Richard Gere has sparked rumours he has a new lover.

The 'Pretty Woman' actor had most recently been linked to 'Top Chef' host Padma Lakshmi, but he was seen holding hands with a mystery woman who was ''definitely not'' the 43-year-old beauty at Tutto Il Giorno in Southampton, New York, on Friday (18.07.14) evening, a source told the New York Post newspaper's Page Six column.

However, another source insisted Richard, 64, and Padma saw each other just last week but both have been extremely busy recently.

The Buddhist actor - who split from wife Carey Lowell last September after 11 years of marriage - was in the Himalayas earlier this month as part of the Dalai Lama's 79th birthday celebrations, while Padma has been in London.

Richard and Carey - who have 14-year-old son Homer together - have never officially confirmed their separation but were said to have been living apart for some time before their split.

The actor was also previously married to Cindy Crawford for four years until 1995.

Former model Padma, 43, was married to author Salman Rushdie for three years until 2007 and dated billionaire Teddy Forstmann until he died of brain cancer in 2011 at the age of 71.

The presenter has a three-year-old daughter, Krishna Thea Lakshmi-Dell, with Adam Dell, the venture capitalist brother of computer maker Michael Dell.