Screen legend Shirley MacLaine was one of the great love affairs of Andrew Peacock’s swashbuckling life that included three wives and a UFO hunt with the Hollywood actress.
Ten years ago, in her tell-all book I’m Over All That And Other Confessions, she wrote of the future Liberal Leader: “I thought as long as he’s the Minister for Foreign Affairs, I might as well give him one he’ll never forget.”
She also revealed how the Victorian MP, who has died aged 82 in the US, nearly “climbed the sky” when they thought they saw a flying saucer and hinted that he had secret government information about their existence.
“My longest-lasting relationship with a political leader was with Andrew Peacock (foreign minister of Australia and Australian ambassador to the United States),” she wrote.
“He was charming, funny and a conservative. He used his voice like a snake oil salesman, which always made me laugh because, as I told him, I was also in the business of professional seduction through voice manipulation. He took my comment good-naturedly.
“Andrew and I traveled all over the world together, as the pictures on my walls attest. He was fun as a traveling companion, and his being a foreign minister opened many doors in high places.”
But it was their UFO trip that raised eyebrows with Mr Peacock “diplomatically” indulging Ms Maclaine’s obsession with aliens.
“We traveled in Canada, France, Cambodia, Thailand, Australia, England, the United States and Mexico. Whenever I discussed my spiritual and metaphysical ideas with him, he listened, nodded and more or less said, ‘It could be. Who knows?’” she wrote.
“On a UFO stakeout in Mexico near Mt. Popocatepetl, at one moment we thought we saw a craft and Andrew nearly “climbed the sky” to see if it was real.
“As foreign minister he controlled all the information coming out of Alice Springs (supposedly the underground UFO research facility in Australia). Because he was sworn to secrecy, he never told me outright that UFOs were extraterrestrial in origin and were present. But he said and did nothing to disabuse me of such a belief. When I told him about Roald Sagdaev having confirmed that UFOs and the presence of ETs were real, he just smiled.
“When I told him I had gone to see Jimmy Carter to discuss UFOs, he just smiled again. Andrew was a trained diplomat of the first order and was his own best intelligence gatherer. He was learning more about the subject of UFOs from me than I was learning from him.
“We have been friends for over 30 years, and we value each other very much. He is happily married now for the third time, and I remain friends with his children and his first wife too.”
The Oscar-winning actress was a lifelong believer in UFO and reincarnation and claims she slept with King Charlemagne when she was a Moorish peasant girl in a past life.
In the book, the 76-year-old also reveals her various “sexcapades,” including bedding three lovers in one day. She writes about affairs with actor Robert Mitchum, singer Yves Montand and Prime Ministers Pierre Trudeau (Canada) and Olof Palme (Sweden).
The book reveals Mr Peacock, who was single, threatened to have the “secret service follow me if I was ever caught with anyone else” but he didn’t realize she was also bedding Mr Palme.
“Once after leaving Palme in Stockholm, I went directly to Paris to meet Andrew. The paparazzi were all over me when I landed. Andrew thought it was because of him, but it was actually about both [Mr] Palme and him,” she writes.
Dubbed the “colt from Kooyong’’, Mr Peacock married three times. His first marriage to Susan Rossiter ended in 1977. They had three daughters: Jane, Ann and Caroline.
The glamorous Susan Peacock, later known as Lady Susan Renouf, sparked a minor scandal when she agreed to be photographed sitting in her bedroom in an advertisement for Sheridan sheets.
She planned to donate her $50 fee to buy classroom equipment for children in Papua New Guinea but her altruistic instincts sparked a political scandal and a media pack arrived on the couple’s front lawn.
“Press three-deep or four-deep and yelling questions, and with three little girls in the house, it was quite a frightening experience,” the late Lady Renouf told Australian Story.
“Of course, Andrew was mortified. It was horrible for me because I felt I’d ruined his career.”
In response to the incident, Mr Peacock offered his resignation, however the Prime Minister John Gorton refused the resignation and told Mr Peacock not to be “a bloody fool”.
Mr Peacock married Margaret Ingram in 1983 and the pair divorced in 1995.
His third marriage was to Penne Korth, a businesswoman, former US ambassador, former Texas beauty queen and a staunch Republican in 2002. The pair moved to Austin, Texas, in 2007.
He was also a supporter of same sex marriage, revealing in 2017 that he voted “Yes” in the interests of “fairness”.
Daughter Ann Peacock posted on Instagram on Friday night: “To my beautiful, loving, most caring, thoughtful, generous and brilliant father, you will be so greatly missed, your guidance and deep love for us will live in my heart, we are absolutely devastated.
“Daddy, love you more than the world, please continue to look after all us. You will live within us forever and ever xx.’’
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