Nigella Lawson's French co-star on The Taste says he has become "very, very close" to the TV cook.
Ludo Lefebvre, 42, and Nigella, 54, filmed the TV cooking challenge during the fallout from the star's messy divorce.
According to The Sun, married Ludo gushed about Nigella: "Oh Nigella! I feel I have known her for a long time.
"When I moved to America in 1996, she was on TV and she was so beautiful.
"We have become very, very close. We clicked right away. We are in touch all the time."
Speaking about a recent trial involving Nigella's former personal assistants which led to details of her personal life coming out in court, he added: "She is so nice and not mean. It broke my heart. She is a celebrity for so many years. Have you heard anything like this before?
"No, because she is a great woman."
Nigella's aides Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo were cleared of fraud.