Former Tottenham Hotspur footballer Rafael van der Vaart has confirmed his relationship with Sabia Boulahrouz, the best friend of his estranged wife Sylvie, who is also the wife of Rafael's Hamburg teammate Khalid Boulahrouz.
Sylvie van der Vaart, 34, announced her split from Rafael on New Year's Day, and seems to have no ill feeling towards Rafael and his new girlfriend. "It's his decision," she said. "I wish them the best, right now I am focused on my son Damián. He is the most important thing for me."
Rafael and Sabia have made no secret of their romance. "We have known each other for some years," explained the Dutch footballer. "We have always been good friends. Surprisingly in the last weeks some feelings have grown between the two of us."
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"We have been together for a brief time and we are being very careful," added Sabia. "We started our relationship long after their separation. I don't think Sylvie is mad."
As reports of the new romance broke in German newspaper Bild, Dutch TV presenter Sylvie was apparently in Paris spending time with her new love interest, French millionaire Guillaume Zarka.
Rafael and Sylvie's relationship broke down at the beginning of the year and it then surfaced that he had assaulted her at a party.
"It was very foolish of me," admitted the midfielder. "I'm an idiot. I'm very sorry. It should never have happened."
Sylvie has not been active on her Twitter account since the day before the split was announced when she uploaded a photo of herself with Rafael and Sabia.
The image of the trio is accompanied with the caption "#NYE ... Hope you all have a great party."