Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes Dating
updated 04/28/2005 AT 11:00 AM EDT
•originally published 04/27/2005 AT 06:00 PM EDT
The romance was confirmed by Cruise's rep after he and Holmes were photographed together, hand in hand, in Rome on Wednesday evening.
"She's a really genuine person," says the friend. "She's the real deal."
Another source says it was Cruise who made the first move: "He asked her out on a date."
Cruise split with girlfriend Penelope Cruz last year. He and Nicole Kidman, who have two children, divorced in 2001.
Holmes and actor Chris Klein broke off their engagement in March.
The actress, who launched her career on TV's Dawson's Creek, appears in the summer action film Batman Begins. Cruise stars in director Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds.