AFTER much speculation, Billy Crawford revealed he's courting "It's Showtime" co-host Coleen Garcia.

The confirmation was made by the television host himself when asked by King of Talk Boy Abunda -- on the true nature of his involvement with Coleen -- during Sunday's episode of "Buzz ng Bayan."

He replied, "Yes, nililigawan. She's not my girlfriend... yet. And I would love for her to be."

But Billy was fast to clarify that Coleen is "absolutely not" the reason behind the collapse of his four-year relationship with ex-girlfriend Nikki Gil.

"I kept my mouth shut. I didn't talk. I think that was my fault. Ako pinandigan ko 'yung sa akin at kung ano 'yung alam ko. And Coleen is definitely not part of my past relationship at all," he explained.

Billy continued, "I respect Nikki and everything that she said. I don't think it's gentleman-like to talk about things anymore."

The TV host also clarified that he's not involved yet with Coleen when photos of them hugging at a bar in Bacolod surfaced in the Internet.

Billy said the pictures were "taken out of context" and they were with Vice Ganda, Teddy Corpuz and other close friends from the business.

"It was an event; it was a party, where most of the 'Showtime' family was there as well. Colleen was doing that with Vice, with Teddy. She was hugging everyone and I was hugging everyone and we were just having a good time," he said.

"Coleen and I are not boyfriend and girlfriend. We're not a couple... yet," Billy added.

When it comes to their New York photos, Billy confirmed he did invite Coleen to watch a basketball game with him but they went to the States for different reasons. He was there to spend time with his family during the holidays while Coleen was visiting with a friend.

Billy said, "I was talking to Coleen and I told her I'm going to New York to see old friends, my family. I did ask Coleen before leaving. I bought tickets before and I said, 'You know what, I'd love to go to New York and spend time with you, watch the game and have dinner."

He jokingly added that the date materialized in the Big Apple because he cannot date anyone in Manila.

Meanwhile, Billy thanked Coleen for understanding him. He revealed there was a time when the young female TV host wanted nothing of him because of all the issues surrounding his break-up.

He promised to show Coleen that he's keen to know her better.

"I know she really wanted to pull away at one point and really have nothing to do with me because of the speculations, because of everyone else speaking on our behalf. But bilang lalake, I'll pursue her. Paninidigan ko," he said.

Billy said, "Coleen, I just want to really say thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be myself, to be real, and try to get to know me despite what's going on."

"You mean a lot to me and you motive me in going to work everyday and I just enjoy who I am now. And I want to pursue trying to get to know you better. I will always be here for you, as a friend or even more. Thank you," he ended. (Sunnex)