British comedian John Cleese is, as the UK tabloids would put it, dating a blonde HALF his age. But that's not the most embarrassing thing about the 34-year-old. The woman, Veronica Smiley, is also vice president for marketing at Radar magazine! (We kid, we kid. Radar has fantastic marketing.) (UPDATE: According to LinkedIn, Smiley works for Radar's parent company, Integrity Multimedia.) Smiley is based out of the Chicago office, according to Cleese's quote, although Smiley's Facebook has her in New York. Apparently she's never even heard of either Monty Python or Fawlty Towers, Cleese's two most popular serials. While we're waiting for the definitive coverage of the fling from Radar, here are some basics on the couple, who've been very chatty with the press:

  • Cleese, 68, is in the midst of a divorce from his third wife.
  • They met at a "power breakfast" in New York.
  • Smiley: "We had this natural connection and became firm friends."
  • Cleese: "I never thought I would be interested in somebody in marketing but she is so acute."
  • Cleese took her on a European "divorcey-moon" tour arranged by his friend. Sounds sort of rebound-ey.
  • Read between the lines: Smiley: "we are still getting to know each other... it is a very close, very warm friendship."
  • Read between the lines: Cleese's friend on a dinner in Zurich: "I don't think they'd had a major consummation before that, if I may put it that way."
  • Cleese: "I am not sure when we'll be seeing each other again."

In case anyone missed her point about the nature of her relationship with Cleese, Smiley updated her Facebook thusly:

The Sunday Times coverage never called Smiley a "friend," so one presumes the clarification is hers.

Oh, Veronica. At least rent Holy Grail before you put John on permanent "just friends" status.


(Photo via Daily Mail)