Tongues were wagging when a smiling Sam Armytage was spotted enjoying an intimate breakfast with a stocky mystery man in the exclusive Crystal Club at Crown Towers in Melbourne on the AFL grand final weekend.
Was this the man the popular 42-year-old Sunrise star has hinted for months that she's been secretly dating?
The man she was seen eating with can now be revealed as millionaire Paul O'Brien, a Brisbane-based private jet tycoon who separated from his wife, Ten's Brisbane newsreader Georgina Lewis, earlier this year.
"They looked very happy together at Crown," reports our source, who says onlookers were fascinated by the couple and speculating if Sam's breakfast companion was indeed the new "mystery" man she's been quietly dating.
Woman's Day can reveal that Samantha Armytage was first seen with Paul earlier this year, when they were photographed together sharing a laugh as they took the TV star's pet Labrador Banjo for a stroll in Sydney's Bondi Beach, where Sam lives.
"The couple were seen walking to a local bottle shop before spotting photographers and running away in different directions," claimed one of the photographers.
In June, Sam – who's been romantically linked to Seven newsreader Michael Usher and Modern Family star Eric Stonestreet in the past – admitted that she'd met someone special.
"There are good things happening… I don't talk about anyone before I'm 100 per cent sure, because you have to keep some things private," Sam told Who magazine, refusing to identify her new boyfriend.
But her closest colleagues at Seven have known about her budding romance for months, even if Sam has gone to some lengths to keep his identity a secret and avoid being photographed with him.
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"She's been saying for months now that she has a new man," shares one Seven staffer.
"She's been tight-lipped about the details, but she's told some of the girls that she's met a bloke who literally swept her off her feet."
Sam met Paul through her Sunrise co-star and sports presenter Mark Beretta, who has been mates with the aviation tycoon for years.
Mark recently boasted about hitching a ride on one of his private jets from Melbourne to Sydney.Last week, Paul's estranged wife Georgina was seen without her wedding ring on while reading Ten's Eyewitness News First At Five, and a network spokeswoman confirmed she had separated from her husband of nine years.
Multi-millionaire Paul started his aviation company AVMIN to capitalise on the mining boom and started flying miners around Australia, but has also flown big stars like the band Coldplay around the world in his fleet of private jets.
The "outgoing and gregarious" businessman, who reputedly loves a party and mixing with celebrities, sold a majority stake in his company to Flight Centre but stayed on as managing director. He is often seen at big-ticket events.
"Paul's very ambitious and charismatic on top of being incredibly successful and driven," says a former colleague.
"He has a really wide circle of friends and lives life to the full. And having a private jet at his disposal makes him a pretty exciting person to hang around with."