Ariana Grande Says She Felt ‘Deeply Misunderstood’ Amid Public Scrutiny in 2023

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Ariana Grande has remained tight-lipped in the face of heightened gossip and public scrutiny surrounding her personal life this past year. But in a recent message shared to Instagram Stories before the new year, she seemed to address how she was affected by the 2023 rumor mill.

“One of the most transformative, most challenging, and yet happiest and most special years of my life,” Grande wrote in her Friday (Dec. 29) post, black text layered over a photo of a Glinda the Good Witch illustration. “There were so many beautiful and yet polarized feelings.”

“I’ve never felt more at the mercy of and in acceptance of what life was screaming to teach me,” she continued. “I have never felt more pride or joy or love while simultaneously feeling so deeply misunderstood by people who don’t know me, who piece whispers together and make what they want out of me and their assumptions of my life.”

The “Positions” singer didn’t specify what instances she was referring to, but there was objectively no greater peak in gossip surrounding Grande this year than when reports of her romance with Wicked costar Ethan Slater surfaced. This was partially due to how closely the news followed the vocalist’s reported split from ex-husband Dalton Gomez, as well as Slater’s own separation from wife Lilly Jay, with whom he shares a young son.

Both TMZ and People, however, reported at the time that the Broadway actor and Grande had started dating after both of their prior relationships were over. The seven-time Billboard Hot 100 topper has since been spotted with Slater only a handful of times, most recently in New York City on a Dec. 23 dinner date with Grande’s father.

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“i am reacting to things that deserve my energy only and removing and protecting myself from things that do not,” the “POV” hitmaker continued in her post. “i feel more human than ever. i feel more deeply than ever. i feel softer and stronger, all at once.”

“if you ever feel misunderstood of alone, just remember that it will pass and you are not,” she continued. “take a deep breath and know that you are so incredibly loved.”

This year saw Ariana Grande feature on a remix of The Weeknd’s “Die for You,” which topped the Billboard Hot 100. She has confirmed her highly anticipated seventh album is set for a 2024 release. In 2023, she primarily focused on filming the upcoming live adaptations of Wicked — in which she costars as Glinda opposite Cynthia Erivo’s Elphaba — as well as her R.E.M. Beauty business.

See Grande’s Story before it disappears here.