Manager Scooter Braun is opening up about getting fired by his client, Ariana Grande.
While the "No Tears Left to Cry" artist and her management team appear to be on good terms now, that wasn't exactly the case a few years ago. Braun opens up about that time period in a new interview with Variety, hinting that a "s---ty boyfriend" of Grande's might've played a role in his firing.
"I could have said a lot of stuff, and in fact my team wanted me to, because they were pissed," Braun says of the Feb. 2016 firing. "But I said 'We're not gonna say a word, and this is gonna come back around.' They were like, 'Never take her back!,' but I just said 'Let's stay quiet and let our truth be our actions.'"
And by the end of 2016, the two decided to reunite.
"And when s—-y boyfriends leave (laughter), she starts to see the light on some stuff, and one day I got a phone call," Braun continues. "She said 'Can I see you tomorrow?' and I said, 'No, I'm busy' (laughter) — I actually couldn't, so I said 'I could see you Thursday' or whatever and I went over there and we had a very honest conversation."
Grande dated backup dancer Ricky Alvarez from 2015 until the summer of 2016. Looking back on that experience with Grande, the 37-year-old entrepreneur, whose client list also includes Justin Bieber, says that it made him a better manager.
"Where it made me a better manager, number one, it allowed me to know that I can be fired — I had never been fired before," he explains. "It made me know that as much as you give to people in a service business — we do a lot of asset business, but this is a service business — you can never expect anyone to reciprocate. You have to do it for the right reasons, and if you get screwed over in the end, so be it, and hope you had a hell of the ride along the way."
Braun goes on to share, "One of my mentors said 'Every artist will break your heart,' and I used to fight that — now I realize this situation will break your heart because it becomes so personal and your job 90 percent of the time is keeping stuff out of [the artists'] sight to keep the pressure off of them, so how could they ever appreciate you as much as you think they should because they don't even know about that stuff? And also it made me and her really tight, because now when we get into those fights and she's coming at me, I just go, 'Woah, do you want to go back to where we were?,' and then it kinda calms down."
He adds, "And that relationship we had, from being fired to getting back together, really gave us the strength for what we never imagined would come that following year."
Grande has been through a lot in the last few years, with the Manchester terrorist attack, the sudden death of Mac Miller and her recent split with Pete Davidson. Earlier this month, the 25-year-old singer pulled out of a benefit honoring Braun's wife, Yael Cohen Braun.
Taking the stage at the benefit to discuss Grande's absence, Braun told the crowd, "And while I was frustrated, being the manager, my wife, being who she always is, just looked at me and she goes, 'She needs this time.'"