Ariana Grande did something she rarely has in her interviews over the last year: open up to Vogue about how she has been processing the loss of Mac Miller and the end of her relationship with Pete Davidson. Miller, Grande's longtime friend and ex-boyfriend, passed away after an accidental overdose last September. Grande started dating Davidson in May 2018, got engaged to him in June, and ultimately ended their relationship last October.
Grande explained that going to Coachella this year, where she headlined, was hard because the festival presented near-constant reminders of Miller. “I never thought I’d even go to Coachella,” she said. “I was always a person who never went to festivals and never went out and had fun like that. But the first time I went was to see Malcolm perform, and it was such an incredible experience. I went the second year as well, and I associate...heavily...it was just kind of a mindfuck, processing how much has happened in such a brief period.” Grande and Miller ended their relationship of two and a half years shortly after Coachella 2018, where they were seen getting cozy backstage. TMZ broke the news of the breakup on May 9.
Grande later opened up about the viral statement she made on Twitter at the end of May about their relationship being toxic because of his substance abuse issues. At the time, which was before Miller passed away, Grande wrote:
How absurd that you minimize female self-respect and self-worth by saying someone should stay in a toxic relationship because he wrote an album about them, which btw the isn’t the case (just Cinderella is ab[out] me). I am not a babysitter or a mother and no woman should feel that they need to be. I have cared for him and tried to support his sobriety and prayed for his balance for years (and always will of course) but shaming/blaming women for a man’s inability to keep his shit together is a very major problem. Let’s please stop doing that. Of course I didn’t share about how hard or scary it was while it was happening but it was. I will continue to pray from the bottom of my heart that he figures it all out and that any other woman in this position does as well.
She told Vogue, “People don’t see any of the real stuff that happens, so they are loud about what they think happened. They didn’t see the years of work and fighting and trying, or the love and exhaustion. That tweet came from a place of complete defeat, and you have no idea how many times I warned him that that would happen and fought that fight, for how many years of our friendship, of our relationship. You have no idea so you’re not allowed to pull that card, because you don’t fucking know. That’s where that came from.”
According to the story, Grande's friends said the singer was up at all hours during her Dangerous Woman tour, trying to track Miller's whereabouts "to ensure he wasn't on a bender."
Grande called her grief over Miller's passing “pretty all-consuming. By no means was what we had perfect, but, like, fuck. He was the best person ever, and he didn’t deserve the demons he had. I was the glue for such a long time, and I found myself becoming...less and less sticky. The pieces just started to float away.”
She also spoke about how she and Davidson ended up together. After her breakup with Miller, “My friends were like, ‘Come [to New York City]! We’re gonna have a fun summer.’ And then I met Pete, and it was an amazing distraction. It was frivolous and fun and insane and highly unrealistic, and I loved him, and I didn’t know him. I’m like an infant when it comes to real life and this old soul, been-around-the-block-a-million-times artist. I still don’t trust myself with the life stuff.”
Now, Grande is trying to move forward on her own and focus on herself. "I think that this is the first album [Thank U, Next] and also the first year of my life where I’m realizing that I can no longer put off spending time with myself, just as me. I’ve been boo’d up my entire adult life. I’ve always had someone to say goodnight to. So Thank U, Next was this moment of self-realization. It was this scary moment of ‘Wow, you have to face all this stuff now. No more distractions. You have to heal all this shit.’”
For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.