NEW YORK - Benedict Cumberbatch fans can no longer kid themselves.
The Sherlock star and his fiancee, Sophie Hunter, showed the world they are truly a couple on Monday by walking the red carpet together for the first time.
Fans were left heartbroken when the actor announced his engagement to the 35-year-old British theatre director on Nov 5 with a notice tucked away in London's newspaper The Times.
At the New York premiere of his film The Imitation Game, Cumberbatch, 38, had his arms around her as they posed for the cameras.
She wore a black, floral applique Erdem gown and reports said she kept her hands, which sported what looked like a diamond engagement ring, mostly in her pockets. He was dapper in a three-piece suit.
Asked how he felt about disappointing fans with his engagement announcement, he told reporters, "Fine, in the sense that I made one person's heart, the most important person's, happy."
The actor later told USA Today why they decided to appear together, saying, "(I thought), we're going to be doing this for our whole lives, so sometimes, if you want to come with me, this is what it's going to be like. She was very cool with it and loved it."
On his promotional rounds for the movie, he has been reassuring fans left shocked by his engagement.
"I'm very happy. I'm a very happy man. I have a great population of fans as well - they're smart, they'll get around to the idea... Your ovaries do still have use, let me tell you," he said on Live! With Kelly And Michael on Monday.
Meanwhile, Hunter's appearance has had USA Today commenting with approval, "Yep, she's gorgeous", "A charming pair" and "She has pockets. Winners have pockets."
"If I didn't know that was his fiancee I'd think it was his sister. They look very similar," went another comment on celebrity website Jezebel.com.