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Bethenny Frankel shows off her bikini body and a new man as she spends New Years day on the beach in Miami

Bethenny Frankel just debuted her new man to the paps this week because she needed a little positive attention in the wake of her failing talk show and disgraceful divorce. 

We were momentarily distracted by his abs until TMZ revealed that Michael A. Cerussi III was accused of rape when he was in college. When Michael, who at 34 is almost a decade younger than Bitchy Bethenny, was attending Union College in New York another student accused him of raping her. 

The victim took her complaints to the school who took them very seriously and expelled MichaelThe alleged victim never filed a police report but instead opted to sue Michael in civil court. In return Michael sued both the girl and the school for defamation. 

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"Claims were made to the school, which were false and unfounded and ultimately withdrawn," he says. Michael is also "outraged" that the media is making such a big deal of his past especially when he feels he was exonerated. 

According to the NY Daily News, the court documents state that in 2000, Michael and a fellow fraternity brother committed rape against another co-ed at a fraternity house. Michael argued that the sex was consensual. After two years in the courts the case was voluntarily dismissed after a settlement was reached. 

As part of the settlement Michael was readmitted to UC after the school decided to reverse his expulsion, he declined to finish his education there. Michael continues to insist the girl's allegations were false and he is not guilty of any crimes. 

After learning that Michael's past was about to be unearthed in the media, Bethenny got her PR hacks on the case to make media calls on his behalf. Guess it didn't work. 

I still don't buy this relationship as being authentic at all. Bethenny called the photogs to snap them together (she is BFF with the paps and gets them to snap her everywhere) to distract from all the other negativity surrounding her image and he is looking for his 15 minutes. Nice try, B. 

[Photo Credit: Brett Kaffee/Thibault Monnier, © PacificCoastNews.com]

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