AnnaLynne McCord Jokes Her 'Clothes Evaporate' Around Boyfriend She 'Reconnected' with After Years Apart (Exclusive)

The '90210' alum is dating British rugby player Danny Cipriani, after the pair first met on the dating app Raya many years ago

<p>Paul Archuleta/Getty </p> Annalynne McCord

Paul Archuleta/Getty

Annalynne McCord

AnnaLynne McCord says things are heating up between her and her new boyfriend.

On Friday, May 10, the 90210 alum, 36, spoke with PEOPLE on the red carpet as she attended the Race to Erase MS Gala at the Fairmont Spa Century Plaza in Los Angeles. Opening up about her dating life in recent years, she shared that she has a new boyfriend — previously revealed on Instagram to be British rugby player Danny Cipriani — although she and the athlete have known each other for years.

"I met someone on Raya eight years ago," McCord tells PEOPLE, referring to the dating app for actors, musicians and other high-profile celebrities. "We were terrible to each other. For four years, on and off, and we fully went our separate ways. He went into a marriage. We both ended up in a very spiritual journey as a result of what we ended up with next, and we reconnected and we're going to be friends."

"All of my friends were like... I don't know what his friends were saying, but all of my friends were like, 'Yeah, right, you guys,' " she recalls of their decision to remain friends rather than romantic partners. "And we were like, 'We're going to be friends.' "

<p>Steve Granitz/FilmMagic</p> AnnaLynne McCord attends the Race to Erase MS Gala on May 10, 2024

Steve Granitz/FilmMagic

AnnaLynne McCord attends the Race to Erase MS Gala on May 10, 2024

Related: 90210's AnnaLynne McCord Is Dating British Rugby Player Danny Cipriani: 'My Miracle'

Now, McCord says, she and Cipriani — who announced his retirement from rugby in January — are "more than friends."

"I am so amazed by this man to know who I was, but also who he was back in the day, and to see the transformation because I knew him," she adds.

After seeing each other again after years of separation, McCord recalled how their plan to remain friends went right out the window after just two days.

"He walked in, I was like, 'Oh, God,' " the Nip/Tuck actress says. "It lasted about 48 hours, which I was really proud of. My clothes evaporate around him. It's like, 'What's happening?' "

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"It didn't work the first time around, it's working the second time around," she adds. "We're just showing up for each other or showing up for ourselves. And I think that's really the beauty of a real relationship is we want what we have with our friends with a little extra on top, a little cherry on top. And that's what we're showing up for."

Related: AnnaLynne McCord’s Sister Rachel McCord Reveals She Has to Undergo Urgent Open-Heart Surgery

Although McCord didn't mention Cipriani by name as her new boyfriend, the pair went public with their romance in April, when the former athlete shared a carousel post on Instagram that featured photos of the couple embracing.

“My Miracle… Loving you is the easiest thing in the world ❤️🥰🌟✨😍,” Cipriani’s caption read.

McCord raved about Cipriani in the comment section.

“Heyyyy!! That’s my line!!! :) I can’t believe… it’s YOU,” she wrote. “Thank you for showing up as you do in life. Thank you for choosing to walk through the fire.”

“Of course… because you’re you, the fire was the one in fear in that dynamic,” she added. “I know your story has seen you face hell on earth… but I’m here to bring a little Belinda Carlisle into your Universe. Oh… and, also, you were right… ‘IT’ really did change my life. 😂.”

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Read the original article on People.