Rosie O'Donnell has been spending time with Tatum O'Neal not long after the Oscar winner revealed to PEOPLE that she now dates women

By Kathy Ehrich Dowd Liz McNeil
September 02, 2015 05:40 PM
Bruce Glikas/Filmmagic; Tibrina Hobson/Filmmagic

In an unexpected summer romance, Tatum O’Neal and Rosie O’Donnell are dating, a source tells PEOPLE.

“They are romantically involved,” says the source. “It’s a bicoastal relationship.”

News of the under-the-radar relationship comes just months after O’Neal, 51, revealed exclusively to PEOPLE that she now dates women.

However, O’Donnell’s rep, Cindi Berger, insists the two women are merely friends: “No, they’ve been friends for several years since they met in Chicago when Rosie did a show for OWN and Tatum did a docu-series for OWN.”

But the source tells PEOPLE the connection between the two extends beyond friendship.

“They are confidantes,” adds the source. “They are hanging out. They have seen each other on both coasts, in Nyack and in Los Angeles.”

Although the new couple have kept a low profile, they both attended the Broadway opening of Hamilton last month and reportedly shared an intimate dinner at Da Silvano in New York City, where a fellow diner told the New York Post‘s Page Six O’Donnell looked “happy and relaxed.”

The duo have also been dropping subtle hints about their connection on social media lately.

On Aug. 21, O’Donnell, 53, tweeted a link to O’Neal’s first-person story in Harper’s Bazaar titled “Tatum O’Neal on Women Who Leave Men for Women.”

The talk show host also retweeted the Oscar winner’s Aug. 27 post promoting her son Sean McEnroe’s photography exhibit.

The new relationship comes about six months after O’Donnell filed for divorce from second wife Michelle Rounds after less than three years of marriage.

It also comes during a difficult period for O’Donnell and her second eldest child, Chelsea, who went missing last month and was later found in the home of alleged heroin addict Steven Sheerer. Chelsea, 18, has since gone to live with her biological mother.

O’Neal, who has been open about her battles with addiction in the past, also went through a tumultuous divorce from husband John McEnroe, who is the father to their three now-adult children.

O’Neal told PEOPLE in May she is now closer to her children than ever: “I’m the proudest mom in the history of the world.”

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