Wicked star Ethan Slater’s romance with costar Ariana Grande shocked the world, but not as much as it surely stunned his high school sweetheart Lilly Jay, who he has now filed for divorce from, In Touch can confirm.
In court records viewed by In Touch, Ethan filed for a contested divorce on Wednesday, July 26. The status of the case is currently pending as of publication, and no reason was provided as to why the couple is divorcing.
Before reports of his romance with Ariana went public, the actor, 31, regularly praised his wife of four years on social media, praising their decade together as a couple and celebrating her own career successes. They welcomed their first child, a son, in August 2022, and he wished Lilly a “Happy Mother’s Day” via Instagram in May 2023.
“Happy first Mother’s Day to the most loving caring and wonderful mom/person in the world, from me and this little guy,” Ethan captioned the post at the time.
The news of Ethan’s divorce comes just days after Ariana’s split from estranged husband Dalton Gomez. The realtor, 27, and pop princess, 30, separated earlier this year, according to multiple reports, and too are “headed for a divorce.” Though they tried to make their relationship work after initially taking time apart, they reportedly realized that their marriage was not built to last.
Ethan and Ariana have been spending time together overseas as they film the movie adaption of Broadway’s hit show Wicked. The “Thank U, Next” singer is bringing Glinda the Good Witch to life, will Ethan is portraying Boq, a university friend of Glinda and Elphaba, played by Cynthia Erivo. While Ariana is known for her pop culture standing, Ethan is a veteran of Broadway and nabbed a Tony nomination for his role is SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical.
Unlike her estranged husband, Lilly did not pursue a career in performing. She has been involved in the science field for years, working as a lab assistant since 2017. Ethan sang her praises in a social media post in 2020, congratulating his wife for her dedication to her career.
“After nearly five 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,” Ethan tweeted at the time. “I am so proud of her and cannot wait to introduce her at parties as kiddo.”
Lilly has also been a vocal advocate for sexual assault survivors, speaking at the White House in 2014 about the trauma that those endure who experience such abuse. While Ethan actively talked about his wife on social media, he made his Instagram account private in the wake of his relationship news with Ariana. Neither Ethan or Ariana have commented about the status of their relationship as of publication.
If you or anyone you know has been sexually abused, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). A trained staff member will provide confidential, judgment-free support as well as local resources to assist in healing, recovering and more.