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They have been friends for years but tongues are wagging in Hollywood that South African actress Charlize Theron, 38, and actor/director Sean Penn, 53, are officially an item after a romantic New Year break together in Hawaii.
Both are single after she split from long-time boyfriend Stuart Townsend and he ended his marriage to Robin Wright, with whom he has two adult children.
Theron has an adopted 21-month-old son, Jackson.
There was no sign of either family on the beach this week, close to where Penn has a home. Theron looked relaxed and was wearing a teeny striped bikini while Penn showed off his six pack as he headed into the waves to catch some of Big Island’s rollers. Her hair was left curly and she appeared to not be wearing any make-up.
Sources on celebrity websites say the pair – or is it couple – became close when their relationships broke up and they leaned on each other for moral support. Four years ago they were spotted having a cozy dinner in Santa Monica in California but have been very secretive about their relationship.
Penn, who was also once married to pop star Madonna, has a notorious temper that was mentioned when he divorced the singer.
It is well known that Theron’s father, Charles, abused alcohol and he was shot dead by her mother, Gerda, in self-defence, when the actress was still a teenager.
The website By Celebitchy said three years ago that a source had seen the two
in a restaurant “nuzzling, snuggling, kissing and cooing under a Hollywood moon”.
“Sean and Charlize have been good friends for years. But now that neither is in a relationship, their friendship has blossomed into full-blown romance. They aren’t ready to go totally public yet, but are spending lots of private time together!” the website said.
The talk in Hollywood this week was Theron’s “enviable bikini body”. MSN Celebrity said yesterday: “It was back to reality for Sean Penn and Charlize Theron. After enjoying a break in Hawaii, the pair touched down in Los Angeles yesterday. Keeping his head down, the actor was dressed warmly in trousers and a leather jacket. Actress Charlize looked stylish in a blue blazer and cropped jeans.”