When your relationship lives in the spotlight, it withers in the spotlight.
Some celebrities have gone to great measures to keep their private lives private.
Remember Janet Jackson’s eight-year secret marriage to Rene Elizondo, confirmed only when they got divorced?
Not so for Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson, who in the summer quickly confirmed their (what seemed unlikely) pairing via Instagram and matching “Harry Potter” robes.
A reportedly $100,000 engagement ring, $16 million shared New York apartment and some matching tattoos later, they were a full-fledged internet obsession that put their love on display via late-night interviews, award show red carpets and “Saturday Night Live” episodes.
But real life was also happening to these two humans, and the relationship that became the object of endless fascination ended.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to breaking up while famous, the Pete and Ariana edition.
1. Go silent
The actual news of the breakup doesn’t come directly from the celebrities involved. Instead, all we discover comes from an array of tabloids, citing “unnamed sources” confirming the split.
In the case of “Grandson” (which is Grande plus Davidson), TMZ reported that “it simply was not the right time for their relationship to take off.” Grande’s long-term former boyfriend Mac Miller died in September, and TMZ called out Grande’s tweets about her going through a rough patch.
Messages about how there are no ill feelings between the two get telegraphed in the coverage. People noted that Davidson’s social media accounts were no longer active amid the news, and Grande had previously said she was taking time off from her public life.