Matt Golinski's new love marred by magazine paparazzi
CELEBRITY chef Matt Golinski is reported to be in France with the new love in his life, but Matt's close friend and official spokeswoman, Trena-Louise Lyons, says he will be upset he was "stalked by paparazzi" to get details about his fledgling romance.
Woman's Day has revealed Matt is "ready for love again", detailing his new relationship with personal trainer and physiotherapist Erin Yarwood.
It quotes a "close friend" saying Erin and Matt "clicked right away" and that "it's become a very special love story".
Ms Lyons says the couple was "stalked by paparazzi" at an event in Imbil on June 9, with sneaky photos taken of the couple cuddling.
She said while it was true the couple was "in the early stages of a fledgling romance", it was a pity he was not the one to be telling the story.
"He deserves better after the tragedy he has been through," Ms Lyons said.
Matt sustained burns to 40% of his body in a 2011 Boxing Day house fire, which claimed the lives of his wife, Rachael and daughters, Starlia, 10, and twins Willow and Sage, 12.
Erin, who lives in Cooroy, runs her own personal fitness training business.
Matt has previously credited her with helping him recover from the physical injuries he suffered caused by the fire.
Her Facebook profile picture shows the couple together, with her dog, Duke.
He also posted her a message on May 6 saying he would "give all my rogan josh to have vindaloo's with youse" (sic).
Erin posted on Saturday she was having a "fab time" in France on Saturday.
Cruise for Mates, a fundraiser for Matt and the charity he supports, is taking place in France at the same.
Ms Lyons declined to confirm whether the couple were together on the trip.
She said it was "most unfortunate that a national women's magazine has chosen to publish an unauthorised and unapproved story and to invade Matt's privacy with paparazzi photographs".
"It is true that with the blessing of Matt's family, Matt is currently in the early stages of a relationship. It is hoped that this unwanted media attention does not put undue pressure on the relationship in any way.
"Matt will always be grateful for the love he and his wife and children shared.
"I am sure that most people would reasonably agree his late family would not want him to be sad and alone for the rest of his life."
Ms Lyons said given the public nature of Matt's profile due to the tragedy that had befallen him and his family, he wanted to keep some aspects of his life private.
Matt Golinski ready to live and love again after fire
SUNSHINE Coast celebrity chef Matt Golinski reportedly has a new reason to fight on after striking a special bond with his personal trainer and physiotherapist.
Matt suffered burns to almost 40% of his body in the 2011 Boxing Day house fire that claimed the lives of his beautiful wife and three children.
According to Woman's Day magazine, he now has a lot of reasons to smile - not least of which is the bond he's forged with personal trainer and physiotherapist Erin Yarwood.
"Erin came into Matt's life to help with his rehabilitation in the early days," a friend tells Woman's Day.
"They clicked right away, a lovely friendship formed and, slowly and gently, their feelings have changed. It's become a very special love story.
"It's unimaginable what he's been through," the friend says of Matt, now 40, who lost wife Rachael, 38, and daughters Starlia, 10, and 12-year-old twins Willow and Sage in the fire.
"He has an extraordinary fighting spirit, and Erin has been there with a hand on his back all the way.
"That sort of devotion is rare, and it's given Matt a reason to fight on and make the best of his life. To see the light back in his eyes has given us great comfort."
Earlier this month, Matt shared of the moments waking up in hospital.
"On February 26, 2012, I woke up in hospital. My lung, kidneys and liver were damaged," he said.
"Forty per cent of my body was burned. I had lost 22kg.
"I couldn't see, I couldn't talk and I couldn't walk."
His father, who had barely left his side since the tragedy, was there to hear his first request.
"I asked Dad for a mobile phone so I could speak to my wife Rachael," Mr Golinski said.
"Dad didn't hesitate. He told me straight away."
At that point, he said he had failed to understand why he was still alive.
"Why on earth would you think I would want to live now?" he said of his thoughts at the time.
But after his father rigged up an alphabet chart for him to point to, the communication revealed his father's own state of mind.
"Then I realised he was suffering more than myself," Mr Golinski said.
From those early conversations with his father, when Mr Golinski heard of the enormous public outpouring of love and support, he rediscovered his will to live.
Mr Golinski said that being the recipient of so much compassion had compelled him towards giving.
"It magnifies your own compassion," he said.
He said despite the tragedy, he still felt fortunate.
"I feel lucky for all the love and support you have given me, the community has given me, my country has given me."