Who Is Monika Clarke? 5 Things to Know About ‘Outlander’ Star Sam Heughan’s New Flame

A new connection! After Sam Heughan was photographed locking lips with a mystery woman, Us Weekly confirmed that his date was model Monika Clarke.

The couple were originally spotted grabbing lunch at Café Select in New York City on Sunday, March 7, in photos obtained by E! News. Heughan, 41, put his arm around Clarke, 30, as they made their way to the Soho spot, and they later packed on the PDA at their table.

The surprising outing came just before the Outlander star noted how difficult dating was because of his work schedule.

"The job is so all encompassing and we spend so much time on the set and at work so … but yeah, I'm open to something," Heughan said during an appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show on Wednesday, March 9, after the host asked if he was single.

The Sassenach Spirits founder previously said that filming the historical drama, where he plays the heroic Jamie Fraser, forced him to put dating on the backburner.

"Certainly, relationships are hard when you're working in Scotland 10 months a year," Heughan told Inquirer in January 2020. "I travel a lot and any downtime I have, I'm trying to do other projects, so very much, my career comes first. Maybe I will find someone eventually."

He continued: "My whole career, not just Outlander, but as an actor, I have always put that first. It's hard when you travel a lot. My priority has been my career, so that's where I am at the moment. But I am sure at some point, I will get knocked off my feet, then I'm screwed."

The U.K. native rose to stardom when he scored a role in Outlander alongside Caitriona Balfe. The Starz series, which premiered in 2014, is based on novels by Diana Gabaldon that follow a couple who finds their way to one another through time travel.

Although viewers were quick to ship Heughan and Balfe both on and off screen, the costars have stayed close friends throughout the years. In January 2022, the Belfast star, 42, opened up about a small group of Outlander fans who violated her privacy because of their interest in her love life.

"When you have a kid, you become really protective. I don't want those crazies — because that's what they are — I just don't want them talking about him," the actress, who welcomed her first child with husband Tony McGill in 2021, told Vanity Fair.

The profile piece detailed how the Escape Plan star found out that some of her fans harassed the secretary of the church where her wedding took place because they questioned her marriage. The Ireland native also learned that private investigators were hired to look into her relationship with Heughan.

"It's sad, because you meet the loveliest people who are fans of the show and they're super supportive and they do the nicest things — and then you have that little thing, which just taints it," Balfe added at the time.

Before being spotted kissing Clarke, Heughan, for his part, has previously been linked to MacKenzie Mauzy, Cody Kennedy, Amy Shiels and Abbie Salt.

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