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Braunwyn Windham-Burke is dating fellow former 'Real Housewives' star

"She's definitely special," the mom of seven said about the new lady in her life.
/ Source: TODAY

Braunwyn Windham-Burke is opening up about her romance with fellow former "Real Housewives of Orange County" star Fernanda Rocha.

The mom of seven told E! News that she is "definitely dating" Rocha, a Brazilian fitness instructor who appeared on season six of the Bravo series. Her spokesperson confirmed the news to TODAY on Tuesday.

"We have been hanging out," the 43-year-old reality star gushed to E! News. "We are close and she's been an amazing support to me. I'm glad I met her."

Former "Real Housewives of Orange County" star Braunwyn Windham-Burke poses with girlfriend Fernanda Rocha at the GUARDaHEART Foundation Unmasked Heart Disease event on June 19, 2021 in Newport Beach, Calif.Joe Scarnici / Getty Images

“Braunwyn has been so busy working during Pride month, and is looking forward to be spending the next few days away with Fernanda," her spokesperson told TODAY on Tuesday.

The reality star explained to E! News that while she and Rocha have known each other for some time, they got together only after Rocha's soon-to-be ex-wife, Tessa Rocha, filed for divorce in January.

"I will say this: There have been some rumors about when we went from being friends to a little bit more than friends. It was after she got divorced so there's nothing salacious like that happening. We've been hanging out for a while. We didn't become more than friends until recently," she said.

"She's definitely special," added Windham-Burke, who recently shared several photos of her and Fernanda Rocha on Instagram.

"I have a tendency to spiral into over the top emotions as anyone in a reality show should, and she brings me back down to center," she said. "She's really brought out a softer side of me."

Windham-Burke's life update comes nearly a week after it was announced that she wouldn't return to "RHOC" for season 16.

The reality star came out as a lesbian during an interview with GLAAD last December.

"I'm a lesbian and it has taken me 42 years to say that but I'm so proud of where I am right now and I'm so happy where I am and just to be able to be comfortable in my own skin after so long is just so nice," she said.

Windham-Burke has has been married to her husband, Sean Burke, for more than 20 years. The couple share seven children: Bella, 20, Rowan, 18, Jacob, 15, twins Curran and Caden, 8, Koa, 6, and Hazel, 3.

She told GLAAD that she always knew she was attracted to women but stereotypes about lesbians prevented her from accepting her own sexuality.

"I grew up in a time when, you know, my idea of what being a lesbian was was you had short hair, you wore flannel," she explained. "There's a very masculine stereotype, so when I was younger I never really thought that I could be that."

She added that while she is not attracted to men, she intends to stay married to her husband. “I love Sean. I love him dearly, he is my person, he is my family. But I’m not attracted to men and I never have been," she said.