Carolina Panthers player reaches Hollywood gossip stardom with new supermodel date

Christian McCaffrey, tabloid star?

Hollywood gossip magazines are aiming their cameras at the Carolina Panthers’ running back after he was spotted holding hands with supermodel and Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo at a seaside resort in Mexico on Tuesday.

Olivia Culpo attends the 2018 Baby2Baby Gala on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 in Culver City, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) Jordan Strauss Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Just two weeks before McCaffrey reports for training camp for the 2019 NFL season, photos emerged in several magazines of the Panther in swimming trunks and Culpo, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition model, in a bikini in Cabo San Lucas. The resort city is on the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula.

“They’re dating and they’re beautiful together,” TMZ Sports reported in an article headlined, “Hottest Couple, Ever?!?”

“Culpo looked sizzling hot in a fiery red bikini, a black sarong and sporty sunglasses as she hung out with McCaffrey outside their villa,” People magazine reported.

US Weekly reported that “the twosome got cozy on a lounge chair as they chatted with pals Kristen Louelle and her husband, Tyler Gaffney. At one point, they were spotted holding hands as they strolled away from a crowd.”

US Weekly boasted that it had the exclusive when it disclosed on July 2 that McCaffrey, 23, and Culpo, 27, were spending time together after her break-up last fall with 33-year-old Detroit Lions receiver Danny Amendola.

Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.