Pals of sexy actress Jennifer Garner have confirmed she's secretly dating her ALIAS co-star Michael Vartan.

Garner had been romantically linked to the French hunk since she split from her husband Scott Foley earlier this year (03). And friends say the pair have gone to great lengths to keep their trysts at Garner's Pacific Palisades, California, home secret.

A source says, "Their love is for real, but they don't want anybody to know about it yet. Michael never actually drives over to Jen's house, but instead parks his car about a mile away. Then she drives up and fetches him."

The main reason their romance is shrouded in secrecy, pals tell American tabloid the STAR, is because Garner doesn't want to further upset her already heartbroken ex Foley.

The friend explains, "Scott is so distraught that even dinner invitations from Renee Zellweger and Selma Blair haven't cheered him up. He turned down both women, saying that he's just not ready to date yet."

This summer (03), Vartan followed Garner to New York City, where she filmed her latest romantic comedy 13 GOING ON 30 - and he reportedly moved into her suite at the FOUR SEASONS HOTEL.

Another pal adds, "Michael would run errands for Jennifer, and shuttle her to and from the set. He made dinner reservations at her favourite place, THE MERCER KITCHEN. They took in a few Broadway plays too, but they always arrived and left separately."

They returned to Los Angeles on 27 July (03), but sources say they're still keeping their romance quiet.

08/08/2003 09:16