Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev Are ‘Friends With Benefits?’ ‘Vampire Diaries’ Co-Star's Relationship Caused Derek Hough Split, Report Says

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To the public, actors and exes Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev appear civil, but according to new claims, “The Vampire Diaries” co-stars and former off-screen couple are more than friendly behind closed doors.  

According to a report from next week's Star magazine, via CelebDirtyLaundry, the “Vampire Diaries” co-stars are currently “friends with benefits” despite breaking off their three-year relationship earlier this year. Despite deciding not to rekindle their exclusive romance, an "insider" told the magazine, their unusual relationship was the cause of Dobrev’s sudden split from “Dancing With the Stars” competitor Derek Hough on Oct. 16 after only six weeks of dating.

“Obviously her 'The Vampire Diaries' co-star still has a stranglehold on Nina,” said the report, adding, “Once Derek really realized just how hooked on her ex she still is, he pulled the plug.” Allegedly, the 24-year-old actress even asked for Somerhalder’s permission to go on an initial date with Hough, 28, brother to her best-friend, “Safe Haven” actress Julianne Hough.

According to a previous report from Star on Oct. 16, Hough called off his brief romance with Dobrev due to their long distance apart, but she had been spending “a lot of time” with Somerhalder prior to the breakup. “It’s clear they’ve stayed close during the split,” said the report.

Despite Dobrev confirming the split from the 34-year-old former "Lost" actor in a recent interview and claiming the relationship didn't "define" her (the duo’s mutual pal, “Teen Wolf” actor Colton Haynes, initially did their dirty work for them), the co-stars have remained cordial on social media. Earlier this month, Dobrev even helped Somerhalder deliver his dog Nietzsche’s puppies and shared details of the intimate moment on Instagram. "Birthing little Nietzsches … such a beautiful and equally terrifying thing to witness … The miracle of life :) #Wow," she posted.

The reunion came one month after Somerhalder publicly complimented the Canadian brunette’s cover shoot with Cosmopolitan magazine on Instagram. “In a store this morning [and] who do I see? The one and only @NinaDobrev,” said Somerhalder. “These things are almost gone so if you haven’t gotten this magazine off of a shelf, get one. One world: stunning. Congrats Nina! Xo Ian,” he later added.

“The Vampire Diaries” airs Thursdays on the CW at 8 p.m. ET.

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