Vanessa Hudgens is now a married woman! The actress reportedly tied the knot with her partner of three years Cole Tucker over the weekend of December 2, 2023. Prior to linking up with the ballplayer though, Vanessa was in a relationship with actor Austin Butler for about nine years. The pair ultimately called it quits in 2020, shortly before Austin’s breakout role in Elvis.
With the exciting news that Vanessa and Cole have gotten married, look back on her relationship with Austin and why they eventually broke up.
When Did Vanessa & Austin Start Dating?
Vanessa and Austin began dating in 2011, but the pair were pretty quiet about their romance until going public in 2014. The High School Musical actress called Austin the “love of her life” in a 2014 Instagram post. While the pair eventually split up, it’s clear that they had big influences on one another.
While Austin was promoting Elvis in 2022, he seemingly credited his ex with helping him go after the part. In 2019, Vanessa told a story about hearing her then-boyfriend sing an Elvis Presley song around Christmas during an interview on Live With Kelly & Ryan. Austin appeared to reference the same story during The Hollywood Reporter’s actors’ roundtable. “I was going to look at Christmas lights with a friend, and there was an Elvis Christmas song on the radio and I was singing along, and my friend looked over at me and goes, ‘You’ve got to play Elvis.’ I said, ‘Oh, that’s such a long shot,’” he said. “That same friend was there and I was playing the piano. She said, ‘I’m serious. You gotta figure out how you can get the rights to a script.’ Then my agent called and said, ‘So Baz Luhrmann is making an Elvis film.’”
Despite being together for nine years, the pair ultimately split up in 2020.
Why Did They Break Up?
After the pair broke up in 2020, an insider told Hollywood Life exclusively that their split was because of their busy schedules and being far apart. “They had to spend too much time apart the last few months, that’s what did it. Vanessa was so busy with back to back projects that she was hardly home. And Austin has been just as busy with work. He’s doing a movie in Australia [Elvis] and he’s had to be over there on and off for months doing pre-production. They are very good when they are together. But when they’re apart, that is when things get tough and they were apart for months,” the source said. “It’s really sad because they truly love each other. But it’s one of the hard realities of this business, it is very hard on relationships.”
Another insider told HL that the couple simply “drifted apart,” and that they hadn’t had some big fight. “It is sad, but is something that had to be done. They are both being very mature about it, and are accepting the change and being apart gracefully,” they said.
What Has Happened Since Their Split?
Since their 2020 breakup, both Vanessa and Austin have moved on to new relationships. As mentioned above, the Spring Breakers actress began dating baseball player Cole Tucker in 2020. The pair got engaged in 2022, and they exchanged vows in an intimate ceremony in Tulum, Mexico in December 2023.
After his split from Vanessa, Austin was romantically linked to a few ladies, but since December 2021, he’s been in a relationship with model Kaia Gerber. He’s even been spotted on double dates with her and her parents, Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber.
About three years after their split, Vanessa and Austin did cross paths at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in March 2023. While it’s not clear if the two chatted or said anything to one another, they were both seen in the same frame of a photo taken as they were leaving the party.