Sarah Palin Calls Retired NHL Star Ron Duguay Her 'Buddy' After Dating Rumor

·2 min read
Sarah Palin, Ron Duguay
Sarah Palin, Ron Duguay

D Dipasupil/Getty; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty From left: Sarah Palin and Ron Duguay

Sarah Palin is just friends with Ron Duguay — or, in her words, just "buddies."

The former Alaska governor-turned-TV personality was recently approached by The New York Post's Page Six and asked about their report that she and Duguay, a retired New York Rangers player, were involved.

"He's my buddy. We have hockey in common," Palin, 57, told Page Six for a story published Thursday. She was asked about their relationship while at dinner in New York City.

That echoes what a Palin source told PEOPLE after Page Six reported last month, per anonymous sources, that she and Duguay, 64, had been together since late last year.

The insider said the two were "just friends" who "met through hockey." (Palin has long made Alaskan hockey mom part of her public and political brand.)

Duguay has not commented to PEOPLE, though he posted on social media making joking reference to his return to the headlines after the original Page Six item.

RELATED: Sarah Palin Discusses Her Second COVID Diagnosis

Palin finalized her divorce from ex Todd in early 2020, after three decades of marriage. They share five children. Duguay was previously married to supermodel Kim Alexis.

The former Republican vice presidential nominee is in N.Y.C. for her defamation trial against The New York Times over a past editorial that falsely linked her political group's statements to a mass shooting. Palin says the piece damaged her career. The paper says it made an honest mistake, which it corrected.

That trial is ongoing, though its start was delayed when Palin announced she had contracted COVID-19 — again.

She was also criticized by N.Y.C. Mayor Eric Adams for continuing to dine out, around the time she tested positive, despite her infection and despite being unvaccinated.

"By repeatedly flouting CDC guidelines, Ms. Palin has shown a complete disregard for the health and safety of small business workers and her fellow patrons," the mayor's spokesman said.