From friends to lovers! Julianne Hough is dating Ben Barnes, a source tells Life & Style exclusively.  “Their friendship has gravitated into a full-blown romance.”

“They’ve officially been an item for two months and he has been flying to and from L.A. to be with her in New York. When they’re not together, they FaceTime every day,” the insider continued, adding, “They’re so adorable together. Everything about the relationship is so easy and Julianne can be her true self with him. She’s never been happier.”

Ben, 41, and Julianne, 34, were photographed together walking through New York’s Washington Square Park on Wednesday, August 17, though they didn’t show off any obvious PDA. The following day, the pair strolled through SoHo while keeping extra close. That same day, August 18, Ben was photographed leaving Julianne’s apartment.

Julianne’s romance woth British-born Ben came shortly after it was revealed that she and Charlie Wilson had split. “They were physically attracted to each other but didn’t gel emotionally,” a source told In Touch about Julianne and Charlie’s breakup on August 22, adding that they called things off a “few months ago.”

The source said Charlie was a “total rebound fling” after Julianne’s divorce from ex-husband Brooks Laich

The former Dancing With the Stars judge and Ben have been close pals since the mid 2010s, even attending an HBO Emmys party together in 2016. They raised eyebrows when the two were photographed in April 2020 out and about as they spent time together during the COVID-19 lockdown in Los Angeles, while her then-husband Brooks was quarantining separately in Idaho. A month later, the pair announced their split after three years of marriage.

“We have lovingly and carefully taken the time we have needed to arrive at our decision to separate,” Julianne and Brooks said a joint statement in May 2020, adding, “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.”

Rumors about a romance between Ben and Julianne started again in January 2021 when the pair looked happy and cozy in photographs while going on an ice cream date, which came three months after the former pro dancer filed for divorce from Brooks. Their divorce was finalized in June 2022.

Julianne was first linked to model Charlie in November 2021 after they were photographed kissing. “They’re a match made in heaven because he’s a bit of a hippie, like her, and they both get each other’s quirkiness … They can’t get enough of each other,” the insider told In Touch exclusively at the time, noting that they hadn’t “been dating long.”

Reps for Julianne and Ben did not immediately respond to Life & Style‘s requests for comment.



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Tyler Cowan