Actor Ryan Phillippe has sparked reports of a romance with Australian star Abbie Cornish, after they were spotted out and about in Los Angeles recently. The couple was alleged to have had a brief fling while co-starring in the forthcoming Stop Loss while Phillippe was still married to Legally Blonde beauty Reese Witherspoon - a claim both parties have denied. But according to the New York Daily News, the pair have now become more than just friends. A close pal says, "They are a real couple. (The relationship) has really grown. She's spending time with his kids (Ava, eight, and Deacon, four) - it's not like she's on the side. She's part of the family." And Phillippe's children appear to have warmed to Cornish, after they were snapped Christmas shopping together last weekend (02Dec07). A witness tells Us Weekly magazine, "Ava seemed very comfortable with Abbie. Ava picked a wreath, and Abbie put it around her head as a joke. They both were laughing." Another source adds, "Going out together and leaking a few photos is their discreet way of letting the public know it's official. It's not like you can send out a press release about these things."