Liam Neeson caused a stir when he said he had an "incredibly famous" girlfriend in a recent interview, but he has now backtracked and said it was just a joke. While the Taken star has found love again following the tragic death of his wife Natasha Richardson in 2009, his new girlfriend isn't in the public eye as previously suggested.
"He was joking with the writer during an interview he was doing with the Irish Independent," a spokesperson for the actor said.
Liam Neeson has said he was "joking" about dating a famous woman
It appears Liam's humour did not translate and he sent the rumour mill into overdrive with suggestions he could be in a relationship with leading ladies including Susan Sarandon, Diane Lane, Halle Berry and Charlize Theron.
When it was speculated that Liam could have been referring to 25-year-old actress Kristen Stewart, the actor's spokesperson once again laid the claims to rest, telling Gossip Cop that the rumours were false and "stupid", and confirming to the Independent that it was just "meaningless speculation".
Irish star Liam, 63, had refused to name his new love interest in case he "embarrasses" her. Speaking to the Irish Independent about his Valentine's Day plans, the actor said: "I'd embarrass her if I said her name, she's incredibly famous. I'll have to do my best for her. It's amazing how far a simple bunch of freshly picked flowers will go in a lady's life, I find."
The Irish actor tragically lost his wife Natasha Richardson in 2009
Liam lost his wife of 14 years in March 2009 after a tragic skiing accident. The couple had two sons together, Michael, 20, and Daniel, 19. He told the publication he naturally still feels "grief" over Natasha’s passing. Describing her sudden death as "a touchy subject", Liam added: "Of course the grief is still there. You do your best.
"I had many little letters, beautiful little cards scrawled from people after her death. I still have them and they are very meaningful. It is really touching.
"In your soul you know that there are people out there caring for you. That means a hell of a lot to me."
The actor was previously in a two year relationship with British publicist Freya Johnston, but that came to an end in 2012. An insider told the Mail at the time: "He told her he wanted to spend more time in New York and that he really wants to make more time for his children.
"Freya wanted something more serious, but Liam feels it is too soon. His wife only died three years ago, he wants to take things slow."