'SpongeBob' Voice Actor's Wife Clarifies He is Not Dating Ariana Grande Amid Ethan Slater Romance

Jilly Talley, Tom Kenny and Ethan Slater
Getty Images

The clarification comes after Grande was linked to 'Wicked' co-star, Ethan Slater, who starred in a 'SpongeBob' production of his own.

SpongeBob SquarePants voice actor Tom Kenny's wife is clearing the air after the internet confused her husband with Ariana Grande's new boyfriend, Ethan Slater.

The confusion came after an Instagram post on The Cut which posted a headline to their page that read: "Is Ariana Grande Dating SpongeBob Now?" leading some commenters to believe that Grande had moved on from her marriage to Dalton Gomez with the longtime voice actor.

The SquarePants in question is actually Slater, Grande's Wicked co-star and new boo, who has a SpongeBob link of his own. While he didn't play a part in the popular Nickelodeon TV series, Slater did stay as SpongeBob in SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical in 2016.

Kenny's wife, Jill Talley, took to the comments of The Cut's post and set the record straight.

"Hi everyone, I'm married to Tom Kenny (who voices SpongeBob on the TV show)," Talley wrote, per People.

She continued, "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."

The mix-up comes at an interesting time for Talley, who happened to be celebrating her 27th wedding anniversary with Kenny this weekend.

"PS: as for me and Tom Kenny," the voice actress added, "we are celebrating our 27th wedding anniversary today."

The clarification comes just days after a source confirmed to ET that Grande and Slater are dating, and less than a week after a source ET learned that Grande and Gomez had separated after two years of marriage, noting that the pair -- who tied the knot in May 2021, five months after announcing their engagement -- "ultimately were just not a good fit."

"Ariana and Ethan recently started dating. They have a lot in common and have a lot of fun," the source said. "They didn't start dating until both were broken up with their significant others. Ariana and Dalton remain friends."

Slater is also recently single. The Broadway star married his former high school classmate, Lilly Jay, in 2018. The couple welcomed their first child, a son, last year. In November 2022, Slater shared an anniversary tribute to his wife on Instagram, writing, "My best friend. 4 years married, 10 years together. And this is easily the best (and most *bizarre*) year yet." Grande liked the post.

Following the news, ET learned that Slater's estranged wife is not happy about the Wicked romance.

A source close to Jay told ET she's "devastated" by the breakup with her husband and that "this is not the future she had in mind." The source added, "She's doing her best to get back on her feet. She's incredibly smart and driven" and "She is truly the best mother."

Slater plays Boq in director Jon M. Chu's upcoming adaptation of the beloved musical -- a Munchkin who is deeply in love with (but ultimately, romantically rejected by) Galinda, played by Grande. (Boq later becomes the Tin Man as Wicked sets up the world of The Wizard of Oz.)