Julianne Hough likes to portray herself as a perky optimist and a can-do personality. An All-American girl. But before she was famous? She wants us all to believe that she went through abuse and bullying as a child. True? Well, let's just say that the gospel according to any given celebrity is just their version of events. Charlize Theron tells us her father was abusive, while his family have a different story to tell. Amber Heard wants us to believe she was abused by Johnny Depp, while both he and his friends paint a picture of a blackmailer, intent on fleecing the superstar. So are Julianne Hough's tales of bullying at school and abuse while she was living in London true? She says yes. Her brother Derek backs her up and goes on to spout his own abuse and bullying stories. And what do others have to say? One or two back her up, but some say she is scheming and manipulative, that she is "opening up" (two words meaning getting publicity) about dark goings-on in her childhood to project the kind of image she wants the world to see and does not care a bit about the harm she is doing to people.
So, let's try to get at the truth and look at 15 things Julianne Hough (and her brother Derek) probably wants us to forget about their childhoods. They bang on about abuse and bullying, but what's the real scoop?
15 Mentally, Physically, Everything Abused... Or Not
Julianne, Derek and Mark Ballas back in the day. The abuse? Those were Julianne's own words to describe her time in London. When she was ten, she was shipped off with older brother Derek, to live with Corky and Shirley Ballas in London. Why? Well, the couple were World Champion ballroom dancers and coaches. Julianne and Derek lived with them for five years and attended the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts. So, a while back, Julianne did one of her "opening up" numbers on Cosmopolitan, saying that those years in London were very dark and that she was abused in every way possible. "Mentally, physically, everything". What's the problem? Well, her accusations are so vague it is impossible to point fingers, verify or refute.
14 The Thing About Derek and Mark Ballas
OK, let's put our cards on the table. Those Derek-is-gay rumors just won't go away. So, there are the teenage Derek and Mark, living in Ballas' London home. Cheek by jowl, if you know what we mean. Was there something going on? No one, but no one is saying. Anyway, what we do know is that those persistent "gay romantic couple" stories have continued to circulate about the pair, well into their adult dancing lives. Celebrity Dirty Laundry has reported that fellow DWTS dancer Val Chmerkovskiy, confirmed those rumors. Seems Val "would tease Ballas and Hough... commenting that the two should 'get a room' when he’d spot them together on set." Sounds pretty clear cut to us.
13 The Case Of The Ruthless Momager
Well, you say, what kind of parents would ship their young kids halfway around the world to train as dancers? In a word or two? Ambitious. Pushy. When Derek and Julianne moved to London, Julianne's parents Marianne and Bruce, were going through a nasty divorce. Seems Julianne was already going to a Utah performing arts school before the move to London. Heck, she started dancing competitively at the tender age of nine. What nine year old wakes up one morning and says, I want to be a professional dancer? You got it. None. So, who was behind all this training and chasing after fame and fortune? The parents, particularly mom Marianne, might be a good guess. She fancied turning her brood into a singing and dancing sensation, just like another big Utah Mormon family.
12 I Am Going To Be Rich And Famous
It's like looking at those "child woman" pictures of JonBenet Ramsey, the 6-year-old beauty pageant contestant found murdered in the basement of her family's home. A little girl with s*x appeal is creepy, big time. Then there was child woman Julianne in London, dancing alongside male dancers, looking totally happy and so not like a victim. The glint in her eyes is unmistakable. They say "I'm going to be rich and famous." Remember all those dark tales of abuse? Well, what runs alongside that tale in Julianne's version of events is that she was a little girl, lost, forced into an adult world and driven to the breaking point. She spouts off about how she felt awkward being a 10-year-old forced to look like a sexy woman. Many would take one look at those pictures and urge Julianne to get real. Little girl lost? Hardly.
11 Hough Causes A Huff Big Time
Corky and Shirley Ballas haven't exactly gone public with their side of the story, leading some to say "where there is smoke there is fire". But a few facts please. Number one: the Ballases were supporting Julianne and Derek while they were living with them in London. As in spending their own money. Number two: it's just a fact that there was tension between prima diva Julianne and the Ballas family. Rumor has it that Julianne and Corky weren't even speaking by the time she left London after five years there. It reminds some of former Bunny Holly Madison who dished the supposed dirt on the man who brought her fame and fortune, Hugh Hefner, just at the point when her career was a case of diminishing returns. Why, oh why wait nearly a decade to "open up"? In a word: publicity.
10 The Continuing Saga Of The Little Girl Lost
It could be said that teenage Julianne Hough was all over the place. She wanted to sing. She wanted to act. She wanted to be in a band. And the Ballas family? Well, they weren't hired on as acting and singing coaches. They were dance coaches, plain and simple. Rumor has it that the "abuse" she suffered was simply not being allowed to do exactly what she wanted to do when she wanted to do it. And the the nasty Ballas family? They tried to get her to focus on the main point: Dancing. So, Julianne's story is that she was "trapped" in London. So she fled London and all that "dark" stuff. Well, that's one way of looking at it. Her way. What made her famous? Dancing on Dancing with the Stars. And music? And acting? C-List at best. The Bellas family made her rich and famous.
9 Derek Whinges: Spoiled, Lazy And Entitled?
Derek and the nasty Shirley Ballas. Nasty? Not to be outdone by little sis, Derek Hough has told the world his own abused-at-the-hands-of-the-Ballas-family story. Well, stories actually. There's the one about how Shirley once slapped him for sneaking a cigarette in their bathroom. He also whinges on about being pushed out the door of the Ballas' home when he was sick with the flu. On the one hand, we have the Ballas family saying "never give up" and, on the other hand, Derek and Julianne complaining they were little kids lost in the big city who were forced to do things they didn't want to do. Well, surprise, surprise. Corky and Shirley Ballas have a different take on things. Was it "abuse" or a reaction to spoiled, lazy and entitled Derek? Many think the latter.
8 Little Girl Lost Or Ungrateful?
Julianne, Derek and Mark Ballas formed a pop band when Julianne was 12-years-old. 2B1G (2 boys, 1 girl). OK, queen diva Julianne and creepy Derek are living with, sponging off, the Ballas family and attending a prestigious performing arts school. They were being coached, trained, alongside their son Mark Ballas. Julianne, Derek and Mark are competing and winning prize after prize after prize on the juniors' circuit. Shirley Ballas says they were all happy, all thriving. They were her stars and she was as proud of them as she could be. Shirley also says that Julianne loved her life, was proud of the star she was becoming. And all three end up winning fame and fortune on Dancing with the Stars. So when did all that "abuse" happen? Now, does the 12-year-old Julianne look like a little girl lost or does she look ungrateful? You decide.
7 Of Mark And Derek And Julianne
Some have speculated about Derek and Julianne Hough. To some, they seem too close. As children, they did everything together. Everything? Well, who knows? Back to Mark Ballas and Derek Hough and those gay couple rumors. After they both hit it big on DWTS, what do they do but buy a house together in the Hollywood. Aha! Gotcha big time. So just how close are those two? Well, back in London, Julianne, Derek and Mark formed the band 2B1G. Then Mark and Derek went out on their own with some other friends, leaving Julianne and her sequins parked at the curb. Comes adult fame and fortune and they buy a house together. Has all this got something to do with now-a-judge Julianne savaging a Mark Ballas performance on DWTS? Is that "green eyed monster" taking control?
6 Of Gay Bars And Boy Bands
Back to the London of the 1990s. It's full of rock band and gay bars and all kinds of fun stuff. For a time, Mark Ballas and Derek Hough are living together, well in the Ballas home, going to school, being coached by the best and, on the side, doing their pop band thing with Julianne in 2B1G. It's all a little bit vague as to who was into who and who was doing what with who. No one has said Derek was spotted at any of London's gay bars, but a while back, a fan claimed to have seem him pitching a hissy fit in a Las Vegas gay joint. Reportedly, Derek was sporting shiny silver pants. The hissy fit? The fan wanted to take a picture that he was going to caption: "This proves it".
5 Mommy And The Blonde Osmonds
Here's the thing. Marianne and Bruce Hough fancied themselves as dancers. And with four or five attractive blonde children in tow, they fancied becoming rich and famous like another Mormon family from Utah: The Osmonds. So the kids had all kinds of lessons. Singing. Dancing. You name it. Like it or not kiddo, you're going to that dance class. As Derek himself has said, he was dragged, almost kicking and screaming, to dance class by guess who? Marianne. Stage mama? Well, a variation on the theme, because mom and dad were going to be rich and famous too. "At a very young age, my mom wanted me to dance. She saw us as the blonde Osmonds. You know, coming from Utah.” Remember these are the people who shipped two of their kids off to London to study dance.
4 More Bully Than Bullied
OK. Julianne Hough gets back to the States, or escapes from the horrible life of luxury and prestigious schooling with the Ballas family. She auditions for and gets into Las Vegas Academy, yet another theatrical arts kind of school. And later, she goes to Alta High School back in Utah. Was she happy? Are you kidding? Her story about those days was more of same. She was bullied and forced into eating her lunch alone in the bathroom. Or she would get invited to a party and get there to find it was an abandoned house. And the other "mean" girls of course didn't like her. Or could it be "Miss Up And Coming Star" Julianne was a bit of a diva? Her high school pictures are about as far away from "bullied" as you can get. She looks more like a bully than a victim.
3 From Child To Woman: A Bully is Born
What kind of chick sponges off an affluent London family for five years and then implies there was abuse? It's the same kind of chick who will go to prestigious performing "academies" and then claim she was bullied there. Julianne Hough wants you to believe she was the victim who rose above adversity to take the world by storm. Well, another version of events might appeal. And that version? It was Julianne doing the bullying and Julianne abusing people. Some say she started the bullying thing early on and got really good at it. Look at her insulting "critique" of Mark Ballas on DWTS or how she body shamed Amber Rose while she was on the show.
2 World Class Insensitivity
When she isn't counting her $7 million fortune or eyeing her way too big and showy engagement ring from hockey player Brooks Laich, or having her picture snapped with Taylor Swift or Kim Kardashian, Julianne is complaining about her childhood. The funny thing is that the person who pushed her onto the stage was Momager Marianne and not the long-suffering Ballas family, who had to keep the headstrong and rebellious Hough siblings under control and keep their eyes focused on the prize. And what kind of woman has that little girl in spray tan and sequins become? Some say a world class insensitive one. The kind of one who would roll up to a 2013 Halloween party in black face. Unlike a lot of the not so nice things she's done, at least this one she apologized for. We bet the Ballas family had that one framed for their hall of shame.
1 The Real Julianne Hough?
She wants us to think she was a little girl lost and that she was the victim of abuse and bullying during her childhood. The facts and the pictures? Sorry Julianne babe, it just doesn't wash. By the time she hit her teen years, she was reportedly a full-fledged diva who wanted to do everything her way. Rumors are she fought with anyone (including Corky Ballas) who dared to stand in her way. There she was living in luxury, attending prestigious schools, winning prizes and doing things most little girls only dream of. Nope. The Ballas family were doing their job. If anyone pushed her into the limelight, it was mama Marianne.
Sources: tvline, people, etonline, dailymail, radaronline