Heartbroken actress Renee Zellweger is reportedly being comforted by acclaimed singer/songwriter Damien Rice in the wake of her marriage collapse.

Zellweger filed for an annulment from country star Kenny Chesney two weeks ago (11SEP05) and Rice has been consoling her ever since.

The pair met last year (04) and Rice, who provided the soundtrack for 2004 movie CLOSER, has spent hours on the phone to the actress and even invited her to his Kildare home in Ireland to escape press attention.

A source tells British newspaper the Daily Mirror, "When her marriage fell apart, he was the obvious person to call for a shoulder to cry on.

"Damien seems to be a very important part of her life right now and is helping her to stay strong."