Somebody to lean on. As Melissa Rivers went through the painful, very public death of her mother Joan, she had a boyfriend as a support system, Us Weekly can exclusively reveal.
The TV personality, 47, has been dating talent agent Mark Rousso for a little more than a year, sources tell Us. They kept their relationship quiet until earlier this month when Rivers brought Rousso as her date to the Pre-Grammy Gala's Salute To Industry Icons in Los Angeles on Feb. 7.
"They've been secretly dating for a year but got really hot and heavy over the last two months," an insider tells Us. "They're getting serious now."
Rousso, who works for Industry Entertainment, stood by Rivers' side as she dealt with her mother's hospitalization and death. After a botched surgery and time spent in a medically induced coma, Joan Rivers passed away this past September.
"He was very supportive through her mother's death," the source says.
Insiders tell Us that the tragedy brought Rivers and Rousso closer together, noting that they are now "very serious." Two years ago, the future lovebirds both appeared on an episode of Couples Therapy. Rivers and Rousso were introduced as friends of a cast member in the July episode called "Trouble in Paradise."
This is Rivers' first long-term relationship since her 2011 split from Jason Zimmerman, whom she dated for three years. She was also previously married to John Endicott from 1998 to 2003. Endicott is the father of her one child, son Edgar Cooper, 14.
Rivers, who is facing her first Academy Awards without the former Fashion Police host this coming weekend, recently spoke to Entertainment Tonight about Joan and Hollywood's biggest night.
"Is there a void? Absolutely," she told ET this week. "Will anyone be able to capture my mother's voice? Not at all… The truth is when I really break it down, she was a fan. And she was thrilled to be there and couldn't believe who she was talking to, and she always used to say it was the world's greatest cocktail party."
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