Patton Oswalt Steps Out With New Girlfriend 14 Months After His Wife's Death: 'They're Very Happy'
Patton Oswalt has been frank about the raw grief he has experienced following the death of his wife Michelle McNamara, who passed away unexpectedly in her sleep in April 2016 leaving the 48-year-old comedian left alone to care for their 8-year-old daughter, Alice Rigney.
Now, 14 months later, he may be starting to move on.
On Wednesday, Oswalt stepped out for the premiere of new movie Baby Driver with a very special guest by his side: new girlfriend Meredith Salenger.
The couple held hands while posing for the cameras — he dressed in a blue shirt and navy suit and she in a black top, leather jacket, and floral skirt.
A source close to the couple tells PEOPLE, “it’s new and they’re very happy.”
“They met through mutual friend Martha Plimpton,” the insider says. “They started chatting as friends and it blossomed from there.”
Salenger — a 47-year-old Harvard-educated actress with credits in a bevy of TV and films including Lake Placid, Hollywood Heights, and voiceover work for cartoons like Star Wars: The Clone Wars — took to social media on Wednesday to tweet an adorable selfie with Oswalt in the theater.
Oswalt, who has been on a social media break since May 31, broke his fast to retweet Salenger’s photo and another shot of them originally tweeted by Sony Pictures. He previously said that he was taking the summer off, vowing “Every time you choose love it delays the apocalypse.”
Earlier in the week, Salenger Instagramed a sweet snap of she and Oswalt holding hands, writing “I’m super in love guys. Just FYI.”
This is the first public relationship Oswalt has been in since the passing of McNamara, who died on April 21, 2016, at age 46.
In February, Oswalt revealed that McNamara passed away due to prescription medications and an undiagnosed heart condition that caused blockages in her arteries — a condition both he and McNamara, who wed in 2005, had “no idea” about when she was alive.
RELATED VIDEO: Patton Oswalt Reveals Wife Died Due to Prescription Medications and Undiagnosed Heart Condition
“It’s awful, but it’s not fatal,” wrote Oswalt, who is now raising 8-year-old daughter Alice as a single father. “That’s the dispatch I’m sending back from exactly one year into this shadow-slog.”
He went on to say that he took off his wedding ring and placed it in a box of keepsakes. “I couldn’t bear removing it since April 21st, 2016,” he wrote. “But now it felt obscene. That anonymous poem about the man mourning his dead lover for a year and a day, for craving a kiss from her ‘clay cold lips.’ I was inviting more darkness. Removing the ring was removing the last symbol of denial of who I was now, and what my life is, and what my responsibilities are. But it’s not fatal.”
“I’m not making today any sort of dark ritual or painful memorial,” he added. “No graveside visit. Those are for when Alice and I have something exciting to say to her. No candle lighting or balloon launching. We think of her every day — she’s still so tied into our worlds, in a way that’s encouraging, and energizing. So why light a flame that will die, or release a balloon that will disappear? Michelle’s gone but she wasn’t the kind of soul that disappears or dies out.”