“It’s understandable that emotions are high and it’s hard seeing your ex move on, especially in such a public way, and her friends are trying to protect her,” one source told TMZ. “But Ari and Ethan are just trying to lay low and be respectful of their exes as they pursue this new relationship.”
Grande and Slater have yet to confirm their relationship, but the news has sparked confusion after some pointed out that Slater played Spongebob Squarepants in the 2017 Broadway musical adaptation.
It caused some to believe that Tom Kenny, who has voiced Spongebob since the series debuted in 1999, was dating Grande. “Hi everyone, I’m married to Tom Kenny,” wrote Kenny’s wife Jill Talley after a post from the Cut asked if Grande was “dating Spongebob” following her divorce. “He is not dating Ariana Grande. I don’t know if Ethan Slater (who played SpongeBob in the musical) is or isn’t dating Ariana Grande. However, they’re both adorable and I totally ship it. Just wanted to set the record straight. P.S. as for me and Tom Kenny — we are celebrating our 27th wedding anniversary today.”