"While this entire situation has been blown out of proportion, it’s much different than what has been portrayed in public," a pal of the actor and actress spilled to a news outlet. "They are just trying to navigate their new relationship in private."
A separate close friend acknowledged that there are people who have "tried to question the timeline" of their romance, but stated that there was no wrongdoing on either side.
"The truth is, Ariana and Ethan didn’t begin seeing each other until after both parties were separated, respectfully," they said.
"They are doing their best to balance the fact that they are in the public eye with the desire to be respectful to all parties involved," a third source pointed out.
Rumors of Grande and Slater's relationship surfaced in July, shortly after it was confirmed the singer and her soon-to-be ex-husband, luxury real estate agent Dalton Gomez, had called it quits earlier this year after two years of marriage.
It's been reported their split came after their relationship "took a backseat" to her big movie role in Wicked, which eventually led to an "epic fight."
Despite sources claiming there was nothing shady about the "Thank U, Next" artist's new romance with The SpongeBob Musical: Live on Stage! actor, Slater's ex slammed Grande for not being a "girl's girl."
"My family is just collateral damage," Jay — who welcomed her and Slater's first child in August 2022 — told a publication, noting that she's just trying to be a "good mom" through her breakup.
An insider spilled Jay was "rightfully upset" about the end of her relationship, but defended the new couple, claiming that "Ariana and Ethan didn’t do anything wrong."
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The sources spoke with People about Grande and Slater's desire to keep their relationship private.