Sources close to Hayden Panettiere and Milo Ventimiglia reveal that actor made his move on his Heroes co-star after her split from her boyfriend, despite "always" having a "crush" on her.
Rumours that the pair were dating stepped up a gear when they were caught smooching at a Grammys after-party in September.
But inspite of the apparent evidence, they continued to deny that they were anything more than friends.
As well as age gap (Milo is 30, Hayden a barely-legal 18), the diminutive cheerleader was also reportedly concerned about the effect on her reputation if their relationship went public.
"She didn't want people thinking she is a 'ho' because she jumped from one relationship into another," a source close to her tells Us.
The insider claims that Milo – who plays Hayden’s uncle in the hit TV show – confessed his feelings to Hayden only after her split from boyfriend, Stephen Colletti.
"He always had a crush, but really let her know the minute she broke up with Stephen," a source says.