Love split Ioan Gruffudd, 47, developed close bond with co-star Ella Newton, 30, while in Australia

LOVE split actor Ioan Gruffudd has spoken of the close bond he developed with a co-star while filming a TV show in Australia.

Ioan, 47, accused by wife Alice Evans, 49, of gaslighting her after their marriage collapsed, has gushed about blonde Ella Newton, 30.

The Welsh actor told an Australian newspaper: “I’m so lucky. We bonded almost immediately, so there’s a lot of respect there.”

She plays his daughter in Australian TV drama Harrow, while another blonde, Anna Lise Phillips, 46, plays his ex-wife.

Ella, who has a boyfriend, used to play Delaney ­Renshaw — a Lolita character who tried to seduce an older man — in long-running ­Aussie soap Neighbours.

And The Sun on Sunday can reveal that Ioan, spotted in LA on Friday still wearing his wedding ring, found her equally mesmerising while filming Harrow.

Ioan, who last year reprised his role as evil ­surgeon Andrew Earlham in ITV thriller Liar, said: “Ella — well, look, everyone gets branded ‘someone to watch’, but from working with her, she certainly is.

“You can’t take your eyes off her when she’s on screen.

“She’s so raw because she’s so young and inexperienced. But she’s eager to learn, eager to listen.”

Sources have revealed that Ioan spent lonely nights in the bar of the hotel where he stayed while filming in Brisbane.

One said: “Ioan would often sit for hours with a whisky looking pensive. Those close to him believe that was where he decided it was over between him and Alice.”

There is no evidence to suggest Ioan was ever unfaithful.

He and Alice met while filming 2000 movie 102 Dalmatians. They have two daughters aged 11 and seven.

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