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A comprehensive timeline of the secret relationship between Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx.

As death, destruction and threats of nuclear war populate news headlines internationally, the world turned its head and drunk in the distraction of Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx this week.

After all, there’s something particularly refreshing about two likable figures finally confirming a long-held rumour that they are, in fact, dating.

The likeable Jamie Foxx, 49, and the equally as likeable Katie Holmes, 38, have held the media at arms length for more than four years, dodging questions, persistent queries and the ever reliable anonymous source ‘close to the family’.

And then, with nothing more than a held hand and a walk along the beach, the duo all but confirmed we are just as smart as we thought we were. Yes, they are together, and yes, it was probably a Tom Cruise contract clause that was keeping them from the public eye all along.

Of course, Holmes and Cruise married in November 2006, after getting engaged just seven weeks into dating. In June 2012, Holmes filed for divorce, with the rumours – albiet, unconfirmed – being the actress was concerned about the Church of Scientology and what Cruise’s dedication to the church meant for the couple’s now 11-year-old daughter, Suri. The divorce was rushed. Remarkably so. 10 days after Holmes filed the paperwork, the divorce was finalised, with Radar Online reporting Cruise was particularly specific about his conditions for how the divorce would play out. One condition, they reported, was that Holmes was forbidden from “from embarrassing Tom in various ways”. This meant she was unable to date publicly for five years after the divorce, if she was to receive US$5.8 million in child support and US$6.2 million for herself.

Since 2013, a year after the couple’s divorce, Holmes and Foxx have been linked more than a handful of times, with both refusing to comment publicly on the state of their relationship. So, to help you understand how many years in the making this relationship has been, and why there’s such an air of relief and delight around the news, let’s go all the way back.

To 2004, in fact.

2004

In 2004, Jamie Foxx and Tom Cruise starred in a movie together called Collateral. It was the year before Cruise and Holmes started dating, and it’s believed Foxx and Cruise walked away from the film not just friendly, but friends.

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2006

In September 2006, Holmes, Cruise and Foxx were pictured meeting one another at a Monday Night Football Game. They posed for photos together, and it is believed it is one of the first - if not the first - times Holmes and Foxx crossed paths.

2013

It was 2013, a year after Holmes' highly-publicised divorce from Cruise, when Foxx and Holmes first made headlines for being linked in a romantic sense.

The duo were seen dancing together at a benefit concert in the Hamptons, and it, naturally, sent the tabloid world into a frenzy of sorts.

This, from Us Weekly:

An eyewitness tells Us Weekly that Holmes grabbed Foxx and Ellen DeGeneres to join her in rocking out to Lenny Kravitz hits like "American Woman." She also danced along to Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" and Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams' "Get Lucky."

In response to the rumours, Foxx told Entertainment Tonight:

“[The rumors] are one hundred percent not true. In fact, it’s quite hilarious because we simply danced at a charity event along with a lot of other people."

He followed this denial with another in the same year, joking to ABC News that he was also dancing with Colin Powell, and therefore "they could have said [he] and Colin Powell were dating".

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Sarah Harris talks with Mia Freedman about what it feels like to be followed by the paparazzi. Post continues after audio.

2015

In 2015, a blurry but distinguishable photo emerged of the duo holding hands in his home recording studio.

Foxx again spoke to Entertainment Tonight, denying - vehemently - the rumours around their relationship:

"What I've learned about society today is that they're so thirsty. Especially in tabloid world and social media world, they're so thirsty to find any story. Sometimes when you read the stuff you're like, 'Wow! That's so not true!'"

He didn't stop there, going on to - yes, again - deny he was dating Holmes to TMZ:

“Oh come on you guys have been trying to make that stick for three years, we’re just friends. As a matter of fact Anthony Zuiker, creator of CSI, he offered us an animation project and we’re working on that.”

Foxx told the tabloids the project he and Holmes were working on was an animation called Amber Alert, however, when Entertainment Tonight gave a "cursory glance" at each actor's IMDb profile, no such project appears to exist.

2016

In January, Holmes was interviewed for a a More Magazine cover story, and when asked if she was dating, responded by saying, "That's not something I want to answer."

That same year, a friend of Foxx - Real Housewives of Atlanta star Claudia Jordan - accidentally confirmed the relationship on the Allegedly podcast.

"[He's a] good friend of mine. He is very happy with her," she said at the time. "I like that he seems very happy."

Less than 24 hours later, Jordan backtracked totally, saying she "misspoke."

"I have no knowledge of Jamie with Katie at all," she told Entertainment Tonight. "I've never seen them together, he's never told me he's dating her."

At around the same time, the actress was spotted wearing diamond ring, sparking more persistent, and fresh, rumours that perhaps the couple is engaged.

2017

This is the year, the tabloids said, the couple would come forward with their relationship if there was ever a time to come forward. As of July, it has been five years since the divorce of Cruise and Holmes.

It would seem it was no coincidence that five years and two months after the divorce, Holmes and Foxx happened to be caught by paparazzi walking arm-in-arm along a stretch of Miami beach.

All signs point to it being the day they've been waiting for all along.

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