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So, When Did Ariana & Ethan Actually Start Dating?

By now, you’ve probably heard that Wicked co-stars Ariana Grande and Ethan Slater are rumored to be dating on the heels of their breakups with their respective partners, Dalton Gomez and Lilly Jay. But when did Ariana Grande and Ethan Slater start dating, and did it overlap with either of their marriages? Well, reports say there was no overlap — but their romance is very recent, as are their separations. Her Campus reached out to both Grande’s and Slater’s teams for comment on the timeline of their reported relationship, but did not hear back by the time of publication.

Here’s what we know: Grande and Gomez reportedly separated back in January of this year, though the news didn’t break until July when she was spotted without her wedding ring at Wimbledon. (Her Campus previously reached out to Grande and Gomez’s teams for comment but didn’t hear back.) So, by the time the speculation about Grande and Slater started up, she and Gomez had apparently been history for a few months.

Meanwhile, Slater has been married to Lilly Jay since 2018, and they share a son together. Jay had been silent about their reported separation and Slater’s rumored romance with Grande until July 27, when she spoke exclusively to Page Six and had… um, some words for both Grande and Slater.

“[Ariana’s] the story really. Not a girl’s girl,” Jay said. “My family is just collateral damage. … The story is her and Dalton.”

While these certainly sound like the words of a “completely blindsided” wife, as one source put it, other sources told Page Six that Jay and Slater had been separated for two months before Grande ever came into the picture. “She’s rightfully upset because her marriage fell apart, but Ariana and Ethan didn’t do anything wrong,” the source claimed. Page Six reports that Grande and Slater started dating months after their respective separations, placing the start of their romance sometime in the past few months, well after Wicked started filming in December 2022.

No matter the details of this rumored relationship, Slater and Jay’s marriage is undeniably coming to an end: Slater reportedly filed for divorce on July 26 in New York. Grande and Gomez are also headed for divorce, according to sources who spoke to TMZ and Entertainment Tonight, but they apparently remain friends. Honestly, this whole thing is just messy. No matter who ends up with who (if anyone), I hope all four of these people can find some peace.

Erica Kam

Columbia Barnard '21

Erica Kam is the Culture Editor at Her Campus. She oversees the entertainment, news, and digital verticals on the site, including politics, celebrity, viral, movies, music, and TV coverage. Over her six years at Her Campus, Erica has served in various editorial roles on the national team, including as a section editor for the high school and wellness verticals and as an editorial intern. She has also interned at Bustle Digital Group, where she covered entertainment news for Bustle and Elite Daily. She graduated in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing from Barnard College, where she was the senior editor of Columbia and Barnard’s Her Campus chapter and a deputy copy editor for The Columbia Spectator. When she's not writing or editing, you can find her dissecting K-pop music videos for easter eggs and rereading Jane Austen novels. She also loves exploring her home, the best city in the world — and if you think that's not NYC, she's willing to fight you on it.