Zac Efron's quiet relationship with Australian waitress and model Vanessa Valladares has sparked plenty of gossip and speculation about whether or not the actor's future includes a permanent move to Australia. Some rumors point to the relationship being casual and normal, while others make some bolder claims about what's next for the fledgling couple. Here's what's been said so far and the truth about what's going on.
Woman's Day says that Efron's "heart is torn," and he had "no idea his entire world would be turned upside down when he walked into a local Byron Bay cafe" and met Valladares. Apparently, it's even serious enough to get his friends to take notice of the star "falling madly in love and embarking on a real estate hunt for his dream home Down Under" and start worrying that they'll never see him again. "Everyone's like, 'When are you coming home?'" a suspiciously unnamed friend of the actor tells the magazine. "We miss him! But Zac's focus is on Vanessa and he brushes off the question. He's completely lost it over this girl and says he's never felt so free and alive — she cuts through all Hollywood [expletive] and he can't get enough of it."
Fortunately, the tabloid does admit that the reality of show business is still in play, as he's signed on to the remake of Three Men and a Baby that will film stateside. "He's really torn between his cosy scene with Vanessa and his crazy career," the same pal adds. "This is the first time he's able to be himself, not 'Showtime Zac.' He's finding the whole experience in Australia life-changing."
New Idea, on the other hands, ramps it up even more with a shocking story about Efron's "Aussie Wedding!" The magazine says that the actor "is so smitten with Vanessa Valladares ... that he'd sooner get married than spend a moment apart!" Another unnamed source tells the outlet that although Efron is still planning to film the remake in the States, he "won't necessarily be allowed back into Oz because of travel restrictions, and Vanessa isn't currently allowed to leave because of the clampdown on travel. The only way she could accompany Zac is if they got married." The tabloid admits that it's a bold claim, but it lets its source double-down:
"I really think Zac's at the point where he'd marry Vanessa tomorrow if she said yes."
Meanwhile, the latest issue of the National Enquirer shouts, "Zac Efron Set To Dump Aussie Lassie!" According to the infamous magazine, the Greatest Showman star is now "singing a different tune now that summer fling fades" and his relationship has "already hit a sour note" after just a month or two. The magazine and its sources report that the couple was caught passionately arguing with one another at an outdoor restaurant in early September, which could only spell doom for the relationship.
"This has been a fun fling for Zac, but the reality is he has to head back to the US and attend to his career," one tipster shares. "Vanessa is just a kid and her whole life is in Australia! She also has very big concerns about traveling overseas right now." The insightful snitch adds that Efron's new girlfriend "fears contracting COVID-19" and doesn't even know if she'd be allowed into the states. Efron, meanwhile, is apparently quite ready for whatever's next. "He knows it's time to move on," the source concludes.
To understand where these stories are coming from, we need to look at these publications histories with Efron-related news. The romantics over at New Idea previously reported in July that Efron would be in Australia for longer than anticipated, but not because of coronavirus — instead, it argued that he'd be getting $1.5 million to star on I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here. Gossip Cop debunked this story as false at the original time of its publication, and no proof has emerged in the months since. We're not exactly prepared to just the magazine's Efron or Australian "insiders."
The Enquirer, of course, might be the most infamous tabloid of all time, so it always deserves the same level of scrutiny. We debunked an extremely silly Zac Efron story from the outlet two years ago that claimed that the actor thought he was too handsome to properly portray Ted Bundy. While the story is nothing short of rude to the star, it's hilarious to look back at such a claim considering that Efron's performance in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile was consistently hailed as the best part of the film. Obviously, the publication was just trying to score some points by making some shallow jokes disguised as gossip at the actor's expense.
Gossip Cop hasn't investigated any Woman's Day articles on Zac Efron yet, but we have had to debunk several outright false stories from one of its sister publications, NW. Within the span of two months, the tabloid argued that Efron had possibly impregnated Charlize Theron before claiming that he was rekindling his romance with Vanessa Hudgens after a health scare earlier this year. So while Woman's Day might not have an outright awful track record with the High School Musical star, we've got a few reasons to look at stories from the outlet with plenty of scrutiny.
In all three of these stories, the only "insight" amounts to basic predictions about a new couple. It doesn't take a best friend of Efron's to know that he's probably happy with Valladares since he keeps seeing her. The only possible path for any relationship is for it to continue or end, and these tabloids have just made their guess about the future for Efron. If any of the outlets luck out and get it right — although we'll be honest and say the Aussie wedding one makes the least sense — they can brag about it in the next issue. If they're proven wrong, which they all are to some degree, then they'll just ignore it entirely. It also doesn't take a close pal to realize that the details in these rumors don't quite add up.
Why aren't there any of videos or photos of the two's outdoor argument from the Enquirer story? Why is he supposedly stressing about choosing love or his career as though it's impossible to have a long-distance relationship for a few months or for a multi-millionaire actor to find ways to travel? The notion that the only possible way for Efron and Valladares to travel together is as a married couple is the most bizarre part of all this talk.
While it is true that Americans and all other non-Australians are currently banned from entering the country, there's no logic behind arguing that a marriage license would work better than the government's exemption form. Again, basic questions arise. Why in the world would Zac Efron, an incredibly massive star, throw himself into the notoriously messy world of dual-citizenship and the pile of pre-nup paperwork that would be necessary to ensure the marriage was legally and financially sound instead of applying for an exemption? A marriage license doesn't come with a passport or travel clearances. Again, there's a whole host of reasons why Efron wouldn't be in this situation in the first place, but still, the fact this was published is baffling. At least make up a story about them just being super in love — that'd actually make sense.
One of the big reasons these stories are so dramatic and include such absurd ideas is the simple fact that reality is pretty boring. Like most people in a pandemic lockdown, everything's been more than low-key. They took a trip together at some point, got brunch at the start of September, and other than that, credible celebrity outlets report that they've been happily hanging out at home. That's about it for the facts. People reports that Efron's looking to buy a permanent home in Australia, and we're a lot more confident in that outlet's sources.
Regardless of whether or not Efron makes a move on some Byron Bay real estate, it doesn't change the fact that there are no tabloid-level dramatic happenings in his relationship. Ultimately, if all a rumor has to offer is basic guesses like "Actor Might Continue Dating, Might Not," it's not exactly worth reading. For actual insight into Zac Efron's life, look to publications that don't ignore basic tenets of reality and logic. Our biased recommendation would be to stick with Gossip Cop and Efron himself for the facts.