News broke this week that not only was Ariana Grande splitting from her husband of two years, luxury real estate agent Dalton Gomez, but she was also already involved with someone else: Wicked costar Ethan Slater, who, coincidentally enough, is also very much married. People confirms that, though Slater and wife Lilly Jay—his college sweetheart, who he married in 2018—welcomed their first child, a boy, earlier this year, they are separated.
Wicked began shooting in the U.K. last year and was scheduled for release in November 2024, though it remains unclear if the SAG-AFTRA strike will affect that.
Slater and Jay had been together since 2012, and, per Entertainment Tonight, Jay is said to be understandably “devastated” over the entire situation. A source close to Jay told the outlet that “this is not the future she had in mind.”
“She’s doing her best to get back on her feet,” the source said. “She’s incredibly smart and driven,” adding “she is truly the best mother.”
Just last November, Slater shared an anniversary tribute to his wife on Instagram, writing “My best friend. 4 years married, 10 years together. And this is easily the best (and most *bizarre*) year yet.” Grande, interestingly enough, liked the post. (Slater’s Instagram is now set to private, done so hours after news of his new romance with Grande broke. At the time his account went private, he had 84,000 followers.)
As for Grande and Gomez, a source confirmed to the outlet that the two “ultimately were just not a good fit.” It remains unclear when Grande and Slater started their romance, but a source said “Ariana and Ethan recently started dating. They have a lot in common and have a lot of fun.”
The source adds—answering the question on everyone’s mind—“They didn’t start dating until both were broken up with their significant others.”
Slater is mostly known as a Broadway actor. He portrayed SpongeBob SquarePants onstage and has also starred in smaller roles in shows like Law & Order and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
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