Freya St. Johnston "takes life seriously in a free-spirited kind of way," says her ex
A year and a half after the death of wife Natasha Richardson, Liam Neeson is cautiously entering the dating pool.
Neeson, 56, is seeing Freya St. Johnston, a U.K.-based public relations executive who, like the actor, is the parent of two children. The pair was spotted holding hands in London on Sept. 3.
“She’s a wonderful person and a fantastic mother,” Johnston’s ex, Matt Winton, a marketing exec for the U.K.-based street wear brand Boxfresh, tells PEOPLE. “She takes life seriously in a free-spirited kind of way.”
Adds Winton, “They make a very nice couple.”
Sources close to the actor caution that Neeson is only in the first stages of dating again, and that his primary focus remains raising his two boys with Richardson, Micheal, 13, and Daniel 12.
For more on Liam Neeson dating again, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
• Reporting by SARA HAMMEL and ELIZABETH LEONARD