(NEW YORK) — Kate Upton and Maksim Chmerkovskiy appear to be going public with their romance.
The 21-year-old Sports Illustrated model and 33-year-old Dancing with the Stars alum were photographed walking hand-in-hand through New York’s West Village last week.
The pair was dressed casually and appeared relaxed on their stroll.
Rumors of a romance first surfaced in June following a report that Upton celebrated her 21st birthday with a dinner date with Chmerkovskiy, a native of Ukraine.
A month later, Upton was seen cheering Chmerkovskiy during his opening night performance of Forever Tango on Broadway.
But just three weeks ago, Upton told Extra, “We’re just friends,” when asked about her relationship with Maks.
Earlier, she told the September issue of Elle magazine, “I really have never had a serious relationship in the industry. I’m just having fun. Obviously I have a very busy schedule at this time in my life, and I don’t put relationships as a priority.”
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Eric Levenson, CNN
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Sandra Gonzalez, CNN
Madison Park, Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN