Belfast Telegraph

Liam Neeson: I was joking about famous girlfriend

Ballymena star not 'Taken' after all

Liam Neeson has ended intense speculation - which he admittedly sparked - over who his famous new girlfriend is by admitting it was just a joke.

The Star Wars actor and Ballymena man sparked days of wild rumour after announcing he had a new love interest and that she was "incredibly famous".

However, a spokesperson for the 63-year-old has said it was just a joke that got lost in translation.

"He was joking with the writer during an interview he was doing with the Irish Independent," a representative told the Daily Mail.

When the Taken star sparked the rumour it was suggested he could have been joking.

Before he married Natasha Richardson, many of Tinseltown's most beautiful and famous women were linked to the handsome leading man.

But since her tragic death aged 45 in a skiing accident in 2009, the Northern Irish actor has barely dated at all.

His one relationship - with London-based publicist Freya St Johnston - ended after two years in 2012 as he was still grieving the loss of his wife and the mother of their two sons, Michael (19) and 18-year-old Daniel.

Indeed, in an interview with GQ magazine last year, Neeson revealed that he had given up both drinking and women to improve his performances in action films.

"I'm keeping myself to myself and I like it that way," he said.

In the past, Neeson has dated women he has met on the sets of his films - such as Helen Mirren, with whom he was in a relationship from 1980 to 1985.

They lived together, having met while filming Arthurian movie Excalibur, and Dame Helen later said: "We loved each other. It was difficult to let go."

When he was 35, New York-based Neeson dated 19-year-old Oscar-winning actress Julia Roberts from 1988 to 1990, after meeting on the set of the film Satisfaction, and they went on to live together in California.

Other past amours have included the actress and model Brooke Shields and the party-loving supermodel Janice Dickinson.

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