with Icelandic athlete Katrín Tanja Davíðsdóttir, whom he's been dating since 2021.