Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler have reportedly broken up, ending a nine year relationship. A source close to the couple told Us Weekly that they had split on Tuesday, though it is still unclear on when the breakup took place. Depending on the timeline, this could be the first big celebrity split of 2020.
Fans did not fail to notice that Hudgens and Butler seemed to spend the holidays apart this year. Two weeks into the new year, their suspicions appear to be correct, as an insider told Us Weekly Hudgens has been openly telling friends that she and Butler are finished.
"Vanessa has been telling those close to her about the breakup," they revealed.
This openness on the subject follows a few weeks of conspicuously separate social media posts. Fans have noticed that Hudgens and Butler have not been in each others' Instagram photos for quite a while now. Fans have been leaving comments asking the status of their relationship since as far back as Halloween, when they posed in eerie black-and-white costumes together.
Since then, Hudgens has posted from various film sets, public events and even vacations, all without giving a glimpse of Butler. She spent Christmas with her family, Went to Switzerland for New Year's Eve and then made a stop in London before returning to California. On Monday night, she sat court-side at an L.A. Lakers game with Butler nowhere in sight.
Butler, meanwhile, has been inactive on Instagram since October. His last post featuring Hudgens showed them together at the premiere of Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood, in which he had a notable role. The movie received ten Oscar nominations this week, further showing the upward trajectory of Butler's career.
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In fact, while their relationship is reportedly ending, both he and Hudgens are arguably doing better in their careers than ever before. Hudgens has been doing a lot of work with Netflix, from Christmas movies like The Princess Switch to action thrillers like Polar. While news of her breakup was circulating on Tuesday, she was apparently preparing for the red carpet premiere of Bad Boys for Life.
Meanwhile Butler starred in two of 2019's most interesting auteur films — Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, and The Dead Don't Die. His next role may be his most high-profile yet — he has been cast as Elvis Presley in an upcoming movie about the King of rock 'n' roll, set to premiere in 2021.
He will reportedly do all of his own singing and dancing in the film, which will be directed by Baz Luhrmann. Butler co-stars with Tom Hanks, who will play Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
All in all, it sounds like Hudgens and Butler may have simply been too busy for their relationship, especially considering Hudgens' priorities. In an interview with Women's Health in 2018, she admitted that marriage was far off in the future for her.
“I want to get married, travel, then have kids — probably in my late 30s,” she explained at the time. “Everyone’s clock is different."