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"He was a very special person for me -- like a father," Canalis tells Italian broadcaster Bruno Vespa in his new book, Questo Amore (This Love). "With George it was more of a father-daughter relationship. 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."
Clooney split with the 33-year-old Dancing with the Stars contestant over the summer, and quickly started dating former WWE wrestler Stacy Keibler, 32 -- who also happens to be a DWTS alum. Despite rumors that Canalis and Clooney, 50, broke up because she wanted to get married and have children, the Italian model says the breakup was mutual.
"We both decided it was time to split up," she says. "I don't put limits to the possibility of having them, but neither George nor I had ever envisaged having kids together. The end of the relationship was not caused by a marriage issue, but instead by our personal need."
For Canalis, it was love at first sight because she says Clooney was "the person who valued my feminine side the most" and also "one of the best people I have ever met because of his humanity." Not surprisingly, she doesn't regret jumping right into their two-year-long relationship.
"I threw myself body and soul into my relationship with George," she says. "Four days after we met I packed my bags and moved in with him."