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Heidi Klum and Bodyguard Martin Kirsten: How Their Romance Began

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Heidi Klum with children, mother Erna Klum, and bodyguard Martin Kristen in New York City on June 25, 2011.  

In Heidi Klum's world, Seal is out, and Martin Kirsten is definitely in. 

On Katie Wednesday, the German supermodel confirmed that she is now dating her hunky longtime bodyguard.

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"I trust him with my children's life," Klum told Katie Couric. "He's a great man . . . and we just got to know each other from a completely different side."

(In a Labor Day weekend scandal, her future ex-husband Seal, 49, sniped that Klum should have waited to "fornicate with the help" before their divorce was finalized; he later emphasized that Klum did not cheat during their seven-year marriage.)

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Klum, South Africa-born Kirsten and her four kids Leni, 8, Henry, 7, Johan, 5, and Lou, 2, were all spotted together in Sardinia in late August — with Klum and her new guy packing on the PDA and looking at one another adoringly.

"They've always been close," a pal says of Klum and Kirsten, who has worked as her bodyguard for four years.

"This summer the relationship developed into something more," the pal explains. After Klum and Seal announced their split in January and filed divorce papers in April, Klum struggled to find someone that she could trust.

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Things with Kirsten started casually — with Klum linking arms with Kirsten and nestling in to sleep on his shoulder during long first class flights.

By July 4, the duo were spotted together on Shelter Island, New York, and Klum seemed "smitten" with her muscle-bound man.

"It may be a rebound," a source says. "Still, this is someone she is comfortable with."

Another bonus? Klum's brood of four little ones approve. "They love him," the source says.

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