Sarah Palin is ‘just friends’ with former New York Rangers hockey player Ron Duguay, a source close to the former Alaska governor insisted after the pair were pictured dining together in New York City.
The source, according to People Magazine, said they became friends after they ‘met through hockey’.
Palin, a former vice presidential hopeful, was rumored to be dating ex-NHL player Duguay as sources told Page Six they have been involved since late last year.
The pair was spotted dining outside on Wednesday night at Elio’s on the Upper East Side in New York City – two days after Palin knew she had tested positive for COVID.
That evening, Duguay, 64, was notably protective of Palin, 57, reportedly bristling at reporters and shielding the former Alaska governor from them. The pair was with a group of five or six people.
‘Hi there,’ a photographer said to Palin’s dinner party. ‘Are any of you guys concerned that she tested positive for COVID? I’m just curious.’
Duguay got up from the table and approached the photographer, according to the New York Daily News, and asked: ‘Are you looking for trouble?’ He then reportedly knocked the camera out of the photographer’s hands.
A source close with Sarah Palin (left) says she is not romantically involved with ex-NHL star Rob Duguay (right) and the two are ‘just friends’. Palin, 57, and Duguay, 64, are pictured on Wednesday at Elio’s on the Upper East Side on Wednesday, eating with a group of five or six people just two days after Palin tested positive for COVID-19
Palin has been divorced from her high-school sweetheart Todd since 2020. The two were married for 32 years and share five children, including Dancing with the Stars contestant Bristol, 31.
Duguay is a Canadian former professional hockey player who spent 12 seasons with the NHL from 1977 to 1989. He played for several different teams throughout his career but was drafted by the Rangers and played his first six seasons in New York, notorious for his flashy behavior and long hair.
Duguay was married to Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Kim Alexis in 1993. They divorced in 2016. He had briefly dated Charlie’s Angels starlet Farrah Fawcett in the 1980s – and had claimed that paparazzi photos of the pair in Page Six got him traded from the Rangers.
Duguay is a Canadian former professional hockey player who spent 12 seasons with the NHL from 1977 to 1989. He played for several different teams throughout his career but was drafted by the Rangers and played his first six seasons in New York
He was notorious for his flashy behavior and long hair. Pictured: A portrait of Duguay on the street in New York City circa 1982
Duguay was married to Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Kim Alexis in 1993. They divorced in 2016. Pictured: The pair at an event in Las Vegas in 1999
Palin divorced from her high-school sweetheart Todd (right) in 2020. The two were married for 32 years and share five children
‘Herb Brooks, the coach, he had this talk with me about ‘staying out of Page Six, being in the sports page,’ and sure enough I was in Page Six once again,’ Duguay has said. ‘It had something to do with me being seen with Farrah… Two months after that, I got traded.’
Palin was selected by then-Sen. John McCain as his Republican running mate for the 2008 presidential election. The pair lost to Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Palin served as governor of Alaska from 2006 until she resigned in 2009.
New York Magazine’s Shawn McCreesh tweeted that he approached Palin outside the restaurant on Wednesday for an interview but was rebuffed.
‘She seemed to be in good spirits, said she felt fine, but wouldn’t answer my questions,’ McCreesh said.
Palin was spotted on Tuesday eating outdoors with a group of friends at Campignola, another Upper East Side Italian restaurant.
Palin was tested for COVID in anticipation of her defamation trial against The New York Times because she had intended on testifying without a mask. Her trial was rescheduled to February 3 in light of the positive result.
The same night she was seen out with Duguay – after she was filmed leaving Elio’s, shouting ‘Ciao! Buonanotte!’ to the staff as she made her way to a car – the infected Palin went to a party at the Blue & Cream Boutique.
Sources told Page Six she was getting too close for comfort with other partygoers, offering them unsolicited selfies with her.
‘She asked me if I wanted a selfie with her. I said, ‘not really’ to myself, but ‘ok’ came out of my mouth,’ one guest told the outlet.
Another told Page Six that ‘she asked me and I said, ‘I don’t look great, so no thank you.”
The former Alaska governor told a reporter that she was feeling fine on Wednesday night. Later that evening, she attended a party at the Blue & Cream Boutique, where attendees said she was offering unsolicited selfies
Palin was seen on Wednesday night with a group of friends, eating at around 10pm on the patio
While morally questionable, Palin didn’t break any rules or laws with those meals. Luca Guaitolini, the operations manager at Elio’s, defended her Wednesday visit, telling DailyMail.com that she had ‘returned to the restaurant to apologize’.
PALIN CAN’T BE FINED FOR BREAKING QUARANTINE – BUT RESTAURANT THAT ALLOWED HER TO EAT INDOORS WITHOUT A VACCINE FACES $1,000 PENALTY
There are no individual fines for not observing the CDC’s recommended period of quarantine if you test positive for COVID.
The worst Palin faces is public shaming.
She does not need to prove a negative test to get on a domestic flight should she leave the city.
There are not individual fines for flouting the city’s mask mandate either – it is down to the business to enforce.
New York City has a vaccine mandate that forbids anyone who is unvaccinated from eating or drinking indoors.
Palin was legally allowed to eat outside at Emilio’s and Campagnola, despite being unvaccinated and COVID-positive.
But Emilio’s could have faced a fine of $1,000 for allowing her to eat indoors on Saturday night without showing that she is vaccinated, which she isn’t.
The restaurant’s manager Luca Guaitolini says he is looking into how she was able to sit down without first showing her vaccine card.
He would not confirm if Palin had told staff that she had tested positive just two days earlier.
She however put Elio’s on the hook for a $1,000 fine by eating indoors earlier, on the prior Saturday.
New York City law bans anyone over the age of 12 from eating or drinking indoors at a restaurant if they are unvaccinated. Guaitolini says staff ‘made a mistake’ by letting her dine inside on Saturday and that he is now looking in to what happened.
Palin, who has said that she would get vaccinated ‘over her dead body,’ ate inside the restaurant rather than in an outdoor seating area on that occasion. Guaitolini told The New York Times that she ‘probably strolled over’ to a table before the servers asked her for her vaccine card.
It’s unclear if Palin was ever asked for proof of vaccination, or if she was aware of the law when she dined indoors.
The 2008 Republican U.S. vice presidential candidate and former Alaska governor, who previously tested positive for COVID-19 in March 2021, told a Turning Point USA rally in December that Dr. Anthony Fauci’s inconsistent comment about natural immunity dissuaded her from getting vaccinated.
‘It’ll be over my dead body that I get a shot. I will not. I won’t do it and they better not touch my kids either,’ she said at the time.
City Hall says it will not fine the restaurant for the incident because it was not reported to them when she was there. They do not investigate past incidents, according to a City Hall spokesman.
US District Judge Jed Rakoff – who was appointed by Bill Clinton in 1996 – said that courthouse rules would permit Palin to return to court February 3, even if she still tests positive, as long as she has no symptoms.
If she does have symptoms, she can be looked at on February 2 by a doctor who provides services to the courts, he said.
Palin has accused the New York Times and its former editorial page editor James Bennet of damaging her reputation in a June 14, 2017, editorial linking her to a 2011 mass shooting in Arizona that killed six people and wounded U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords.