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Ethan Slater’s Friends Are ‘Worried’ Ariana Grande Will ‘Break His Heart’ (Exclusive)

Ariana Grande‘s Wicked romance with Ethan Slater is heating up, but his inner circle has concerns.

The costars are “very much in love,” a source exclusively reveals in the new issue of Us Weekly, but the relationship has Slater’s friends feeling skeptical. “[They’re] worried she’ll break his heart,” the insider adds.

Grande, 30, and Slater, 31, connected while working together on the two-part musical movie adaptation, which began filming in London in December 2022. One month prior, Slater and his wife, Lilly Jay, celebrated 10 years together. (The high school sweethearts tied the knot in 2018 and welcomed a baby boy last year.)

As their bond continued to grow, Grande and Slater “weren’t careful” about hiding in front of their costars. “They’d hold hands on set in between takes,” the source says of the pair’s “sloppy” behavior.

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Us confirmed earlier this month that Grande and husband Dalton Gomez called it quits after two years of marriage. The now-estranged couple were “having some issues for months” before their breakup made headlines, a source revealed.

Ethan Slater Friends Worry Ariana Grande Will Break His Heart
Ethan Slater and Ariana Grande Annie Wermiel/NY Post; Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency/MEGA

“They haven’t been speaking and are separated, and a divorce is likely,” the insider told Us, adding that “the distance did not help” Grande and Gomez’s relationship when she flew overseas to work on Wicked.

At the time, a second source told Us that Grande is “determined to move forward” in the wake of her split. “As sad as it is, the consensus on both sides is that this is ultimately for the best. Ariana and Dalton are two very different people,” the insider explained.

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Neither Grande nor Slater have publicly addressed their relationship, but Slater made his Instagram profile private amid the drama. Gomez and Jay, for their parts, have also not spoken out about their respective splits or their estranged spouses moving on.

Slater is best known for his Tony-nominated performance in The SpongeBob Musical, for which he originated the title role. As Slater’s relationship with Grande made waves online, Jill Talleythe wife of SpongeBob voice actor Tom Kenny — assured fans that her marriage was still doing just fine.

“Hi everyone, I’m married to Tom Kenny (who voices SpongeBob on the tv show.) He is not dating Ariana Grande,” she teased in a comment on The Cut’s Instagram post regarding the on-set romance, adding that Grande and Slater are “both adorable” and she “totally ship[s]” their relationship. “PS: as for me and Tom Kenny — we are celebrating our 27th wedding anniversary today.”

For more on Grande’s budding romance, watch the video above and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.

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