People: Ariana Grande & Ethan Slater didn’t start until they were both separated

We’ve heard very little about Ariana Grande and Ethan Slater in the past month. Throughout July, the story broke after Ariana’s appearance at Wimbledon. At first, the information was being released by her team, then everything blew up when Ethan’s wife Lilly Jay wouldn’t go along with Ariana’s PR. The facts wouldn’t go along with Ariana’s PR either – it’s clear that Ariana and Ethan began their affair while working in London on Wicked, and Ethan only told Lilly about the affair and filed for divorce within days of the story breaking. Ariana looked exceptionally messy once again, which is why she tried to convince Scooter Braun to cut off his vacation to manage her (utterly self-made) crisis. In early August, Team Grande leaked to TMZ that Ariana was giving Ethan some space to work his sh-t out. Well, here’s an update.

Ariana Grande and Ethan Slater are still going strong and doing their best to navigate their relationship in the public eye, multiple sources tell PEOPLE.

“While this entire situation has been blown out of proportion, it’s much different than what has been portrayed in public,” says a friend of the couple, who met on set of the upcoming Wicked film adaptation.

“They are just trying to navigate their new relationship in private,” the source adds.

“People have tried to question the timeline,” a close family friend notes of the relationship between the pop star, 30, and the Tony nominee, 31, who were friends and costars before they began dating. Their romantic relationship began after Grande’s separation from her husband Dalton Gomez and Slater’s separation from his wife Lilly Jay. “The truth is, Ariana and Ethan didn’t begin seeing each other until after both parties were separated, respectfully,” continues the close family friend.

An additional source close to the situation tells PEOPLE of Grande and Slater, “They are doing their best to balance the fact that they are in the public eye with the desire to be respectful to all parties involved.”

Slater’s focus continues to be his infant son, whom he and Jay welcomed in August 2022, another friend tells PEOPLE: “Ethan’s priority will always be to co-parent his son.”

[From People]

As I’ve said before, I halfway believe that Ariana separated from Dalton before (or around the same time as) she started up with Ethan. What I don’t believe is that Ethan and Lilly Jay were separated or that Lilly even knew about Ethan’s affair until Ariana’s people started the boyfriend rollout. And let’s be clear, that’s exactly what it was and Ariana expected to bulldoze Lilly. Then Lilly started talking to Page Six, Us Weekly, TMZ, anyone who called her, basically. So I’m excited to see if Lilly starts talking again. She should! These kinds of pieces piss me off. “People have tried to question the timeline…The truth is, Ariana and Ethan didn’t begin seeing each other until after both parties were separated, respectfully.” Oh, okay, unnamed source who sounds like Ariana’s new manager. I’ll totally believe that before I believe Lilly’s on-the-record comments.

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33 Responses to “People: Ariana Grande & Ethan Slater didn’t start until they were both separated”

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  1. Cough cough bull💩 cough. You can’t put toothpaste back in the tube and this it was all done after leaving their spouse’s isn’t going to fly. You both are losers of the highest degree. Karma will be a massive b tch for these two and they deserve it.

  2. MsIam says:

    Clean up on Aisle 6! Stat!

  3. Kitten says:

    All this timeline f*ckery just makes both of them look worse TBH. It’s pretty clear that an affair happened and the revisionist history just screams damage control in lieu of personal accountability. I also hope Lilly talks some more–she has every right to get the truth out there as these two struggle to control the narrative.

  4. molly says:

    Ariana, you’re making this so much worse!

    • Lorelei says:

      Right? Last week, I was wondering what happened to this story because it seemed to just disappear overnight. But Ariana needs attention on her at all times, apparently, so here we are with an “update” that is clearly BS.

      It would have been so much better for her to let it fade away naturally, and not REMIND everyone of it FTLOG.

  5. Amy Bee says:

    Given that his wife didn’t know they were separated until a few days before it was made public we can all agree that the Ariana and Ethan started before he was separated from his wife. There’s nothing that Ariana and Ethan can do to make this situation look less messy.

  6. Slush says:

    Sure Jan.

  7. Eurydice says:

    Ariana, things were going so much better when you weren’t talking – why are you talking?

  8. smegmoria says:

    Men folk get so butt hurt when babies are born. Their mommy/girlfriend isn’t completely focused on them.

    • SIde Eye says:

      Thank you for pointing this out smegmoria. What a narcissist that he could not stomach it not being all about him for 12 seconds while she tends to their baby. Sigh…

    • Spikey says:

      I saw this comment from @smegmoria and had to say, you are so right!!! I didn’t realize it was a thing!

  9. ML says:

    Has Ethan gotten Lilly Jay to sign something, which keeps her from publicly commenting further? Otherwise this is Ariana exploding her reputation even further.

    • Mimi says:

      Ariana is the one with deep pockets here, so she most likely paid Lilly Jay a handsome settlement to keep quiet as she rehabs her image. This reeks of the Chris Brown and Ricky Martin playbook (pay off the accuser and then perform outrage at having been accused, knowing the person is now gagged by an NDA and can’t refute the accusations).

  10. ML says:

    If Lilly Jay hasn’t been silenced, this is a bigger mistake on Ariana Grande’s part.

  11. Flowerlake says:


  12. ThatsNotOkay says:

    I completely believe they weren’t seeing each other before the separation. They were just f*cking. And f*cking a lot. All day. Every day. It wasn’t until the separation announcements that Ethan started calling her his girlfriend and wrote her name in his textbook.

    • Grandma Susan says:

      ITA. And to add to the garbage stew I read on another site that Ariana has already ghosted HowdyDoody and changed her phone number. Don’t know if that’s true, but if it is he earned it.

      • Mimi says:

        HowdyDoody is *chef’s kiss*. LOL Perfect description.

      • Lorelei says:

        I’m sorry but I hope that’s true that she already ghosted him because while I usually think ghosting anyone is cruel and inexcusable, this dude deserves it. He SO deserves it. And imagine being him, knowing you’ve already been dumped by Ariana, but then seeing this article. He behaved so reprehensibly that I have zero sympathy for him.

  13. Ace says:

    Well if People, that bastion of jornalism and definitely not the kind of publication that takes dictation from celebrities PR, tells me that there’s no shenanigans with the timeline I sure believe them!

  14. Molly says:

    He’s gross. Why? Why are these women with this clown? Lily, girl, you can do better. Oof.

  15. girl_ninja says:

    I just feel for Lilly and Dalton. No one deserves to be treated the way they have by their spouses. Lilly having het partner of over 10 years cheat and leave her for some spoiled brat 2nd rate Thumbelina must be gut wrenching. I hope Lilly AND Dalton (though I think Dalton may have been paid off by Thumbelina not to) speak freely and heal.

  16. Just Chelle says:

    Alrighty then.

  17. Elsa says:

    They are lying. They are trash. Ariana just wants to win this. Then it is bye!

  18. Mel says:

    Why won’t they just shut up???!!!

  19. Izzy says:

    Uh, weren’t there MULTIPLE sources from the set of the movie who commented on the fact that it was obvious they were messing around? Like, sure, they didn’t start “dating” until they had both separated. Before that it was called “cheating.” Or “f*cking.”

  20. Jezzebeelzebub says:

    I have nothing invested in the welfare of AG & SpongeBob looks (to me) like he has perpetually damp hands. Even *I* don’t believe any of that, and I don’t even care.