Ariana Grande may already have already found a new beau, but was he really even on the market to begin with?
Thursday, fans of the 7 Rings singer were stunned to hear she’s moving on from estranged husband Dalton Gomez with her Wicked co-star Dating-ethan-slater-wicked-castmate-details/”>Ethan Slater. The bombshell, of course, came just three days after TMZ broke the news that she and Gomez have been separated since January, and are “heading towards divorce.” According to Entertainment Tonight, Ari and the real estate mogul were already having issues before she jetted off to London to begin filming Wicked, but the distance seemingly exacerbated the split, despite a failed attempt at reconciliation the following month.
But is there a piece to the puzzle we’ve been missing?
People reported on Thursday that Ethan, who garnered fame for his role in the Broadway adaptation of SpongeBob, is “separated from his wife” Lilly Jay. But how exactly did that timeline pan out? The working actor made his Instagram account private following the news of his alleged Relationship with the Thank U, Next singer, but multiple outlets have been able to piece together somewhat of a relationship timeline between him and his own estranged partner, and that’s where things get a little murky.
Ethan and Lilly first began dating all the way back in 2012, and later tied the knot in November 2018. Last August, the two welcomed their son Ezra. Then, a few months after that, they celebrated their four-year wedding anniversary in November, with Ethan sharing a carousel of pics and vids of the two, which he mysteriously captioned:
“My best friend. 4 years married, 10 years together. And this is easily the best (and most *bizarre*) year yet”
“Most bizarre” ?? What does that mean?!
Two months after that, the Broadway star shared a pic on his IG of baby Ezra in a onesie that read “Wicked Cute.” He wrote as the caption:
“Super vague post, but we have a baby now.”
Again, kind of mysterious, right? But still referring to himself and Lilly as a unit! In May of this year, he paid tribute to Lilly on her first Mother’s Day in a post that made it sound like they were pretty together… He wrote:
“Happy first Mother’s Day to the most loving caring and wonderful mom/person in the world. — from me and this little guy”
What does that sound like to you, Perezcious relationship investigators? It just seems like after 10 years together, you’d need a little more time to move on if they separated after, or even BEFORE that… But hey, to each their own. OH, and Ariana “liked” that post.
ariana grande “liking” ethan slater’s instagram post about his wife and their brand new baby back in may…. to ariana and ethan’s dating announcement today…. something doesn’t smell right pic.twitter.com/eMCiyNSfFq
— m’ichaela -`ღ´- (@michaelawaffles) July 20, 2023
Over on Twitter, fans are equally as confused while trying to piece together Ethan’s sudden relationship with Ari. See some of the reactions (below):
what do you mean ethan slater had been married to his high school sweetheart since 2018 and had a baby with her LESS THAN A YEAR AGO before divorcing her *checks notes* earlier this month pic.twitter.com/QMxmF18ioJ
— ★ (@eilishfantasy) July 20, 2023
I’d vomit non-stop if I were the wife. This is Ariana Grande’s new man Ethan Slater. He just had his kid last year with his wife he’d been together for TEN YEARS.
ARIANA GRANDE EVEN LIKED THESE PHOTOS. TMZ EXPLAIN!!! pic.twitter.com/V9zRSBuzD1
— Désirée (@irees) July 20, 2023
— mari (@mari39715712) July 20, 2023
Apparently, A DeuxMoi blind was sent in “a few months ago,” seemingly hinting that Ethan, who plays Boq in the upcoming musical, was riding “solo” — and that rumors were “swirling” of him and a MARRIED co-star:
According to a DeuxMoi blind shared a few months ago, rumors of Ariana Grande and Ethan Slater having a thing for each other were floating around on the ‘Wicked’ set in London. pic.twitter.com/wec5xgZdHw
— Pop Faction (@PopFactions) July 20, 2023
Maybe Ethan and Lilly’s situation is similar to Ari and Dalton’s, where they’re not officially divorced, but are more than okay with their estranged partners moving on in whatever way suits them. Another source told ET Thursday that the rumored new Couple “have a lot in common and have a lot of fun,” but “didn’t start dating until both were broken up with their significant others.” Okily dokily!
What do YOU think, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments down below!