British actor Benedict Cumberbatch has played down reports he is dating Katia Elizarova, insisting he and the Russian model are "just old friends".
The Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy star has been on a string of dates with the blonde beauty, who has modelled for Chanel and Versace, and they most recently attended supermodel Natalia Vodianova's charity launch together in London on Wednesday (29Aug12).
Cumberbatch was said to have been inseparable from 26-year-old Elizarova at the event, but he has laughed off reports they are in a serious relationship.
He tells Britain's Sunday Telegraph, "We're just old friends. I can't say any more than that."
And he suggests she's helping him brush up on his language skills: "Russian is a wonderful language. I'd love to be able to master it."
Cumberbatch split from his girlfriend of 10 years, Olivia Poulet, last year (11) and subsequently dated fashion designer Anna Jones.