It was reported this month that Vanessa Hudgens and longtime boyfriend Austin Butler had split after nine years of dating, and on Tuesday, Hudgens was spotted with someone new. TMZ reports that Hudgens was seen out to dinner with Los Angeles Laker player Kyle Kuzma at Italian bistro Lilia in Brookly, New York on Tuesday night.
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According to photos, the pair sat a small and intimate table and appeared to share a bottle of red wine with their meal. It is unclear whether the two were on a date.
The outing comes after fans noticed Hudgens and Kuzma interacting on social media. After the Lakes beat the Houston Rockets on Saturday, Kuzma posted a photo of himself on the court captioned, "Yeaaaa we like thattttt." "Ya we doooo," Hudgens commented.
When the Lakers played the Cleveland Cavaliers in Los Angeles last week, Hudgens shared footage from the game on Instagam and tagged Kuzma along with other players in her caption. "Ugh [Lakers] [LeBron James] [Dwight Howard] my heros (sic)," she wrote.
Us Weekly was the first to report Hudgens and Butler's breakup. "Vanessa and Austin are officially broken up, and Vanessa has been telling those close to her about their breakup," a source said. Neither actor has commented on the split. The couple originally met on the set of High School Musical while Hudgens was dating Zac Efron, whom she split from in 2010 before she and Butler began dating in 2011.
A source told E! News that Hudgens and Butler split due to distance — Hudgens was filming the sequel to Netflix's The Princess Switch overseas while Butler appears to be in production on the upcoming Elvis Presley biopic, which will film in Australia.
"They're just shooting on two different continents and it's a matter of distance," the source said. "There is no bad blood at all, and they have a lot of respect for each other." A second source said that the two "are split for now" and are "going to see what happens."
"They have such a history and deep connection they could find their way back to one another," they added.
Hudgens most recently spoke about Butler in an interview with Cosmopolitan U.K. for its February 2020 cover during which she admitted that long-distance relationships are difficult.
"It's eight years this year – FaceTime, good communication, respect and trust [are what keep us going]." she said. "The longest we've been apart was four months. It sucks! You start hating hearing yourself say 'I miss you.' But if it's your person, you make it work."
Photo Credit: Getty / NBC