When it comes to dating, Helen Hunt needs approval from her only daughter, Makena. Fortunately, the Mad About You star doesn’t have to worry about her child’s thoughts on her boyfriend, Steven Tepper, because Makena already “loves” how “happy” he makes her, an insider exclusively tells Closer Weekly.

“Steven spent Thanksgiving with Helen and her family,” the source shares. “Her daughter, Makena, [is] a real daddy’s girl, she adores her father Matthew [Carnahan], but she thinks Steven is cool and she loves that he makes her mom happy. They’re all looking forward to spending Christmas and New Year’s together.”

Shutterstock; Instagram/StevenTepper

Helen, 57, has been dating the former attorney “for over a year” now, so Makena, 16, has gotten to know her mom’s handsome new beau on a deeper level. Even though the As Good As It Gets actress has “kept the romance quiet,” the adorable lovebirds are “going strong,” the insider reveals.

Helen has a new man in her life, but that doesn’t mean she’s any less focused on coparenting with her ex-boyfriend, Matthew. In fact, raising her little girl with the House of Lies writer, 59 — whom she dated from 2001 to 2017 — is “still [Helen’s] top priority,” the source dishes.

“Even though she and Matthew don’t always see eye to eye,” the insider adds. “Matthew has also been dating someone, so everyone seems to have moved on and they’re all happy … especially Makena.”

Earlier in December, Closer exclusively revealed Helen was officially off the market and dating the professional photographer. “Helen and Steven are definitely an item,” a separate insider shared. “She’s really into him and hopes it works out, that’s why she’s not going public with it just yet.”


Steven is a “super private” and “regular guy,” the source noted, so Helen — who was married to her only husband, Hank Azaria, from 1999 to 2000 — is in no rush to divulge the details of their romance. “She doesn’t want to overwhelm him with the celebrity spotlight,” the insider explained.

Fortunately, the most important people in Helen’s life already accept her new relationship with Steven, including her teenage daughter. “Makena likes him and that goes a long way in her book,” the source said. “[Helen] deserves happiness and Steven makes her happy.”