Austin Butler is undoubtedly the man of the moment, taking home a BAFTA and a Golden Globe this award season for his role in Baz Luhrmann's biopic Elvis.
While he missed out on an Academy Award this Sunday, the 31-year-old was still one of the most talked-about of the night, after footage emerged of him and ex girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens quite literally crossing paths outside of Vanity Fair's 2023 Oscars after-party.
🚨 CLIMÃO? AQUI NÃO!Confira vídeo do momento em que Vanessa Hudgens, mascando seu chiclete e mexendo no celular, ignora completamente a presença do ex Austin Butler na entrada da after party do Oscar. pic.twitter.com/9HA5U8RIsTMarch 13, 2023
The internet has since exploded, propelling Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler's relationship back into the headlines, with the public eager to know more about the former couple, and the nature of their break up.
Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler
Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler dated from 2011 to 2020, breaking up that January after eight years together.
The actors first met in 2006, reportedly introduced by mutual best friend Ashley Tisdale on the set of High School Musical. This is something that Tisdale has since opened up about, explaining of their relationship: “It’s great because Austin was my best friend since way before they got together. So it’s just nice to have your two best friends be in a relationship.”
Five years later, following Hudgens' split from HSM co-star Zac Efron, she and Butler started dating, making their first official red carpet appearance at the 2012 premiere of Hudgens' film, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.
"It's hard for me to even put into words how much that girl means to me," Butler said of Hudgens at the Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood premiere in 2019. "I'm so inspired by her every day and just love her to my core."
Hudgens in return, described Butler in 2014 as "the man with the kindest heart, beautiful soul, crazy talent and best looks I've ever seen." She continued: "He never stops inspiring me in every aspect of life and always lifts those around him up higher. I thank god so greatly for blessing the world 23 years ago by creating Austin Butler.”
The world was shocked therefore when the couple parted ways in 2020.
Why did Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler break up?
Reports that Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler had split emerged in January 2020, with the news following a long social media silence, and coming after the couple spent the holidays apart.
“Vanessa and Austin are officially broken up, and Vanessa has been telling those close to her about their breakup," a source told US Weekly.
While both Hudgens and Butler remained tight-lipped about the split, sources close to them revealed to E! News that the reason was "a matter of distance" and due to conflicting work schedules. Hudgens was working on The Princess Switch: Switched Again and Butler was filming for Elvis.
Hudgens has spoken previously about the difficulties of long distance, explaining to Cosmo UK of her and Butler's relationship ahead of their split: “It’s eight years this year – FaceTime, good communication, respect and trust [are what keep us going]. 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.”
"There is no bad blood at all," another insider explained. "And they have a lot of respect for each other."
Vanessa Hudgens has not spoken publicly about the split, but Austin Butler did touch on it in an interview with GQ last June, stating: “Life is full of changes. You’ve got to find a way to constantly be evolving and growing."
Both Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler appear to have moved on, with Hudgens now in a relationship with baseball player Cole Tucker and Butler now dating model Kaia Gerber.
We will continue to update this story.
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.