Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden are gearing up to be one of the summer's hottest new couples, but their relationship actually started as a friendship at least a decade ago.
The Other Woman actress, 41, and the Madden Brothers rocker, 35, brought their lovefest to New York City this week, where they made a Starbucks run, had breakfast at ABC Kitchen, and, most notably, exhibited some PDA in the form of hand-holding. Previously, they had been snapped leaving an L.A. gym together and attending the same book launch party. that they've also been spending a lot of time together behind closed doors at Cameron's house, with an insider noting, "He is the nicest guy and treats her like a lady."
As for how the stars were connected, well, they're not exactly the odd match some may think. Cameron is pals with Nicole Richie, the wife of Madden's twin brother, Joel. As Nicole's said, she and Benji are very close, so she did the matchmaking, an insider told Yahoo. Last month, the gal pals were seen hiking together at Coldwater Canyon Park in Los Angeles ... perhaps while enjoying girl talk about those tattoo-loving Madden men.
While Nicole brought them together, the connection between Cameron and Benji actually goes back even further — to the movie star's Justin Timberlake days. She dated J.T. from 2004 to 2007 and during that time, the "Suit & Tie" singer often crossed paths with the Madden brothers at various music events. And when Justin went on his 2007 solo tour, Benji and Joel's band Good Charlotte opened for him.
Needless to say, Cameron got to know them, too. And in 2004, the blonde looked tight with Benji while hanging out with him and his brother at an 'N Sync charity event. There were a bunch of photos of them together at the fundraiser, organized by Timberlake and his boyband buddies, but this one of Benji's head on Cameron's shoulder indicates an early — and tight! — bond.
"Cameron and Benji have actually known each other for years," a source told. "When she was first dating Justin, the Madden brothers were around a lot. So it's not like Cameron and Benji just met. Rather, they've recently reconnected."
Nowadays, they have more in common than just her ex and his sister-in-law. In addition to being based in L.A. and in the biz, they're huge fitness lovers. She recently wrote The Body Book; he's competed in several amateur boxing fights over the last four years. She's an established movie star, but he's dabbled in acting too, appearing in Not Another Teen Movie and Material Girls.
And while he seems a little rock 'n' roll compared to her exes — who also include slugger Alex Rodriguez, Oscar winner Jared Leto, and '80s heartthrob Matt Dillon — she seems to fall into the category of the guitarist's type. His many famous blond exes included Australian TV personality Sophie Monk, Paris Hilton, and Holly Madison. He was also linked to Miley Cyrus in November.
First photographed together in 2004, dating in 2014… We wonder if we'll see photos of them out with a few mini-mes 10 years from now. Hey, you never know in Hollywood.