Ariana Grande And Ethan Slater Explained—Who Cheated, And Did Ethan Leave His Wife After She Gave Birth?

The Ethan Slater and Ariana Grande situation is labeled "messy" by fans after TMZ announced they were dating. Here's what we know so far about the new couple.

By Nicole Dominique2 min read
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Ariana Grande fans were stunned this week when they learned that her and Dalton Gomez called it quits. On July 17, TMZ reported that "sources with direct knowledge" said the couple "have, in fact, had marriage trouble of late ... including a rough patch a few months ago." That same insider concluded that they are now "heading for divorce" despite trying their best to reconcile. 

The "Thank U, Next" singer sent even more shockwaves to her fandom when it was announced that Grande is now dating her Wicked co-star, Ethan Slater.

Ariana Grande Liked Slater's Posts about His Wife

Who is this lucky man? Ethan Slater, 31, is starring opposite Grande in the upcoming Wicked movie. He's best known for his portrayal of SpongeBob Squarepants in the 2017 Broadway musical. 

In November 2018, Slater married his high school sweetheart Lilly Jay. Their romance began nearly 11 years ago, back in 2012. On November 2022, Slater posted a photo of him and his wife with the caption, "My best friend. 4 years married, 10 years together. And this is easily the best (and most *bizarre*) year yet." That post has since been removed, but fans noticed that Grande herself liked it. Interesting.

That wasn't the only post she interacted with from Slater's Instagram, though. On May 14, 2023, the actor uploaded a photo of his son and dedicated a post to Lilly for Mother's Day. "Happy first Mother's Day to the most loving caring and wonderful mom/person in the world. - from me and this little guy," he added. Grande liked it. Keep in mind that this was only two months ago.

Call me dramatic, but I'd feel sick to my stomach if I were Slater's wife. They had their baby, Ezra Slater, in August 2022, so he's not even a year old yet. Plus, he just dedicated a Mother's Day post to her two months ago. How was he able to move on so fast? "I'd vomit non-stop if I were the wife. This is Ariana Grande's new man Ethan Slater. He just had his kid last year with his wife he'd been together for TEN YEARS," writes @irees. "ARIANA GRANDE EVEN LIKED THESE PHOTOS. TMZ EXPLAIN!!!"

Social media users are now speculating that some cheating may have gone on behind the scenes. According to TMZ, their sources said that Grande and Slater "started dating several months ago" while filming. Several months ago, as in... May? Because if so, that was around the time Slater made the Mother's Day post.

I'm not pointing fingers yet, but many social media users have already. Many theorize that Grande may have cheated on Gomez due to her whirlwind romances in the past.

Ariana Grande Rumored Cheating History

In 2016, Huffington reported that Naya Rivera claimed she caught Grande at her ex's (Big Sean) house when they were still engaged. “We’d been fighting for five straight days while he was traveling, and then on the one day that he was back in L.A., he said he didn’t want to see me,” she wrote in her memoir, Sorry Not Sorry. “Well, a*shole, I’ve got a key to your house.”

"I walk in, go downstairs, and guess what little girl is sitting cross-legged on the couch listening to music?…” Rivera continued, “It rhymes with ‘Smariana Schmande.’"

Remember Pete Davidson's ex, Cazzie David? She said the comedian dumped her one day before learning he was dating Grande. It gets juicier. Fans report that Dalton Gomez's ex-girlfriend, Rikki Barton, posted a photo on her Instagram Story when he and Grande started dating. It said, "When you see your ex with the person they told you not to worry about."

Things are not looking good for Grande or the SpongeBob Squarepants star right now, and fans are demanding answers. PEOPLE has addressed these rumors, stating that the new couple got together while they were both single. "Ariana and Dalton separated in January," one source claims. "She and Ethan recently began dating, and he is separated from his wife."

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