On to the next? Vanessa Hudgens was spotted having dinner with Los Angeles Lakers star Kyle Kuzma on Tuesday, January 21 — a week after it was revealed the actress and Austin Butler called it quits after dating for almost nine years. In photos obtained by TMZ, Vanessa, 31, and the athlete, 24, seemed to be enjoying a night out on the town at Lilia restaurant in Brooklyn, where the two drank wine and were caught laughing. The brunette beauty has been in New York City the past week promoting her new movie, Bad Boys for Life, while Kyle’s team is set to play the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, January 22.
While the new couple might be surprising to some, there was speculation they were together since they followed each other on Instagram earlier this month. Since then, the High School Musical alum — who frequently goes to basketball games in Los Angeles — posted a video from the bleachers and tagged LeBron James, Dwight Howard and Kyle on January 14. “Ugh, @lakers. My heroes,” she wrote.
On January 18, the basketball player captioned a photo of himself on the court, writing, “Yeaaaa, we like thattttt.” Clearly, Vanessa took notice and replied in the comments section, “Ya, we doooo.”
Ultimately, the Spring Breakers star and Austin, 28, realized they “wanted different things in life,” a source told In Touch about their split. “It made them reassess the relationship. Vanessa was only 22 and Austin was only 19 when they started dating — they’ve both changed so much over the years.” However, the former flames still “care for each other,” but realized “they were staying in the relationship out of habit. That’s why they decided to call it a day,” the insider noted.
Meanwhile, Vanessa has been keeping busy in the past week as she has been uploading selfies on the ‘gram and posting videos of herself dancing on TikTok. While neither Vanessa or Austin has spoken out about the breakup, Vanessa might have hinted long distance was one of the reasons they couldn’t make it work. “The things I miss the most are the people I love,” she said during an appearance on Live With Kelly and Ryan on January 17 after she spoke about filming The Princess Switch sequel in Scotland.
Well, it certainly seems like Vanessa is living her best life right now. Go, girl!