In the wake of her separation from husband Dalton Gomez, pop sensation Ariana Grande is embarking on a new chapter in her romantic life. The 30-year-old “Thank U, Next” singer is reportedly dating Broadway alum Ethan Slater, who happens to be her co-star in the much-anticipated film adaptation of the beloved musical “Wicked.” Sources close to the matter confirm this exciting development to PEOPLE.
The news of Ariana and Dalton’s separation surfaced in January, and now it appears that Grande has found solace in the company of Ethan Slater. The sources reveal that the romance between the two stars is fairly recent and coincides with Slater’s own separation from his wife. Despite multiple requests for comment, representatives for both Grande and Slater have remained tight-lipped about the burgeoning relationship, with TMZ being the first to break the story.
In the upcoming film adaptation of “Wicked,” Grande will take on the role of Glinda, while her co-star, the 31-year-old Slater, will portray Boq, the love interest of Elphaba’s sister Nessarose. Fans are eagerly anticipating the film’s release in November 2024, although uncertainties loom over its premiere due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.
The romantic entanglement comes in the aftermath of Grande’s separation from her estranged husband, 27-year-old Dalton Gomez, earlier this year. Despite their parting, sources reveal that the couple has been quietly and amicably working on rebuilding their friendship since the split.
Insiders attribute some of the challenges in Ariana and Dalton’s relationship to Grande’s involvement in the “Wicked” movie, which required her to work across the pond in England. With Gomez being a luxury real estate agent based in Los Angeles, the long-distance nature of their marriage put considerable strain on their relationship.
According to sources close to the situation, Ariana was content in Los Angeles and envisioned building a life there with Dalton. However, his demanding career necessitated him to stay in Los Angeles, making it difficult for him to travel often. The situation worsened when Grande started filming “Wicked” in England, culminating in a long-distance marriage that ultimately didn’t work out. Nevertheless, insiders affirm that Ariana harbors only kind words for Dalton, stating that he was her number one fan throughout their marriage.
As for Ethan Slater, the Broadway star made headlines when he tied the knot with his high school classmate Lilly Jay in November 2018. In January, Slater delighted fans by sharing a photo of a onesie with “Wicked Cute” written on it, announcing the arrival of their first child. Although it remains unclear when the couple decided to part ways, they had been together since 2012.
Having graduated from Vassar College, Slater rose to fame with his remarkable portrayal of the title character in the Broadway production of “SpongeBob SquarePants.” His outstanding performance earned him a Tony Award nomination in 2018, a well-deserved recognition for his talent and dedication to his craft. Slater attributes his breakthrough to a stroke of luck, as he had the opportunity to meet the show’s casting director during a theater apprenticeship, leading him to his acclaimed role in the musical.