Ariana Grande addresses tabloid attention amid Ethan Slater romance

‘Wicked’ star reflects on tabloid speculation in wide-ranging interview with Zach Sang

Meredith Clark
New York
Tuesday 27 February 2024 19:17 GMT
Related: First look at Ariana Grande in Wicked teaser trailer

Ariana Grande has opened up about being the subject of media attention amid her romance with Ethan Slater.

On 26 February, the pop star sat down for a wide-ranging video interview with The Zach Sang Show on Twitch’s Amazon Music channel. While discussing her upcoming seventh studio album, Eternal Sunshine, host Zach Sang told Grande that “people have crafted their own narratives” about her personal life - such as her filing for divorce from ex-husband Dalton Gomez in September 2023 and her subsequent romance with her Wicked co-star.

“The thing is that like, we know this about the tabloids and the media,” Grande agreed. “Like, am I crazy? Don’t we know this?”

“We selectively remember that this is what the tabloids do to people, especially women, based on whether or not we like the person,” she continued. “We selectively leave space for humanness, for nuance. They don’t leave space for that - well, they do for their friends and their family, it’s selective. They turn it off when that aligns with the version of a person they have in their head that they want to believe is true.”

There have been many rumours surrounding Grande’s personal and romantic life in the past year. Just days after it was reported in July 2023 that she and Gomez were separating after two years of marriage, People revealed that the “Thank U, Next” singer was in a relationship with Slater.

At the time, it was reported that Slater had separated from his wife, Lilly Jay. The former couple, who were married in 2018, are parents to a baby boy. However, sources claimed that Jay was “blindsided” by news that Slater, 31, and Grande, 30, are dating. “It’s horrible. They were high school sweethearts,” a source told Page Six. “They have a baby! She’s a wreck.”

The Broadway actor filed for divorce from Jay that same month, according to TMZ. Slater filed the court documents in New York City on 26 July, but details of the reason for the split were not addressed by either party.

This isn’t the first time Grande has publicly addressed speculation surrounding her relationship. In an Instagram Story post shared last December, the “Break Free” singer claimed the public has made some “assumptions” about her throughout 2023.

“I’ve never felt more pride or joy or love while simultaneously feeling so deeply misunderstood by people who don’t know me, who piece whispers together and make what they want out of me and their assumptions of my life,” she wrote. “I have learned how much more important one of those things is than the other.”

The Victorious star acknowledged the support she’s received, adding: “I have never felt more tightly held or fiercely protected by those who love and understand me (friends, family, and fans alike). I feel safe, even amidst so many things I’d usually be afraid of.”

She expressed how she’s been doing some self-work by “listening to and trusting” herself, “even when fear or trauma tells [her] not to”.

Grande also explained that she’s avoided speaking out about certain online scrutiny, writing: “I am reacting to things that deserve my energy only and removing and protecting myself from things that do not.”

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