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Elisabetta Canalis: George Clooney Was 'Like a Father' to Me

USMagazine, Sunday, October 30, 2011, 11:42am (PDT)
  • At 50 years old, George Clooney is just old enough to be a father to ex-girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis.

    And, well, he kind of was!

    PHOTOS: George and Elisabetta in happier times

    "He was a very special person for me -- like a father," Canalis, 33, tells Italian broadcaster Bruno Vespa in his new book, "This Love." The Italian model and TV personality parted ways with actor Clooney over the summer after about two years together. He quickly rebounded with a younger woman, former WWE wrestler Stacy Keibler, 32.

    "With George, it was more of a father-daughter relationship," Canalis reveals of the romance. "It was a great love and it was like living a fairy tale. George is a real gentleman even with his private life. I was very well respected as a partner."

    PHOTOS: May-December romances in Hollywood

    But Canalis shoots down widely held assumptions that they broke up because she was desperate to marry and have children with him.

    "We both decided it was time to split up," she says. "George and I never spoke about marriage or children. I'm not saying that I don't want them but neither he nor I ever imagined having children together."

    PHOTOS: All of George Clooney's girls

    Why did they split, then? "We split up for our own personal reasons not because of marriage," she says, vaguely, adding that it was love at first sight for her when they met back in 2009. "I threw myself body and soul into my relationship with George. Four days after we met I packed my bags and moved in with him."

    She has absolutely no hard feelings for her ex, despite his quick, very public rebound with Keibler.

    "He respected my feminine sensibility and was a marvelous boyfriend and one of the nicest people I have ever met because of his humanity," Canalis gushed.

    PHOTOS: Stars who've romanced models

    "My relationship with George did not damage me. I was with a man who is famous across the world and I will go forward on my own," says the beauty, who tried her hand as a contestant on "Dancing with the Stars" before getting eliminated early on. "Here (America) I am living a dream!"

    ALSO ON WONDERWALL:

    Kim Kardashian's whirlwind romance with Kris Humphries

    The many loves of Winona Ryder

  • Vote on your favorite celebrity athlete dad

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