Ethan Slater split up from his wife of five years Lilly Jay, following reports from multiple outlets that the Tony-nominated actor, 31, started dating his Wicked co-star Ariana Grande, 30. With the news that Ethan and the popstar are dating, it was also reported that the Broadway star and his wife separated, according to PEOPLE. The news of Ariana and Ethan came out on July 20, 2023. On July 26, 2023, Ethan filed for divorce from Lilly in New York after five years of marriage, per documents reportedly obtained by TMZ.
Lilly broke her silence about Ethan and Ariana’s romance on July 27, 2023. “[Ariana’s] the story really. Not a girl’s girl. My family is just collateral damage,” Lilly said. At the time, she also said, “The story is her and Dalton,” speaking about Ariana and her estranged husband Dalton Gomez. Lily also told Page Six that she’s currently focused on being “a good mom” to her and Ethan’s son.
Nearly six months later, Ariana seemingly addressed the backlash she and Ethan faced from their romance in her 2024 song “Yes, And?”
Find out more about Lilly and her relationship with Ethan here.
Lilly and Ethan Were High School Sweethearts
While Lilly and Ethan got married in their 20s, they were actually together from a much younger age. It was revealed that they were high school classmates in a 2018 story about Ethan starring in the Spongebob Squarepants Musical on Broadway, per MoCo 360. The pair were engaged at the time. The Drama Desk Award winner revealed that they’d been dating since 2012 in an Instagram post in November 2022. “My best friend. Four years married, 10 years together,” he wrote in the tribute.
Lilly and Ethan Got Married in 2018
After six years together, Lilly and Ethan tied the knot in 2018. At the time, Ethan was starring in The Spongebob Musical as the title character. He also made occasional TV appearances at the time in shows like Law And Order: Special Victims Unit and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Lilly had also been his date to plenty of red carpet events, like the 2018 Tony Awards, where he was nominated for Best Actor In A Musical.
They Have a Son Together
After four years of marriage, Lilly and Ethan welcomed their son together in August in an Instagram post with a photo of a “Wicked Cute” onesie. In May 2023, he paid tribute to his wife on 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 wrote on Instagram.
Lilly Studied Psychology
After nearly 5 years of hard work, hundreds of hours researching and writing over 200 pages worth of paradigm shifting thought in the field of psychology, my wife finally defended her dissertation. I am so proud of her, and cannot wait to introduce her at parties as kiddo.
— Ethan Slater (@ethansaslater) December 15, 2020
While Ethan has mostly kept his relationship with Lilly private, he did tweet congratulations for her after she completed work towards a psychology degree in December 2020. “After nearly 5 years of hard work, hundreds of hours researching and writing over 200 pages worth of paradigm shifting thought in the field of psychology, my wife finally defended her dissertation. I am so proud of her, and cannot wait to introduce her at parties as kiddo,” he wrote.
Ethan and Ariana Met on the Set of ‘Wicked’
News broke that the two Wicked actors had started dating on July 20, 2023, shortly after it was revealed that Ariana and her now-ex-husband Dalton Gomez had split after two years together. “Ariana and Dalton separated in January. She and Ethan recently began dating, and he is separated from his wife,” an insider told PEOPLE.
Before reports that Ethan and Ariana were seeing each other came out, there was a photo of them seen spending time together on the set of Wicked on May 31 released. Ariana and Ethan were costumed as their characters Glinda and Boq, respectively.