Benedict Cumberbatch Dating 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Movie Star Dakota Johnson?

Benedict Cumberbatch Designer Tom Ford (L) and actor Benedict Cumberbatch at the 2014 Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala in New York.  REUTERS

For weeks actor Benedict Cumberbatch has been rumored to be romantically attached to a mystery woman, and some fans of the British TV star now believe that they may have finally discovered who his secret girlfriend might be.

In April, ShowbizSpy.com published claims that the 37-year-old “Sherlock” actor was off the market and reportedly seeing a woman whose identity was being kept anonymous per the actor’s girlfriend's request. “Benedict has a new girlfriend," an “insider” dished to the gossip site last month, adding, “She isn’t in the public eye and has quite a serious career, so [she] is keen to remain anonymous as long as possible.”

Following the secret girlfriend rumors, Cumberbatch and “Fifty Shades of Grey" film star Dakota Johnson were photographed enjoying a meal together at a restaurant on New York’s Lower East Side Tuesday. The pair, who both attended New York's Met Gala the previous night, were reportedly joined by another female friend on their East Coast excursion, according to Wet Paint. While a majority appears to believe that Cumberbatch is only friends with the 24-year-old erotica film star, some fans are speculating that the actress might just be his alleged mystery lover, judging by their recent outing.

Dakota Johnson Actress Dakota Johnson at the 2014 Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala Benefit in New York.  REUTERS

“So this is the mystery woman he was trying to keep secret?!!! Wow!” shared one Cumberbatch fan. “New girlfriend??? Oh yays… watch his fandom explode.” said another Web user. “Benedict Cumberbatch went out with Dakota Johnson guys. What if they’re dating?” questioned one Twitter fan Wednesday.“ :( benedict :( dating :(  Dakota :( Johnson,” posted another colorful "Sherlock" fan on Twitter.

So are Benedict and Dakota a real item? While the duo have yet to confirm or deny romance rumors, it appears Johnson is already taken. The actress, set to star as the virginal Anastasia Steele in the upcoming “Fifty Shades of Grey” film adaptation, is reportedly still linked to her boyfriend, 28-year-old actor Jordan Masterson. According to one Dakota Johnson fan page, the couple was last spotted together celebrating Holy Week in Malaga, Spain on April 7.

Cumberbatch split from his longtime love, actress and screenwriter Olivia Poulet, 35, in 2010 after over a decade of exclusively dating. Despite calling their relationship quits, Cumberbatch spoke warmly about his ex in an interview with Vogue last September, saying, “We are still good friends. There is no acrimony. I love her, adore her, always will.”

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