updated 04/27/2009 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 04/27/2009 AT 1:35 PM ET
After much speculation about the nature of the relationship involving Slumdog Millionaire stars Dev Patel and Freida Pinto, Patel’s mother Anita has confirmed to a British newspaper that the pair are very much a couple.
“First it was the film and now everything else seems to have slotted into place,” Mrs. Patel is quoted as saying in Monday’s Daily Mirror.
“Life can’t get any better for him. Freida is really beautiful, and I am really happy for them.”
Her comments come just days after Patel, 19, jetted to Israel to spend a whirlwind date with the Mumbai beauty, 24. “Yes, we knew he was flying to Israel to see her,” said Patel’s mother.
The pair rendezvoused in Tel Aviv as Pinto took time off from filming her latest movie in Jerusalem. The couple spent a few hours together in a hotel before emerging for a stroll around the harbor and an early champagne dinner at a seaside restaurant.
Onlookers said Pinto couldn’t keep her hands off Patel. The couple spent their time at the table smooching and holding hands to the delight of a group of Japanese tourists who happened to pass by.
Shortly afterwards, Patel hopped a taxi to the airport to fly back to London, while Pinto returned to her base at the American Colony Hotel in East Jerusalem.