updated 09/15/2010 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 09/15/2010 AT 3:20 PM ET
A year and a half after the death of wife Natasha Richardson, Liam Neeson is cautiously entering the dating pool.
Neeson, 56, is seeing Freya St. Johnston, a U.K.-based public relations executive who, like the actor, is the parent of two children. The pair was spotted holding hands in London on Sept. 3.
“She’s a wonderful person and a fantastic mother,” Johnston’s ex, Matt Winton, a marketing exec for the U.K.-based street wear brand Boxfresh, tells PEOPLE. “She takes life seriously in a free-spirited kind of way.”