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The Girl Next Door

How Katie Holmes and Emilio Vitolo Fell in Love During Quarantine

Entertainment Tonight
By Meredith B. Kile

After a massively public marriage and split and a super-secret relationship, Katie Holmes has found new love -- and seems to be totally smitten!

The actress was first spotted out with NYC chef Emilio Vitolo Jr. back in September, and a source told ET at the time that Holmes, 41, and her 33-year-old beau are the real deal. "They adore each other and can't get enough of one another,” the source said. "Katie is like a teenager in love right now -- he makes her giddy!"

While the pair has limited their public social appearances during the coronavirus pandemic, they've not been secretive about their relationship -- sharing PDA on outdoor restaurant dates, meeting each other's friends and families and clearly enjoying their time together.

Here's what we know so far about Holmes' new love!

Who He Is

Holmes' new beau is a New York City chef, who works at Emilio’s Ballato in SoHo. His father, Emilio Vitolo Sr., bought the establishment in the early ‘90s. Vitolo is Italian on his father's side and Peruvian on his mother's side.

Vitolo grew up in his father's restaurant, serving and cooking for famous regulars like Denzel Washington, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lenny Kravitz and more. He also seems to have some Hollywood aspirations of his own -- appearing on Royal Pains, Inside Amy Schumer, and a few feature films -- and has shared shots on social media with a number of celeb pals, including Whoopi Goldberg, the cast of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Joe Jonas.

How It Started

The pair was first spotted out together in September -- though Vitolo did comment on one of Holmes' Instagram pics in July, and a source told ET that the couple has known each other for almost a year, having first met in the fall of 2019. Cameras captured Holmes looking casual in a tank top and jeans while she laughed and drank wine with Vitolo at Mediterranean restaurant Antique Garage in Manhattan, New York.

This is the first relationship for Holmes following her split from Jamie Foxx in August of 2019. The former couple had a very private relationship and rarely made public appearances together.

Despite the difficulties of getting together during the COVID-19 pandemic, a source told ET in November that the nationwide lockdowns and quarantines are part of the reason Holmes' relationship with Vitolo moved so quickly.

"Katie wasn't working or traveling as much as usual and things were slower at the restaurant for Emilio, so it really gave them the opportunity to focus on each other. Instead of a few dates over an extended period of time, they were able to have a month's worth of dates in a matter of days," the source said.

Why It Works So Well

ET's source said in October that this relationship is unlike any other Holmes has ever been in. "In the past it seemed like Katie would sort of mold to her partners’ lifestyle,” the source shared. "But with Emilio, Katie is so authentically herself."

The two are no strangers to PDA and ET's source said that they don’t care what people think of them or who’s watching. When they’re together, they’re in their own little world. “This is the real Katie and she’s playing by her own rules now,” the source shared. "They’re so happy.”

“One of Emilio’s most attractive attributes is his work ethic and ambition -- his family restaurant is a huge priority for him, which is why they spend so much time at the restaurant," the source noted, adding Vitolo was able to steal a few nights away during the fall so he and his ladylove could enjoy a couple nights in Upstate New York at a wellness retreat.

They're also similarly dedicated to family. Holmes met Vitolo's family early in their relationship and she spends a lot of time with them -- especially his brother and father, who work at the restaurant with him.

"Katie gets along great with Emilio's family. She fits right in and is totally comfortable around them," the source said.

And while Vittolo hasn't yet had the chance to meet most of Holmes' family, ET's source said, "Her family would love him. He's hard-working, a big family man, and he makes her so happy."

How's It Going

A source told ET in November that the actress and the celebrity chef are going strong -- and the pair's cute comments on each other's social media posts seem to back that up (though they've yet to go Instagram official).

While she's spent plenty of time with his family in New York City, because of the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, it's unlikely Vitolo will be able to spend time with her family in Ohio any time soon.

The source said that Holmes and her 14-year-old daughter, Suri, typically go to Ohio for the holidays so Suri can spend time with her cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, it's unclear if that will be possible this year -- especially in regard to Vitolo joining them for the trip.

"It's pretty tricky for Emilio to do any traveling right now because of the new restrictions in place," the source said. If Vitolo leaves the state, he could be required to quarantine upon his return for anywhere from five days to two weeks, and that's "just pretty unrealistic for someone in the restaurant world," the source. explained.

Following the Thanksgiving holiday, a source told ET that Katie and Suri enjoyed a quiet weekend in Upstate New York, without Emilio.

"Katie and Emilo have been inseparable since they officially became a couple," the source said. "He adores Suri and they get along great, but Katie has always been really good about ensuring she and Suri continue to have a lot of quality time just the two of them."

According to the source, the three of them, "spent Saturday morning together before Katie and Suri departed for their getaway upstate."