Hilary Duff and husband Mike Comrie may still look like the best of friends in the wake of their separation—and they pretty much are the best of friends—but that doesn't mean Hilary doesn't hurt sometimes.
"I'm separated from my husband right now, which has been a very difficult thing to go through, but we have a lot of love for each other and we have this beautiful baby," the singer-actress, who is on the verge of releasing her first studio album in seven years, said during an interview for Billboard's "Pop Shop" podcast.
Duff says that there's a song on the album about the split "and my love for this person, that maybe we're not meant to be together, maybe we are. It's very, very personal."
Onlookers have marveled over how close Duff and Comrie appear to be, and she has talked about how they love hanging out, not just for their 2-year-old son Luca's benefit but because they really want to.
"I think we got to a point where we were like, we really need to honor happiness and whatever that is and however we need to sort that out or work that out, we're doing that," she told E! News at the iHeart Radio Music Awards in May. "We love each other so much and we love spending time together. So when you see us out it's not just for Luca, it's because we make plans and we hang out and we don't know what our future looks like right now but we're both doing really good and just figuring out what makes us happy."
And as she said, she couldn't help but use what's going on in her personal life as inspiration for the new album.
Fans were super-psyched when Duff's first single, "Chasing the Sun," and its accompanying music video dropped this week, and the former Disney star hopes that she can keep the enthusiasm going.
"I'm nervous," she admitted. "It's been seven years for me, so I hope—that what I'm writing and what I'm singing and how I'm singing and my taste and the content—I hope it's what people that have been my fans or that are my fans are going to respond to...and I think they will."
Duff, meanwhile, had her reasons for packing it in when she did.
"The thing for me was that I really toured for five years straight...and I don't think anyone gave me the credit as an artist," the now 26-year-old mom recalled.
"After about five years, I was like, 'I have no life; I have, like, two friends; I'm never home; I'm never with my family. I kind of needed to shut it all down. It was time for me to be a person and learn who I wanted to be."
"I've always felt like a normal girl in this extraordinary situation," Duff added.
And she assembled quite the A-team for her musical comeback, including current singer-songwriter-of-the-hour Ed Sheeran.
"It was amazing to have him there and to have him be so involved," she said. "And it scared the s--t out of me too."