Ariana Grande’s team were reportedly left unhappy with her manager Scooter Braun after he allegedly refused to cut his vacation short amid the media storm surrounding her relationship with Wicked costar Ethan Slater.
Grande is among the numerous music stars to have reportedly cut ties with Braun in recent months. The Independent understands that Demi Lovato and Frozen star Idina Menzel have parted ways with Braun’s SB Projects, while Justin Bieber is also reportedly seeking legal advice to end his contract with the mega-manager.
So far none of the artists have responded publicly to the reports and neither has Braun.
In a new report on Friday (25 August), Puck writer Matthew Belloni, who first reported news of Grande’s exit, claimed that tensions with the “thank u, next” singer were amplified by Braun’s reaction to her relationship controversy earlier this year.
In July, just days after it was revealed that Grande and her husband of nearly two years, Dalton Gomez, had separated, People was the first to report that the singer had begun dating Slater.
Slater has been married to his wife, Lilly Jay, since 2018, with the actor revealing on Instagram in January 2023 that the couple had welcomed a son together. He reportedly filed for divorce last month.
Jay gave an interview with Page Six a week after reports of the romance broke in which she said Grande is “the story, really. Not a girl’s girl. My family is just collateral damage.”
In his report, Belloni writes that Grande’s team wanted Braun to fly from his holiday in Europe to New York in order to help quell the media furore, which he reportedly refused to do.
“I deserve a vacation,” Braun is said to have told Grande’s team, according to Belloni’s sources. The Independent has contacted Braun and Grande’s representatives for comment.
Both Grande and Bieber have been managed by Braun since the inception of their careers.
On Twitter/X on Tuesday (22 August), the 42-year-old manager broke his silence on the reported exits, writing: “Breaking news… I’m no longer managing myself.”
He appeared to be poking fun at memes online joking about the number of people leaving his firm. Tár’s Lydia Tár, And Just Like That’s Lily Goldenblatt and The Lizzie McGuire Movie’s Paolo Valisari are among the fictional characters people have joked about leaving Braun.
Meanwhile, sources close to Braun have claimed that he is merely stepping back from day-to-day management to focus on his role as CEO of HYBE America, the South Korean entertainment company behind K-pop giants BTS.
“All of Scooter Braun’s clients are under contract and negotiations have been going on for several months as Scooter steps into his larger role as HYBE America CEO,” one source told Variety.
“People are spreading rumours based on what they know, but they are off. Scooter’s team at SB Projects are still handling both Justin and Ariana as they work through what this new structure looks like.”
Braun has famously been embroiled in a feud with Taylor Swift since 2019, when he purchased her longtime label, Big Machine Records, and become the owner of the master recordings of her first six studio albums.
In November 2020, Braun sold the masters to an investment fund in a deal believed to be more than $300m (£234m).
At the time of the sale, Swift – who had wished to buy the masters herself – condemned Braun and called him a “bully” and the “definition of a toxic male privilege in our industry”.