Hollywood’s sweetheart Cameron Diaz has been looking particularly dazzling of late and the secret behind the new spring in her step is being put down to a good old-fashioned formula – newfound love.
The 41-year-old is said to be head over heels for guitarist Benji Madden (35), the identical twin and bandmate of The Voice Australia’s Joel Madden.
The unlikely couple were first spotted leaving a Los Angeles gym together, and have since been seen holding hands and stealing kisses in a New York restaurant, making no attempt to keep their three-month relationship under wraps.
It’s a change of heart for the blonde beauty, who was vocal about her single status and failed romances in the past as she hit the publicity trail earlier this year for her hit comedy, The Other Woman. Also starring Lesley Mann and Kate Upton, the film followed the three women as they came together to seek revenge on their cheating ex.
It was something Cameron said she could relate to, revealing she has been cheated on in the past. And while she was open about her “happily single” status at the time, she also admitted she hoped the right man would come along when she wasn’t looking. “I don’t think you find them, I think they find you,” she said. “My feeling about it is you should just be open to receiving.”
And now, by all accounts, it seems Cameron got just what she hoped for.
But while her romance with Benji is new, their friendship certainly isn’t. The two have long known each other through friends – and exes.
Cameron first met Benji via her ex-boyfriend, singer Justin Timberlake, while Benji and his brother Joel were in the band Good Charlotte together. Justin had links to the group when he was in boyband N*SYNC, and after he launched a solo career, he invited Good Charlotte to tour with him as his opening act. Music fan Cameron often tagged along.
But it was Cameron’s close friend Nicole Richie who was responsible for reigniting the friendship. Nicole has two children with Benji’s brother Joel, and has played matchmaker for Benji in the past, once pairing him with her then best friend, Paris Hilton. But this time, there was an obvious spark between the pair.
“She’s never been attracted to tattooed rocker types,” says a friend. “But after getting to know Benji more intimately over recent months, she’s learned that behind his bad-boy exterior is a very sweet, religious man. His confidence really drew her in.”
Benji and Joel had a strong Christian upbringing and formed a particularly close bond after their father walked out on the family on Christmas Eve, when the twins were 16. With their mother ill, battling the auto-immune disease lupus, the pair started working multiple jobs to keep the family afloat.
It’s this big-hearted, nurturing side of Benji that has stolen Cameron’s heart. Friends say independent Cameron is even hinting she’d love to settle down and have children with Benji.
“Watching how Benji is with Nicole and Joel’s kids really melts Cameron’s heart,” says a friend. “He’s incredible with them.”