The Messiest Rumors Surrounding Ariana Grande's Divorce

Ariana Grande and Dalton Gomez's separation was first reported by TMZ in July 2023. The news hit the internet just one day after Grande was spotted at Wimbledon, taking in a tennis match with a pal — and without her wedding ring. Sure enough, two months after the initial report, Grande and Gomez both filed for divorce, citing the ever-popular "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for their split. The former couple finalized their divorce in early October 2023. "They've been really caring and respectful of one another through every step of this process," a source told People magazine of the aftermath of the headline-making breakup. 

Grande and Gomez got married in Montecito, California in May 2021, about a year and a half after they first started dating. Their uncoupling definitely came as a shock to some fans, and many have since been trying to figure out what exactly went wrong. At the time of this writing, neither party has publicly spoken out about the divorce. However, there have been plenty of rumors about what really went down between Ariana Grande and Dalton Gomez — and the gossip has gotten pretty messy, to say the least. 

Did Ariana Grande cheat on Dalton Gomez?

Ariana Grande's marriage may have ended due to infidelity — at least, that's what one major rumor has alleged. In July 2023, sources close to the situation told People that Grande had been spending time with her "Wicked" co-star, Ethan Slater, as they had both been in the UK working on the highly anticipated Broadway-to-film adaptation. "Ariana and Dalton separated in January. She and Ethan recently began dating, and he is separated from his wife," an insider explained to the outlet. 

However, the timeline of the co-stars' burgeoning romance is not exactly clear, with some reports indicating that Grande and Slater — who welcomed his first child with his now-estranged wife, Lilly Jay, in August 2022 — allegedly started seeing each other not long after filming first began in late 2022. Not only had Grande and Slater been photographed together, casually with friends, but word on the street has it that Grande even hung out with Slater, Jay, and their baby several times in the spring of 2023. A source cited by the Daily Mail even claimed, "Ariana told Lilly that she wanted to have a baby one day and that she couldn't wait to start a family." The comment was allegedly made when Grande was already hooking up with Slater. 

In the aftermath, Slater also split from Jay, filing for divorce in July 2023. "I am focused on rebuilding a life for our son," Jay told the Daily Mail. "This is what I am trying to do and this is my only focus."

Ariana Grande and Dalton Gomez reportedly tried to reconcile

Another rumor surrounding Ariana Grande's divorce is that she and Dalton Gomez actually tried to make things work. In July 2023, sources cited by Page Six claimed that Gomez flew across the pond to be with his wife sometime that January to see if they could work things out. "They came to the decision together," the insider explained of the eventual split. "They were having problems before January, but they want to remain best friends." 

Given the aforementioned rumor about Grande's alleged affair with her "Wicked" co-star, it may seem as though Gomez's trip to London had been a little too late. However, that wasn't the only time that the real estate agent reportedly made an attempt to repair the seemingly broken marriage. At least one report has indicated that Grande and Gomez saw each other again for a short time before officially calling things off, this time in May 2023, per TMZ

Without any comment from either party, it's hard to know what's true and what's not — but it does sound like at least one person in that marriage wasn't quite ready to just throw everything away. However, with Grande allegedly wrapped up in a full-blown affair, it seems as though her marriage didn't stand a chance at survival, no matter how many times Gomez traveled to London to see her. That said, TMZ reported that the ex-spouses both decided to call it quits for good that May.

Their friends were supposedly concerned from the jump

Ariana Grande and Dalton Gomez are believed to have started dating in January 2020, just before the coronavirus pandemic really took shape. Their relationship was confirmed two months later, with sources telling People that the two were holed up together during quarantine. "One of the people she is with right now is Dalton — they have been hanging out for a couple of months," an insider explained at the time. "Ariana doesn't want to do another public relationship so she is trying to keep this one quiet, but she seems very happy with Dalton." 

Grande and Gomez were engaged by the end of that year and married five months after that — the very definition of a whirlwind romance. And while the "7 Rings" singer may have led everyone to believe that she was just lucky in love, some of the duo's closest pals reportedly had some serious doubts about the speedy marriage. "Ariana and Dalton's friends have always been concerned ... and felt their relationship would ultimately be short-lived," a source cited by ET claimed following the split. "Their relationship has been rocky at different points, and they've had trouble making time for each other with scheduling issues." Meanwhile, another insider told OK! magazine that some in Grande's camp believed that Gomez, a successful real estate agent and multimillionaire in his own right, "was using her for fame." 

It sounds like an actual mess no matter which rumor you choose to believe.

Ariana Grande and Dalton Gomez signed NDAs

The amicable split that everyone has heard about countless times might not sound quite so amicable when they learn that Ariana Grande and Dalton Gomez's October 2023 divorce settlement includes non-disclosure agreements. According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Grande's attorney was clear with the wording when it came to maintaining the pop star and real estate agent's right to privacy via an NDA, which ultimately prohibits the two from publicly discussing private details of the marriage. This means that anyone who may have been hoping for Gomez in particular to spill the tea of what being married to Grande was really like through a primetime interview or tell-all memoir are out of luck. But that's not all.

Both Grande and Gomez had to sign off to ensure neither would "release, disclosure or publication of any photograph (and related negatives), tape, film or like embodiments in all forms whether now or hereafter created or other record or recording of any aspect of any activity in or about any home, office or other property owned." There weren't any further details offered here, but imaginations can easily run wild, especially if you've listened to any of the music that Grande recorded after meeting Gomez. Insert eyes emoji here.

The pop star pretty much cleaned up her Instagram feed

Ariana Grande and Dalton Gomez seem eager to paint a pretty picture of a marriage that ended because two best friends grew apart. "Ariana and Dalton really wanted to take care of each through all of this and make it as easy on one another as possible," a source told Page Six after their divorce was settled. For those well-acquainted with brutal showbiz breakups, we know what you're thinking: Sure, Jan. 

Reports of an amicable split may seem harder to believe considering Grande went through and basically cleared any trace of her ex from her Instagram. Any photos from the former couple's wedding, for example, have vanished. Interestingly, the pop star didn't completely wipe her feed clean of all her Gomez memories. At the time of this writing, she still has a handful of snapshots from their relationship that are still live, the most recent uploaded in February 2022. 

While Grande has been active on social media since ending her marriage, she hasn't addressed the split — or the rumors of a romance with Ethan Slater — as of mid-October 2023. So, to be fair, perhaps the heavy Insta edit was merely to maintain the ex-spouses' privacy. For example, around the time of the divorce settlement, Grande uploaded a photo dump, with the simple caption, "some from then, some from now." The Instagram post included pics of Grande with dogs, sitting at a makeup desk with crystals and a candle, and one of her curled up in a dog bed. Nothing to see here, folks. 

Ariana Grande allegedly destroyed a family

The rumor that Ariana Grande was the root cause of Ethan Slater and Lilly Jay ending their marriage is easily one of the messiest surrounding her split from Dalton Gomez. Slater and Jay met in high school and officially started dating in 2012. As Slater began making a name for himself in the entertainment business, particularly for his Tony-nominated performance as the title character in "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical," it was Jay who was cheering him on. The two got married in 2018 and welcomed their son about four years later. Things seemed to be going swimmingly for the new parents, until they weren't. 

At the time of this writing, Slater and Jay are estranged, co-parenting their baby boy and trying to figure out how to navigate this unexpected and very public life turn, which has seemed especially hard for Jay. "She thought they were happy," a source cited by the Daily Mail explained. In a July 2023 interview with Page Six, Jay actually expressed how she feels about the "Positions" singer. "[Ariana's] the story, really. Not a girl's girl. My family is just collateral damage," she claimed. 

Meanwhile, an insider told the outlet that Slater and Jay had been separated for a couple months before he and Grande started hooking up. "She's rightfully upset because her marriage fell apart, but Ariana and Ethan didn't do anything wrong," the source claimed, adding, "Ethan is trying to take the high road and hopes he can resolve this situation for the sake of their child."

She and Ethan Slater are seemingly full-on dating

While some fans may think that Ariana Grande's reported romance with Ethan Slater is nothing more than two people having some fun, it sounds like the pair may actually be in a full-blown relationship with one another. "While this entire situation has been blown out of proportion, it's much different than what has been portrayed in public," a source cited by OK! magazine claimed in September 2023. "They are just trying to navigate their new relationship in private."

But that's not all. Another rumor has indicated that Grande and Slater were already cohabitating by that October. Since filming on the UK set of "Wicked" had been halted due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, Grande and Slater reportedly took their love back to the United States. "Ethan informed his friends and soon-to-be ex-wife [Lilly Jay] that he's living with Ariana full-time in New York," a source told Us Weekly, adding, "They're really happy and really good for each other. All of her friends love him. 

Perhaps it's time for Grande to rewrite her exes-themed hit "Thank U, Next" with a dedicated line to Dalton Gomez.

Has Dalton Gomez also already moved on?

Alright, alright. Enough about Ariana Grande. It seems Dalton Gomez isn't exactly crying on the street corner over the end of his marriage. Shortly after the separation was reported in July 2023, sources cited by TMZ claimed that Gomez had also moved on from his marriage and revealed that he'd been dating other people for months. At the time, it wasn't clear if that meant that Gomez was merely putting himself back out into the dating world of if he had found another special someone — but flash forward a few months, and the latter appeared to be the case.

Shortly after his divorce was finalized that October, Gomez was spotted kissing actor Maika Monroe in a Los Angeles bar, thanks to an eagle-eyed fan who sent photographic evidence of the make-out sesh to popular blind gossip site DeuxMoi (via TMZ). For her part, Monroe is best known for her roles in movies such as "It Follows" and "Watcher." She had previously been romantically linked to Joe Keery of "Stranger Things" fame from 2017 to 2022. As of this writing, it's unclear whether Gomez and Monroe are officially an item.