Alison Hammond ‘shaken by negativity surrounding new relationship as friends step in to help’

Alison Hammond ‘shaken by negativity surrounding new relationship as friends step in to help’

TV star Alison Hammond is “shocked” by the unfair criticism she has received over her partners’ age gap, a source has revealed.

The 49-year-old was recently spotted at a celebrity event with her Russian masseur boyfriend David Putman – a man 23 years her junior. The pair are believed to have met over a year ago when she booked him in for a massage.

Their relationship became romantic late last year, but some fans were shocked in April when Alison first shared a glimpse of her life with David on her Instagram page. But insiders say the disapproval she faced – including from David’s mum Olga – was not taken kindly.

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Alison Hammond has lost 5 stone and hopes to lose even more, according to her friends – Source: Getty Images

“Alison is really shaken by what she feels is a barrage of negativity since she announced her relationship with David. She can’t understand the mean comments. It’s taken the shine off what should have been such a happy time in her life,” a source told Heat.

They added that Alison “can’t understand” why dating a younger man is so taboo in society, before pointing out that film legend Dame Joan Collins’ relationship with Percy Gibson – who is 31 years her junior – “has never encountered such huge problems”.

The masseur’s mother is said to want her son to settle down and find a “nice Russian girl” and is also concerned that Alison has more “financial power” than David. However, the Russian is said to be “unfazed” by his parents’ words, while her own teenage son Aidan, 19, is also said to be supportive of the couple.

According to a source, Alison’s friends – two of whom are also in age-gap relationships – have advised that the best thing to do is to “not worry about what people think” and have insisted that “age is just a number”. The star’s previous relationships with audio technician Ben Kusi and gardener Ben Hawkins ended in heartbreak, but her friends now believe she could “go all the way to the altar” with David.

They noted Alison’s five-stone weight loss, saying it was all in an effort to fit into her dream wedding dress. One source told Closer: “Although she’s not engaged yet, she sees David as The One. They’re likely to take the next step soon, so she’s got her sights set on losing another three stone and wearing her dream dress.”