As if 2020 hadn't tossed us enough curveballs, Zac Efron and his girlfriend Vanessa Valladares have reportedly split. It's a lot to take in, I know. As someone who has watched Efron go from high school basketball star Troy Bolton to Ted Bundy, I consider it now a civic duty to keep up with his love life. They were reportedly even living together—but per The Sun: "Friends hope they can reunite, but it seems their relationship was more like a holiday romance than they cared to admit."
TMZ first reported in August that the actor had his sights on settling down in the beachy location of Bryon Bay and had been vocal about leaving Los Angeles behind. He's visited the area multiple times in the past couple of months (COVID-19 whom?) and has made friends along the way, from megastar Chris Hemsworth to local waitress and Australian model Valladares.
Efron was spotted grabbing lunch with the 25-year-old in early September in Byron Bay, Australia, and they looked a little bit more than friends, if you get what I'm saying. They were holding hands! Dining in broad daylight! Here's what we know about their relationship.
How did Zac and Vanessa meet?
While it sounds like something out of a fanfiction you read in high school, Valladares met Efron back in June while she was waiting tables at Byron Bay's General Store café.
"Zac met Ness earlier in the summer. They started hanging out in July and recently took a ski trip together," a source told PEOPLE. "You can tell that they are having fun. She spends a lot of time at this house."
According to the Daily Mail, Valladares doesn't work at the café anymore and has since quit her job at the restaurant; she's an "aspiring model." From her Instagram, it looks like she has posed for Australian labels Love St and Spell.
Were Zac and Vanessa living together?
Again: sounds like fan fiction, but per the Daily Mail, Valladares reportedly moved in with Efron at his Belongil Beach home sometime within the last three months, which he's renting. He tried to buy a home in Bryon Bay but was beat out by another buyer at the last minute.
Efron voiced his need to leave L.A. behind recently. In his Netflix series, Down to Earth with Zac Efron, he explained his need for a change of scenery.
"I gotta get out of Hollywood, I'm done. It's not a place conducive to living a long, happy, mentally-sound life," he said. "I love California, I just think that dense population of people and city life is clearly not leading to many centenarians.'"
As for his new destination, the High School Musical star has hinted he wouldn't mind moving to the land down under.
At the Australian premiere for Baywatch in 2017, Efron said, "I've fallen in love with Australia and the fans out here, the people, the culture, the beach. I've come out for most of my premieres, every chance I had the opportunity to. [I've] made great friends over the years here. I kind of sneak over here on my own time as well."
A source told PEOPLE, "It really seems he plans on staying in Australia permanently."
This does seem like the plan, for numerous outlets have said Efron has extended his tourist visa from three months to 12 months. Could this be because of Valladares or because he's finally making those moving plans a reality? Time will tell.
Does Vanessa follow Zac on social media?
This is a personal favorite tidbit of mine. While they were jetting all over from ski trips to beach hangouts, they do not follow each other on social media. Most people would take this as a sign they aren't together, but paparazzi photos say otherwise!
While they aren't Instagram official yet, they have posted similar photos from time to time, which makes the private investigator in me assume the said photographer of the photo would be each other.
For example, these scenic photos each of them have posted recently look very similar to me! Efron posted this photo of him in a hammock:
Valladares posted a similar photo collection of her enjoying the ocean on July 30. There may be a time difference between the photos, but the pics look super similar.
Who is Vanessa Valladares?
When you live in a gorgeous country like Australia, you have no other option other than to love the outdoors, and from Valladares' Instagram feed, she's all about it. Her feed has tons of gorgeous ocean photos, her modeling in bikinis, all featuring captions showing how much love she has for Mother Earth. She captioned one picture of her at sunset on the beach, " I will always run towards the ocean."
Efron is also into the outdoors. His Netflix series Down to Earth with Zac Efron looks at different places around the world and how we find inspiration from their sustainable and eco-friendly ways of living.
Why did Zac and Vanessa reportedly break up?
The whirlwind romance is reportedly donezo, according to The Sun. The five-month relationship reportedly ended due to Efron relocating from Byron Bay to Adelaide to shoot the film Gold. Mind you, dear reader: The couple was allegedly looking into buying their first home together. (Serious stuff!) Also, flights between the two locations are about two and a half hours but WHATEVER.
"Zac and Vanessa looked like the real deal," a source told The Sun. "They were besotted with each other. So once he decided to stay in Australia long term, he suggested they buy their first home. They'd started to look at a few places but, sadly, fate wasn't on their side. Zac's work and the enforced distance has really taken its toll."
Here's hoping the rumors aren't true!