“We did [date],” Groban, 37, confirmed on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen on Thursday, September 20. “We were both very private, and so we realized we were better as friends. And we’ve been very, very good friends to this day. She’s the best. But I was not expecting that. That was a double take and a spit of my coffee when I saw that.”
Perry, 33, released the song in October 2011 as the sixth and final release from her third studio album Teenage Dream.
“Summer after high school, when we first met / We make-out in your Mustang to Radiohead,” she sings on the track. “And on my 18th birthday, we got matching tattoos / Used to steal your parents’ liquor and climb to the roof / Talk about our future like we had a clue / Never planned that one day I’d be losing you.”
Perry revealed Groban was the subject of the song nearly six years later during her Witness livestream — after talk show host James Corden asked her to name her top three lovers.
“Josh Groban’s in there,” the pop star replied. “No, he’s not in there. But people ask me, ‘Who’s “The One That Got Away” about?’ And it’s Groban … He’s, like, one of my good friends.”
On Thursday’s episode of WWHL, Groban told host Andy Cohen the song doesn’t describe him accurately. “I listened to the lyrics, and I’m just like, ‘I never owned a Mustang. I don’t have a tattoo. Are you sure that’s about me?’” he recalled. “I’m very flattered by it, but I was very surprised by it, too.”
After Cohen, 50, told Groban to call Perry back, the singer pointed out that they’re both in relationships — he’s dating actress Schuyler Helford, and she’s dating actor Orlando Bloom.
“I’m not ghosting Katy!” he insisted. “I think we’re both very taken at the moment, but it’s very sweet. It’s very sweet.”
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