FERNE McCann is in a secret relationship with an older man and is the happiest "she's been in a long time".
The former Towie star has finally found love again after a stressful year following her doomed romance with ex Arthur Collins.
The Sun Online can exclusively reveal that Ferne, 27, has been dating a new man for a month and a half and it's serious.
They have known each other for a year and half in a professional capacity, but their relationship has now turned romantic.
A close friend of Ferne's has told us the new mum is finally happy again after a turbulent year.
The insider said: "He's quite a bit older than her and she seems the happiest she's been in a long time.
"She's had a terrible time of things so she's being realistic - she's keen to keep the romance out of the spotlight as he's not a celebrity and it's early days.
"But she's the happiest she's been in ages."
The revelation comes just days after Ferne was forced to deny she was still in a relationship with acid attacker Arthur.
The new mum – who shares baby daughter Sunday with Arthur - slammed claims that she was still secretly dating him in jail as Ferne's pal revealed she did so out of respect for her new relationship.
Ferne, who has been showing off her incredible post-baby body on Instagram recently, ended the rumour mill in its tracks by setting the record straight on Twitter.
She wrote: "Regarding today’s many FALSE stories about me (and sorry to bore you all)…
"For the record (again) I am not in a relationship with Arthur. I do not know how much clearer I could be about that!!...
“Arthur is Sunday’s father. I have had to communicate with him and his family with respect to Sunday (and so you all know, mainly through lawyers).
“Todays ‘sources’ are wrong. Much love, Ferne"
The former Towie star had vowed never to see Collins again after visiting him once following the birth of their daughter Sunday last year.
Collins was sentenced to 20 years after carrying out a traumatising acid attack in a London nightclub which left 14 people injured.
It was revealed in January that Ferne had taken her baby daughter Sunday to visit the acid attack thug where she reportedly told him that "he won't see either of us again".
She distanced herself from Arthur after police began hunting him in connection with the attack at a nightclub in East London in April, 2016.
Ferne revealed the pair had split, confirmed she was pregnant with his child and vowed to raise the baby alone.