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Demi Lovato's Secret Hookup? Ryan Phillippe!

Demi Lovato, Ryan Phillippe Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic; AP Photo / Tammie Arroyo

She's 18. He's 36.

But the laws of celebrity attraction apparently knew no boundaries when it came to Demi Lovato secretly connecting with her most recent boyfriend...Ryan Phillippe!

MORE: Ryan Phillippe's Pregnant Ex: I Don't Need His Help!

E! News has learned exclusively that Lovato has been quietly dating Phillippe, the actor and divorced dad of three (including 2-week-old daughter Kai with ex-girlfriend Alexis Knapp), over the last couple of months.

A source says Phillippe and Lovato started seeing each other casually, but it quickly heated up, with the source revealing that things have cooled a bit since the birth of Phillippe's daughter.

"It was really hot and heavy for a while," says a source close to the casual couple, adding that Lovato didn't know for sure that Phillippe was going to be a father again "until it basically happened. It kind of threw her for a loop."

But the reason for slowing things down with the former Mr. Reese Witherspoon wasn't all about the new baby, but also about Lovato's baby of her own. The promotion of her new single "Skyscraper" and video, which premiered last week on E! News, has been consuming most of her attention in the last few weeks.

In other words, only time will tell if these two will eventually evolve into a full-fledged item.

Reps for the stars have not yet responded to E! News' request for comment, though a source close to Phillippe denies that any relationship with Lovato took place and says that the actor is currently "totally single."

(Originally published July 18, 2011 at 11:18 a.m. PT)

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