The couple were first spotted together in May during a date in Malibu. More recently, they were seen kissing at a Toronto airport on Wednesday, December 4, in photos published by Page Six. They later reunited at a holiday party in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles on Saturday, December 7, per the Daily Mail.
The news of the budding romance comes weeks after Duhamel, 47, and Fergie, 44, finalized their divorce. They reached an agreement on November 22, nearly six months after the singer filed divorce paperwork.
The former couple, who share 6-year-old son Axl, started dating in 2004 and tied the knot in Malibu in January 2009. They announced their separation in September 2017 in a joint statement to Us Weekly that read, “With absolute love and respect, we decided to separate as a couple earlier this year. To give our family the best opportunity to adjust, we wanted to keep this a private matter before sharing it with the public. We are and will always be united in our support of each other and our family.”
Below, Us rounds up five things to know about the actor’s new girlfriend.
1. She Is Much Younger
Mari is 25 years old. She and Duhamel have a 21-year age difference. She turns 26 on January 8, 2020.
2. She Is a Beauty Pageant Queen
The model was the first runner-up in the 2011 Miss Teen USA competition, in which she represented her home state of North Dakota. She was later crowned Miss North Dakota USA 2014 and Miss World America 2016.
3. She Overcame Bullying in High School
Mari said in a 2011 interview with Seventeen that her high school classmates made fun of her for being tall and thin, with some calling her Sasquatch. “Finally, I told my mom, I told her everything that was happening. She talked to the administration, and they brought the girls in and talked to them about it,” she told the magazine. “You just have to bring it to the attention of people in a position of authority.”
4. She Has Modeled for Big Companies
In between pageant competitions, Mari has posed for H&M and Ocean Drive magazine’s swimsuit issue. She has more than 32,000 Instagram followers, including Duhamel.
5. She Is Filipino
The North Dakota State University graduate’s grandfather is from the Philippines. “He moved to the United States to create a better life for his family,” she said in her Miss World 2016 video package. “He raised four beautiful children, and he’s a shining example that anything is possible here.”
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