OK (UK) OCTOBER 7, 2003


Exclusive pictures of the unlucky-in-love singer enjoying a romantic stroll with her new leading man

It's always nice to see two people in love, but in this case it's even sweeter. National treasure Geri Halliwell looks happy as Larry on the arm of her new beau, Hollywood heart-throb Jerry O'Connell We've held her close to our hearts for many years now, but for Geri love has always seemed that inch too far away. But the pair look incredibly comfortable together and it may be that these pictures show the very first flushes of true love for the pint-sized pop star.

The couple met on the set of new Brit flick The Fat Slags, based on the Viz comic strip, and the attraction went from there. In the film, Jerry plays a rich bachelor, Sean Cooley, and Geri plays his dutiful assistant Paige. An insider on the film said: 'They're good friends and enjoy spending time together. They're both lovely, chatty people.' The couple have become so close that Jerry introduced his new girlfriend to his parents, Linda and Michael, at swish London restaurant San Lorenzo. One onlooker commented: 'They looked really comfortable in each other's company.'

It's great to see Geri looking so happy with her new man, but a black spot did loom on the horizon in the shape of Jerry's former girlfriend. American TV presenter Giuliana DePandi was reported to have been engaged to Jerry at the very time he was walking around with our very own Miss Halliwell on his arm. Sources close to Geri have denied the rumours and Jerry has been confirmed as a free agent. It certainly hasn't discouraged Geri, who couldn't keep her hands off her man on a visit to see the Rat Pack Confidential at London's Whitehall Theatre. The couple have also been spotted out indulging in a spot of karaoke.

Geri has been through a series of image changes, most obviously her dramatic weight loss after her departure from the Spice Girls. But, in recent months, she's been showing off a more womanly figure and reports suggest it was Geri's curves that first attracted Jerry to the beautiful signer.

It's clear something serious is brewing between the unlikely couple - Geri is barely 5ft 2in, while Jerry towers at an impressive 6ft 3in - and Jerry certainly seems to be on a good footing having won over Geri's faithful pooch Harry.

Geri has had a series of high-profile boyfriends since rising to fame as one fifth of the most successful girl band in history. But, while fame and fortune have come easily to the former Ginger Spice, love has always eluded her. The 31-year-old singer has been linked to nu-metal star Fred Durst, Robbie Williams and Chis Evans. She's also had a failed relationship with American multimillionaire Demian Warner and , in recent times, has made no secret of the fact that she wants to settle down with Mr Right. Jerry, 29, seems to be fitting the bill so far, but it remains to be seen if wedding bells and baby Geris or Jerrys are on the horizon!

It's a busy time for Geri and the singer is due back in the studio to record her new album. She'll have to fly over to Los Angeles to put on the finishing touches, but the commute to visit New Yorker Jerry is a mere five-hour plane trip.

Jerry is no stranger to success and entered the heady world of showbiz at a very young age. As a budding child star, he appeared alongside the late River Phoenix in the coming-of-age drama Stand By Me. Jerry has also played love interest to Neve Campbell in Scream 2, but his character met a sticky end. Probably his most famous role to date was as a sports star in Tom Cruise's Jerry Maguire.

With so much success behind them, it looks as though Jerry and Geri could well make the perfect couple. A friend close to Geri reported: 'She thinks a lot of Jerry. By the way she talks about him it sounds like he could be the one. She's crossing her fingers at the moment that everything goes right.'

-Feature by Emma Gunavardhana

-Photographs by Matrix