There’s been a lot of chatter surrounding Bill Belichick’s rumored romance with Jordon Hudson given the wide age gap, but the cheerleader and entrepreneur’s former partner came to her defense this week.

Businessman Joshua L. Zuckerman had a brief romance with the 23-year-old; outlets originally reported Hudson was 24 but corrected her age later — after the pair bonded over various topics. The 64-year-old told TMZ Sports he felt bad Hudson was caught up in the “whirlwind” of online speculation.

“I’m a former business owner in the healthcare field — we regularly discuss business and shared interest in psychology, philosophy and most important, our love of nature,” Zuckerman told TMZ.

“She is wise beyond her years, much more than any 20-something I’ve ever met in my life. The narrative about her character is not fair to her.”

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Zuckerman implored internet trolls and paparazzi to leave the couple alone.

TMZ reported Belichick and Hudson met in 2021 and began dating in 2022 while keeping their relationship private. However, Rob Gronkowski seemed to spill the beans about his former head coach’s romance at the Tom Brady Patriots Hall of Fame ceremony, and the 72-year-old has been seen in Hudson’s recent social media posts.

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Belichick had been dating longtime girlfriend Linda Holliday, 60, since 2007, but the pair reportedly broke up before the 2023 NFL season.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images