According to many individuals who spoke to PEOPLE, Ariana Grande and Ethan Slater are still together and trying their best to manage their relationship in the limelight.
According to a friend of the pair, who met on the set of the impending Wicked movie adaption, “this entire situation has been blown out of proportion, but it’s much different than what has been portrayed in public.”
The source adds, “They are just trying to their new relationship in private.”
The pop artist, 30, and the Tony nominee, 31, were pals and costars before they started dating, according to a close family friend. “People have tried to question the timeline,” the friend adds of their connection.
After Grande’s divorce from her husband Dalton Gomez and Slater’s divorce from his wife Lilly Jay, they started dating. The close family friend says, “The reality is, Ariana and Ethan didn’t start dating until after both sides were politely separated.
Grande and Slater are attempting to strike a balance between the need to respect all people involved and the reality that they are in the public spotlight, according to a second person familiar with the issue who spoke to PEOPLE.
The young son that Slater and Jay brought into the world in August 2022 remains the center of his attention, a pal tells PEOPLE. “Ethan’s priority will always be to co-parent his son.”
A source told PEOPLE shortly after the Grammy winner’s new romance went viral earlier this summer that Grande, 24, had divorced luxury real estate agent Gomez, 28, whom she had married in May 2021, in January.
Following the announcement of Grande and Gomez’s split, a source informed PEOPLE that the decision was mutual. The relationship “didn’t work” once the Grammy winner moved to London to film Wicked, according to the insider, but Ari has nothing but positive things to say about Dalton. He was her biggest supporter during their marriage.
Slater will portray Boq in Jon M. Chu’s cinematic adaptation of the popular Broadway musical Wicked, which will feature Grande as Glinda. Although it’s still unknown if the SAG-AFTRA strike would have an impact on the film’s debut, production on it started in the UK in 2022 with a November 2024 release date planned.