After years of staying tight-lipped about his personal life, Cole Sprouse bared all on the March 8 episode of Call Her Daddy. Of course, host Alex Cooper didn’t shy away from asking Cole about his relationship with Riverdale co-star, Lili Reinhart. The two dated from 2017 until right before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Cole admitted that the breakup was “really hard” for both him and Lili, especially since they had to continue working on Riverdale together afterwards.
“I think the work thing got difficult because it was hard to suspend the way we felt about each other,” Cole shared. “It didn’t afford us the luxury of distance to really overcome that. I think we both did quite a bit of damage to each other.” Luckily, time heals all, and Cole said that he and Lili are “good friends now, which is awesome.” He also confirmed that they “work really well together” now that years have gone by since the split.
He has no regrets about the relationship, either. “I think that was exactly where we both needed to be,” Cole explained. “We were in a foreign city, working a very intense schedule — 14 days, often six days a week — alone. We really leaned on each other while also going through the elected trauma of this incredible overnight success, a ton of criticism, a ton of expectations. I think we did the best we could, really. I really think we did. I’m very grateful in very many ways that I was able to go through it with someone going through the exact same circumstances with me.” However, he did confirm that “all the cliches about dating someone you work with are very true” in many ways.
Alex didn’t let Cole off there, though. She asked whether or not he felt like the relationship wound up lasting longer because of the fact that he and Lili worked together, and he admitted that it “absolutely” did. “There was a lot of pressure towards other people, really,” Cole said. “I think if I had loved myself a little more, I probably would have left a little earlier. But I just felt like I had to take care of a lot of people around me, which was not good for me. I probably should have exercised a lot more selfishness in that situation.”
The former Disney star also explained that his and Lili’s decision to stay so private about the breakup ended up creating an untrue narrative for the public. “We didn’t make a big deal when we split,” he revealed. “So afterwards, when I was photographed — as a single man — dating other women, I think it caused people to think there was something dubious going on. I took a moral stance that I was never going to talk about it, and I realize now, in hindsight, that I should have said something right away. I realize that grey area created a lot of rumor and gossip that ended up affecting me and my mental health afterwards. So, in an inverse way, the silence and mystery of that grey area created a fertile petri dish of b***s*** that was my own mistake.”
Meanwhile, when Cole shared that his breakup from Lili was “mutual,” Alex called him out, insisting that that was never the case. Cole eventually admitted that he was the one to leave, but it wasn’t a shock to Lili. “When you’re in a relationship for that long and someone leaves, it’s not like someone’s like, ‘WHAT?!’ It’s not a surprise,” he said. “So I don’t like to say, “Oh, I split.” Like…you get it. It was time. This was right before COVID, so it also gave us the space, since we got locked down, which I think was good.” Cole is now in a relationship with model Ari Fournier, who he’s been dating since 2021.