Ariana Grande and Ethan Slater’s Relationship is “Much Different Than What Has Been Portrayed,” Friend Says

“This entire situation has been blown out of proportion.”

Ethan Slater and Ariana Grande
(Image credit: Instagram)

Ariana Grande and Ethan Slater met and became friends on the London set of the upcoming movie Wicked; eventually, the two developed feelings for one another. But it wasn’t that cut and dry: both were still legally married to other people, Slater with a newborn son. The fallout happened over the summer, and the new couple is, according to People, still going strong and doing their best to navigate their relationship in the public eye.

Ariana Grande and Ethan Slater

(Image credit: Photo by David Crotty / Walter McBride / Getty)

“While this entire situation has been blown out of proportion, it’s much different than what has been portrayed in public,” a friend of the pair told the outlet. “They are just trying to navigate their new relationship in private.”

People reports that the two’s romantic relationship began after Grande separated from her husband, Dalton Gomez, and after Slater separated from his wife, Lilly Jay. “People have tried to question the timeline,” a close family friend said. “The truth is, Ariana and Ethan didn’t begin seeing each other until after both parties were separated, respectfully.” An additional source told People that Grande and Slater “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.” 

Closeup of Ariana Grande on a red carpet

(Image credit: Getty)

Slater’s focus continues to be his son, who just turned a year old last month, a friend tells People: “Ethan’s priority will always be to coparent his son,” the friend said.

Ethan Slater on a red carpet

(Image credit: Getty)

After marrying in May 2021, Grande and Gomez, a luxury real estate agent, separated in January. A source told the outlet that the split was amicable, and that after Grande went to film Wicked in the U.K. the marriage “didn’t work” long distance, adding “Ari has nothing but kind words to say about Dalton. During their marriage, he was her No. 1 fan.”

In the film adaptation of Wicked, Grande will star as Glinda, while Slater will play Boq. The movie was planned to be released in November 2024, but could be affected by the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike. 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.