‘Les Misérables’ Romance? Russell Crowe Denies Dating Samantha Barks As She Steps Out With Matt Johnson

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By IBTimes Staff Reporter | March 6, 2013 2:42 AM EST

“Les Misérables” co-stars Russell Crowe and Samantha Barks might have 26 years between them, but that hasn’t halted rumors that the two are dating.

According to E! Online, allegations that Crowe, 48, and Barks, 22, (who played Eponine in the film) were a romantic item sprang up after the two were spotted looking cozy together at an Oscars party, where “Les Misérables” picked up three awards.

The Australian magazine New Idea reported that Barks and Crowe had developed a “special relationship” after working together so closely on the film, and claimed that their amorous feelings for one another became public at the black-tie affair. A source who spoke to the magazine said of Barks' and Crowe’s alleged public display of affection, that, “She was continually touching his sleeve, giggling and sitting in awe of his every word, and he was lapping up every moment.”

The magazine’s story also included photos of Barks and Crowe taking a stroll in Beverly Hills last week in workout clothes, and eating lunch together at the Beverly Hills café. The workout maven later tweeted about their gym session, writing, “work out with @SamanthaBarks 4km walk, 30 mins elliptical, 4 min prone hold, shoulder routine, lats, bench, turkish stand.”

An eyewitness at the Governor’s Ball added that the chemistry between the two co-stars was apparent from the moment they set eyes upon each other.

“Russell and Sam greeted each other like the oldest of friends and no one could get a word in,” the source said. “‘It was electric watching them flirt, it was the buzz of the ball.”

But Crowe and others have already begun to dispel those rumors. In a post on Twitter on Sunday, Crowe wrote, "@SamanthaBarks apparently we are an item according to Aussie magazines ... sorry about that Sammi." 

Sources close to Barks have also reported that for several months she has been secretly dating another man, “This Morning” host Matt Johnson. According to the British tabloid The Sun, Barks and Johnson have been spotted holding hands on the street and recently appeared together at the Elle Style awards in London.

Barks is not the first younger woman Crowe has been romantically connected to since separating from his now-estranged wife of nine years, Danielle Spencer, in October. Just a month ago, rumors swirled that the “Gladiator” actor was involved with Dita Von Teese, but Crowe quickly dismissed those insinuations, writing on Twitter that the pair were just “friends.”

"@DitaVonTeese is brave,smart,sweet and elegant. She is a friend of mine," he wrote. "Who wouldn't want friends like that? Friends, not lovers."

He has also tried to stave off gossip that he was involved with singer Natalie Imbruglia, writing on Twitter, "I am not having an affair with nor am I dating Natalie Imbruglia …  She has been a friend for years. No flirting, no whispers, total BULLS---.”

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