The pair are said to have become extremely close in recent weeks after a string of secret dates in their home town of Adelaide.
“Seb and Stacey started meeting up regularly when Stacey’s marriage to Michael was falling apart,” a source reveals.
“She used him as a shoulder to cry on during areally difficult time and things just started to develop from there.”
According to the insider, Stacey is even considering introducing Seb to her two boys in the coming weeks.
“It’s still early days but things are going well. They are hanging out whenever they can and they really enjoy each other’s company,” the insider continues.
“They’ve developed a genuine connection. Stacey can see a real future with Seb and he’s fallen hard for her too.”
While Seb isn’t Stacey’s usual type, friends say the law graduate has come to the realisation that her choice of men in the past hasn’t served her well.
“She’s trying something – or should I say, someone – completely different to what she would usually go for,” her friend explains. “And it seems to be working out for her this time.”
Meanwhile, friends of Lizzie’s say she was completely blindsided by the news, considering she and Stacey developed a strong friendship during the experiment.
“Lizzie can’t believe this has happened again. She’s completely heartbroken because she truly thought Seb could be The One,” dishes the pal.
“But it’s even harder for her because she considered Stacey her closest friend on the show. She’s shocked she would throw their friendship away for a guy, especially considering how strongly she defended her during filming.”
To add further insult to injury, due to a contractual agreement to stay with Seb until after the show ends, Lizzie’s had to keep up appearances with her on-screen hubby.
“It’s extremely hard for her to act like they are still madly in love,” the friend admits. “She’s putting on a brave face and doing what she’s contractually obliged to, but behind closed doors, she’s distraught.”
However, according to Lizzie’s friend, there still may be a glimmer of hope for the couple. While Seb has developed strong feelings for Stacey, he’s considering staying with Lizzie, for now, to reap in the benefits of their new celebrity power couple status.
“Seb knows it’s in his best interest to stick with Lizzie as long as he can to boost his profile,” the friend adds. “She is very well-liked by the public so he’s being very careful about how the situation plays out. But eventually, he’s going to have to choose one or the other.”
While Seb is trying his best to keep his budding romance with Stacey on the down-low, for now, the mother of two is said to be excited to finally move on from her on-screen husband Michael and has been gushing to anyone who will listen about her new man.
“Stacey’s been trying to separate herself from Michael for a while now by making no secret of the fact that they are no longer together and slamming him whenever she can,” a source explains.
“She can’t wait until she’s got the green light to go public with Seb.”
The shock revelation that Michael had moved on with intruder bride KC Osborne is said to have caused even more embarrassment for Stacey.
For more, see this week's New Idea - out now!