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By Kat Giantis
Just last month, Kate Winslet was snapped hand in hand with seemingly back-on beau Louis Dowler, the square-jawed British model she began dating in the spring of 2010. But now come rumblings that the freshly minted Emmy winner is spending quality time with a moniker-challenged new fella.
The London Sun claims Kate has "grown close to" Ned Rocknroll (no, that's not a misprint), a nephew of Richard Branson who changed his name from the perfectly nice and normal Abel Smith when he went to work at his uncle's Virgin Galactic spaceflight company.
Sure, his absurd surname would make Liz Lemon scream out, "That's a dealbreaker!" So would his separation earlier this year from his 23-year-old heiress-wife, Eliza, whom he married in a so-called "lavish pagan ceremony" in 2009. The actress, however, apparently doesn't mind.
According to the tab, the pair sparked last month while both were vacationing at Branson's home on Necker Island, which was devastated by a fire during their holiday (Winslet helped rescue Sir Richard's mother from the blaze).
"Ned was heartbroken [over his split] and went to Necker to take his mind off things," says a source. "But when Kate came out they really hit it off. They had met before on the island but both were in relationships. When they left, they traveled to New York to be together."
Kate, 35, and Ned, 33, were photographed this week in London walking in proximity to each other while leaving a memorial service for Sir Richard's father, Ted. (Another possible dealbreaker: those red suspenders Mr. Rocknroll is wearing.)
"Kate has been so happy," bubbles the insider. "At the Emmys, all she did was keep showing people pictures of Ned and talking about him."
A rep for Winslet didn't respond to our request for comment on the romance rumors.
The British thespian called it quits with director Sam Mendes in March 2010 after nearly seven years of marriage and one son, Joe. Her previous union, to British director Jim Threapleton, ended in divorce in 2001 after nearly three years of marriage and one daughter, Mia.
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