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BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 27: Cole Sprouse attends the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted b...

Here’s Why Cole Sprouse Had Trouble Dating After His Lili Reinhart Split

Riverdale fans didn’t help.

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As far as TV stars go, Cole Sprouse is a pretty private. The actor has been in the limelight since The Suite Life of Zack and Cody started back in 2005, but the interest in his romantic life really started when he began playing Jughead on the CW’s Riverdale. Sprouse’s romance with co-star Lili Reinhart was what producers’ dreams are made of (and they encouraged the duo accordingly)... but when their relationship ended in March 2020, the public support made moving on even more difficult. Sprouse’s quotes about dating after his split with Reinhart are proof that not everything is better when you’re famous — especially painful breakups.

During a March 30 interview with GQ, Sprouse opened up about his and Reinhart’s romance, explaining that although there was “all this public currency” involved, that didn’t make their connection any less genuine. According to Sprouse, their relationship was “as real as it gets.”

Although things ended amicably — publicly, at least — that didn’t stop hordes of fans from feeling heartbroken about the breakup... and blaming Sprouse for it. When he started dating now-girlfriend Ari Fournier in May 2021, it became clear that taking their romance public would not be without its challenges. “Followers report everything about Ari and me as bullying, and it gets taken down pretty immediately,” he told GQ. “Even on my other friends’ accounts, it gets taken down.”

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In the past, Reinhart has spoken out against fans who criticize Sprouse, especially when it relates back to their relationship. In May 2020, only a few months after they confirmed their split, fans got a little overzealous when defending Reinhart on Twitter. The hashtag #ColeSprouseIsOverParty started trending in response to cheating rumors. And Reinhart was not about it. “Twitter is such a vile place. It’s so easy to say sh*t behind your f*cking phone, isn’t it?” she tweeted at the time. “This is why people choose to keep their relationships private... this is why people don’t have social media... because of this bullying.”

Reinhart cares deeply about keeping her relationships private. As she told Seventeen in 2018, “It’s called a private life for a reason — it’s mine, and it’s special and sacred. My relationships are between me and whomever I’m with, not between me and the world.”

As far as the internet knows, Reinhart is single these days. But could you blame her for keeping a relationship quiet if she had one?