Sunday, 9 September 2007

Belinda Stronach and Tie Domi quietly split up over summer

Belinda Stronach and Tie Domi quietly split up over summer

TORONTO (CP) — The affair that steamed up ice rinks and titillated Parliament Hill is over.

Auto parts heiress and MP Belinda Stronach and former NHL tough guy Tie Domi are no longer an item, sources have told The Canadian Press. Their relationship, never acknowledged publicly by either the former Liberal cabinet minister or Domi, ended over the summer after the couple took a trip to California.

A spokesman for Stronach wouldn't comment on the breakup on Sunday, saying there was a standing policy in place not to discuss her personal life with the media.

The 41-year-old Stronach arrived for red carpet festivities at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday with a small group of people, including a mystery blond man. Stronach was attending the One by One charity gala hosted by Matt Damon. She stopped to pose and chat with photographers capturing pictures of her.

Stronach is recovering from breast cancer surgery. The MP for the Toronto-area riding of Aurora had a mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery in June. The premier of the documentary marked her first public appearance since her recovery

Her relationship with Domi became fodder for water cooler confabs after it becam e public a year ago. Domi's incensed wife accused her apolitical husband of developing an unexpected and unseemly interest in Stronach's political career by rushing to campaign for her in the 2006 federal election.

"This was a very big surprise to me, and to our family, because Tie had little to no interest in politics, and in fact had not the slightest idea about political ideology or even the slightest inkling about the ideological difference between the candidates," Leanne Domi said in court documents.

The former Mrs. Domi claimed that was followed last summer by pool-side trysts while she was away.

Domi and Stronach took pains to avoid being seen in public together. When Stronach was on hand for the taping last February of the CBC show "Canada's Next Great Prime Minister," the former Leaf was spotted peeking out from behind a curtain at the back of the sound stage.

Stronach announced last spring that she would not seek re-election. She continues to be a prodigious fundraiser sought by Liberal candidates across the country, and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy mosquito nets to prevent the spread of malaria and other diseases in Africa.

But the daughter of billionaire auto parts manufacturer Frank Stronach has made as much news for her romantic adventures as she has for her political ambitions. She began dating Peter MacKay, now the minister of National Defence, when both sat as Conservative opposition MPs.

That relationship ended with Stronach crossed the floor to enter the Liberal cabinet of former prime minister Paul Martin.

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