Condoleezza Rice: Peter MacKay Romance Rumours Addressed In Former Secretary Of State's Autobiography

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United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (left) and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay smile during a joint news conference at the conclusion of the Security, Prosperity and Partnership meeting in Ottawa, Friday February 23, 2007. (CP PHOTO/ Fred Chartrand)
United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (left) and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay smile during a joint news conference at the conclusion of the Security, Prosperity and Partnership meeting in Ottawa, Friday February 23, 2007. (CP PHOTO/ Fred Chartrand)

Ever since Condoleezza Rice and Peter MacKay were photographed smiling at a Nova Scotia Tim Hortons there have been rumours of romance between the politicians.

Now, Rice is addressing the gossip in her autobiography, "No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington."

In September 2006, the pair appeared in Nova Scotia to commemorate Canada's sheltering of Americans on 9/11. The next morning, MacKay and Rice appeared at Tim Hortons and he remarked that the then-U.S. Secretary Of State had slept with the window open. The comment led to speculation that the two may have spent the night together.

In her book, Rice admits the rumours were "kind of funny, if misdirected."

"When I got home, I called Peter. ‘A girl can't be seen with you without some scandal,' I joked. Peter was kind of embarrassed. He is a good friend."

Perhaps more surprising than her dismissal of the romantic rumors is the revelation that Rice was planning to resign from her position after her trip to Nova Scotia, worn out from the strain of managing America's foreign relationships in the wake of the fall of the twin towers. She writes that the trip to Canada helped rejuvenate her spirit and keep her on as America's top diplomat.

"I've never told him (MacKay) that without the levity and refreshment of that visit, I might not have regrouped and returned to Washington to fight another day," Rice writes.

MacKay isn't the only foreign politician Rice has been linked to romantically. She has also been tenuously tied to former British foreign minister, Jack Straw and former Italian foreign minister, Massimo D’Alema.

Perhaps most famously, deceased Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi had what Rice described as an 'eerie" obsession with her. He kept a photo album of her, discovered after he was deposed, and described her as his "black flower in the White House," and "African Princess."

Despite all the alleged suitors, Rice remains unmarried. She was briefly engaged to football player Rick Upchurch in the 1970s, but has never tied the knot.

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