Laich, 36, and Julianne, 31, confirmed on May 29 that they would be going their separate ways after nearly three years of marriage and months of speculation about the status of their relationship. Days after the former couple formally called it quits, an insider tells Us Weekly exclusively that Derek — along with his sister’s close friend and hairstylist Riawna Capri — “do not have any animosity” toward the hockey player.
“[They] still love him even though Brooks and Julianne aren’t together romantically,” the source adds. “They saw that they were figuring out themselves as individuals and that they weren’t a match as a couple, but that doesn’t take away their love for Brooks as a person.”
Shortly after the ballroom dancer and her husband announced their split, another source explained that the pair’s separation didn’t come as a big surprise. “Julianne and Brooks’ split was a long time coming. They argued a lot and just had different viewpoints on important issues,” the source said. “There’s still a love there, but not in a romantic sense.”
Julianne and the Canadian athlete, who tied the knot in July 2017, experienced a number of trials and tribulations before the end of their marriage. Us broke the news in January that the former pair “were having problems” after the Footloose star was spotted without her wedding ring on multiple occasions. Though they later tried “working through any issues they previously faced,” an insider told Us in April that the exes were “not doing well” as they quarantined in different states amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Two months before his sister’s split from Laich, Derek gushed over the connection he shared with the “How Men Think” podcast host, revealing that he and girlfriend Hayley Erbert would “hang out all the time” with Julianne and her man.
“[He’s] everything. I love that man. He’s an amazing, amazing guy,” the World of Dance judge told Us exclusively while attending an event in Las Vegas in March. “Heart of gold. Loyal. Just a dude, man. He’s just a dude. Great guy.”