01/25/2012 01:55 EST | Updated 03/26/2012 05:12 EDT

'Really Happy' Peter MacKay Wants To Protect Private Life


Defence Minister Peter MacKay says he's "really happy" about his marriage to former beauty queen and human rights activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam.

The pair were married in Mexico Jan. 4.

In an interview with the CBC's George Stroumboulopoulos that will air Wednesday evening, MacKay says he wants to keep his private life out of the spotlight.

Asked how he'll balance privacy with the high-profile life he and Afshin-Jam lead, MacKay said he'd do it "very carefully."

"And with a lot of input from Nazanin. I’m really happy George. You've met her, you've had her on the show — I’m not going to jump on your furniture like Tom Cruise, but I’m really happy about it," he said.

"And, you know, at the same time I want to try to protect my private life. Our community back in Nova Scotia has been so welcoming to her. And there's a lot of interest in what she does, she's a very dynamic woman."

MacKay and Afshin-Jam sold their wedding photos to Hello! Canada Magazine and gave the money to the charity she co-founded, Stop Child Executions.

The feature interview, touching on a variety of issues, will run Wednesday at 11:05 p.m. ET on CBC Television's George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight.

'Canada's Sexiest Male MP'

The newlyweds reportedly met in 2004 when Afshin-Jam visited Ottawa to speak about human rights abuses.

MacKay, 46, had until then been known as one of Ottawa's most eligible bachelors, and was ranked as "Canada's Sexiest Male MP" by The Hill Times for several years.

Before finally meeting his match in the 32-year-old beauty contestant turned activist, MacKay was previously tied romantically to some high-profile and high-powered women, including former fellow Tory MP Belinda Stronach.

The pair endured a very public split when Stronach in 2005 crossed the House floor to join Paul Martin's Liberals.

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