She has recently been spending time apart from husband Brooks Laich during lockdown, with the married couple self-isolating in different parts of the country.

But Julianne Hough hasn’t been completely alone, and on Thursday was pictured out in Los Angeles keeping company with her friend, handsome British actor Ben Barnes.

The Dancing with the Stars champion was seen taking a break from quarantine dressed down in all black, walking in a pair of socks as she held onto her boots, whilst Ben, 38, went similarly casual in grey sweat shorts and a black tee.

Pals: Julianne Hough took a stroll with her actor friend Ben Barnes in Los Angeles on Thursday

Julianne, 31, has remained in the martial home that she shares with Canadian sportsman Brooks, 36, while he has been exploring the outdoors in Idaho with his husky, Koda.

A source recently told PEOPLE of the arrangement: “They are still together, but just not quarantined in the same place. Their relationship has always been like this, though — they like to do their own thing.”

The insider added that Brooks was “living the simple life in nature, which makes him happy,” explaining further: “Their marriage is not perfect, but they continue to work on it. They speak all the time. Brooks is coming back to L.A. once the stay-home order is lifted.”

All smiles: The pair, who have been pals for a number of years, were seen laughing as they enjoyed their stroll in LA

Self-isolating together: Julianne was seen out with Ben, who is most recently known for his role as Billy Russo on the Netflix series The Punisher 

The married couple were hit with rumours of a split last year, and in January, Brooks raised eyebrows when he commented about wanting to learn ‘more about intimacy and my sexuality’ in 2020.  

The former hockey player said on his How Men Think podcast: ‘One of my goals this year is to really explore like, learning about sexuality.’ 

However, he later sought to clarify his comments in a March episode of the podcast saying: ‘Nothing dirty can exist between two people in love.’

He continued: ‘A big part of my journey in 2020 is exploring my sexuality, and by that I don’t mean if I’m gay or straight. I mean, like, in my sexual relationship. What is my sexuality? What am I craving, what are my desires and what are my wife’s?’

Man’s best friend: Julianne’s husband recently revealed that he is self-isolating with his husky in Idaho

‘How can we have this language to feed each other and get everything we want and be sexually expressed to the nth degree in everything.’

Meanwhile, Julianne and Ben, best known for his work as Prince Caspian in The Chronicles of Narnia film series, have been pals for a number of years – and posed up together at a HBO post-Emmys after party in 2016.

The same year, Julianne shared a video on her Instagram Stories of Ben and actor Chiké Okonkwo goofing about at her house. 

Party pals: The pair seen together here at HBO’s Official 2016 Emmy After Party at The Plaza at the Pacific Design Center on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles

In good company: Although she has been away from her husband, Julianne has been surrounding herself with friends, including pal Ben

Jolly: The friendly duo appeared to be in good spirits as they took a walk in the LA sunshine

Comforting: The pair certainly seemed relaxed around one another, as Julianne removed her shoes and walked along in her socks 

A walk to remember: Julianne and Ben have been pals for years

Just last month, Julianne had told Extra that she and her husband Brooks would be self-isolating together.

She was also asked about the potential baby boom that could surface with couples suddenly quarantining together. Julianne shied away from giving a definitive answer saying: “I knew you had to ask… I think the best part about this… this is gonna be a time for a lot of healing, whether it’s personally, in relationships and friendships and families.”

She add: “The universe was just like, ‘Let’s put people at home and figure their sh*t out’… And I’m not just saying Brooks and I, I’m saying life in general and this is the time to do that.”

Concerns: Just last month, Julianne had told Extra that she and her husband Brooks would be self-isolating together.

Firm friends: Ben posted this picture of himself with Julianne and her brother Derek Hough on his Instagram account 

Intriguingly, on Thursday, Julianne took to her Instagram Stories to share a page from a self-help book about ‘The Law of Detachment’ encouraging one to ‘step into the unknown.’

Julianne married Brooks in an intimate outdoor wedding near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in 2016, in front of 200 guests, including brother Derek Hough who served as the groomsman.

Cosy: Julianne has spent the past few weeks self-isolating in her Los Angeles home apart from her husband Brooks

Other guests included Nina Dobrev, Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul and DWTS pro Mark Ballas.

The pair, who were last seen out together in March 2020, faced split rumours last year with reports that they had hit a rocky patch in their marriage.

Meanwhile Ben has previously been linked to actresses Meganne Young and Tamsin Egerton. 

Happy couple: Julianne married Brooks in an intimate outdoor wedding near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in 2016, in front of 200 guests. 

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