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'Eat, Pray, Love' Author Elizabeth Gilbert Finds Love With Man After Female Lover Dies

Eat Pray Love Author Finds Love With Man After Female Lover Dies
Source: Getty

Mar. 24 2019, Updated 6:17 p.m. ET

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Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert's love life has taken an unexpected turn again!

The famed writer announced on Instagram that she has a new boyfriend—and he was friends with Gilbert's female lover Rayya Elias, who died in 2018.

On Sunday, March 24, 2019, Gilbert, who was played by Julia Roberts in a movie version of her bestselling 2006 memoir, posted a cuddly black and white photo of herself and photographer boyfriend Simon MacArthur.

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In a long and emotional caption, Gilbert, 49, wrote to her fans, "Dear Ones: It's a beautiful spring day in my corner of the world, life is everywhere bursting forth with a sense of rebirth and renewal, and this seems like as good a moment as any to tell you that I am in love."

She continued, "Please meet my sweetheart, Mr. Simon MacArthur. He's a photographer from the U.K. — a beautiful man who has been a friend of mine for years. (Even more touchingly, Simon was a beloved friend of Rayya's for decades. They lived together in London over 30 years ago, and they adored each other forever like siblings. This, as you can imagine, means the world to me.)."

Gilbert shared more, noting on Instagram, "Of late, Simon and I have found our way to each other's arms. And now here we are, and his heart has been such a warm place for me to land. I share this news publicly, despite the fact that our love story is so new and young and tender, for a few reasons. For one thing, I just want to say: If you see me walking around with a tall handsome man on my arm, don't be buggin'. Just know that your girl is happy, and following her heart. But also this: I will always share anything personal about my life, if it could help someone else feel more normal about their life. SO...if you have lost a loved one to death, and you thought you'd never love again, but you are feeling a pull of attraction toward someone new, and you're not sure if that's OK? Let me normalize it for you. Let me say: It's Ok. Your heart is a giant cathedral. Let it open. Let it love. Do not let your gorgeous loyalty to the deceased stop you from experiencing the marvels and terrors of your short, mortal, precious life. It's OK to live, and to love. Or...if you are falling in love in middle age and it's terrifying, because you feel just as dumb and crazy and excited and insecure as you did at 16? Well, let me normalize this for you. It's OK. You will always feel 16 when you are falling in love. Or...if you once loved a man,and then you loved a woman, and then you loved a man, and you're wondering if that's ok? Well, darling. Let me normalize THAT for you. It's OK. Love who you love. It's all OK, and it's all impossible to control, and it's all an adventure that I would not miss. That's all I wanted to say. Onward, and I love you all. ❤️LG."

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Gilbert, 49, left her husband Michael Cooper and wrote Eat, Pray, Love about her trip around the world after her 2002 divorce.

In 2007, Gilbert married Jose Nunes, whom she met in Bali while traveling.

But in July 1, 2016, Gilbert announced on her Facebook page that she and Nunes were separating, saying only the reasons were "personal."

A couple of months later, however, Gilbert told Facebook followers that she was in lesbian love--BFF Elias was the reason for her marital split.

According to Gilbert, Elias' battle with terminal pancreatic and live cancer made her acknowledge romantic feelings.

They had a non-legally binding wedding in June 2017, but Elias died at age on January 4, 2018.

Gilbert was devastated and wrote, among other things, on Instagram, "She was my love, my heart, my best friend, my teacher, my rebel, my angel…."

But now, Gilbert is thrilled to be in a romance with Elias' close male friend MacArthur.

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