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Martin Freeman's private love life with famous girlfriend Rachel Benaissa

The Responder actor and TV BAFTAs presenter's partner is 22 years his junior

Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
12 May 2024
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Series two of The Responder has landed welcoming Martin Freeman back in the role of Chris Carson.

Martin is a familiar face in the world of TV and film thanks to his multiple credits in big titles such as the Lord of the Rings, The Office and Sherlock, but away from his impressive career, fans are also intrigued about his personal life including his romantic relationships.

The actor, who is also set to make an appearance at this weekend's star-studded BAFTA TV Awards, is currently dating the actor and writer Rachel Benaissa. 

Find out all about Martin's girlfriend and the details of their romance below.

Martin Freeman and Rachel Mariam attend the "Ziggy Stardust" Global Premiere at Eventim Apollo on July 03, 2023 in London, England© Joe Maher
Martin Freeman with his girlfriend Rachel Mariam at the "Ziggy Stardust" Global Premiere

Who is Martin's girlfriend, Rachel Benaissa?

Martin, 52, is dating 30-year-old Rachel Benaissa, a writer and actor from France who now resides in the UK. If Rachel looks familiar to TV fans, that'll be because Rachel has racked up some impressive TV credits to her name.

In 2020, she appeared in the hugely popular TV drama, Normal People, which launched the careers of Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar Jones. 

She's also starred in This Way Up alongside Aisling Bea, and the new Netflix movie Irish Wish, which stars Lindsay Lohan.

Martin Freeman and Rachel Mariam attend the Champagne Reception during the 2023 BAFTA Television Awards with P&O Cruises at The Royal Festival Hall on May 14, 2023 in London, England.
Rachel and Martin at the 2023 BAFTAs

Rachel and Martin prefer to keep their relationship generally away from the spotlight, so it's not known when they first started dating but they were first spotted out together in 2020. 

Since then, they've made various appearances together at red carpets and events in the industry.

They also have shared a number of personal photos like loved-up selfies on Rachel's Instagram page. 

Martin and Rachel pose for a selfie on her Instagram
View post on Instagram

Most recently, Rachel posted a series of snaps from the couple's time in Liverpool where she said they were celebrating the return of Martin's hit BBC show The Responder which is filmed in and around the city of Liverpool.

Joe Freeman, Martin Freeman, Rachel Mariam and Grace Freeman attend the European premiere of  'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' at Cineworld Leicester Square in London, United Kingdom on November 03, 2022© Wiktor Szymanowicz
Martin Freeman with his two children and girlfriend, Rachel

Martin Freeman's love life history  

Prior to his relationship with Rachel, Martin's most high-profile relationship was with his Sherlock co-star Amanda Abbington. They were together for 16 years after meeting on the set of Men Only in 2000 before going on to work together on the BBC drama.

Martin Freeman and Amanda Abbington attend the Arqiva British Academy Television Awards© Getty
Martin and his previous partner, Amanda Abbington

The pair share teenage children Joe and Grace and although Martin mostly keeps quiet about family life, he did tell Radio Times about how co-parenting can be "hard." He said: "Me and their mum don’t live together so there are times where they're inevitably going to not be with you, or when they say, 'Maybe not this weekend.' 

"It's hard not to feel hurt when they start doing things that don't involve you, even though you understand it and welcome it because it's totally natural."

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