Sarah Hughes and Andrew Giuliani attend the New York premiere...

Sarah Hughes and Andrew Giuliani attend the New York premiere of "The Other Guys" at the Ziegfeld Theatre in Manhattan. (Aug. 2, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

When Andrew Giuliani was trying to persuade Olympic figure skater and Long Island darling Sarah Hughes to go on a date, he called in a master of negotiation: Donald Trump.

Giuliani, son of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, had The Donald call Hughes on her cell phone while she was rehearsing for an ice-skating show in Boston. "He says, 'I'm here on the golf course with Andrew, and he really wants to take you out on Wednesday night,' " Hughes told Newsday.

A tickled Hughes got even: She had skating legend Peggy Fleming, who was performing with Hughes in "An Evening With the Champions," call Giuliani back. "I'm not impressed," Fleming told Giuliani. "If you want a date with Sarah on Wednesday night, you have to ask her yourself."

This was the playful beginning of the dating relationship of Hu-liani - their first date was in May, when they went to see "Shrek Forever After" in 3-D, Hughes says. By August they considered themselves an official couple.

"It took time," Hughes says. The two became the focus of attention after paparazzi photographed them in Manhattan on Tuesday.

Hughes was surprised that paparazzi didn't link them sooner. "We've been going places together for a while," she says.Hughes and Giuliani met in 2002, when Hughes was invited to speak at a New York State Broadcasters' Association event that Giuliani's mother, TV personality Donna Hanover, attended with him.

Hughes is 25, and Giuliani is 24. Hughes was 16 in 2002 when she won a gold medal in figure skating at the winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and she's been inducted into the Figure Skaters Hall of Fame. Hughes, who attended Great Neck North High School, graduated from Yale University in 2009 with a degree in American studies, with a concentration in politics. She lives in Manhattan and is working on a book about figure skating.Last month, Hughes appeared on an NBC TV show called "A Salute to the Golden Age of American Skating." Giuliani graduated in 2009 from Duke University, where he unsuccessfully sued the school after he was dismissed from the university's golf team. Since then, he's made golf his life and has appeared on the Golf Channel's show "The Big Break" and, in August 2009, he won the Met Open Championship.

He has participated in charity golf events including the Mauer Foundation's 15th Annual Golf Classic at the Meadow Brook Club in Jericho in October. The event raised money for breast cancer research. Has the L word been used yet? "Next question," a bubbly Hughes says. Hughes had lunch with her father, lawyer John Hughes, and her literary agent in Manhattan Thursday. It was "so embarrassing" that they were all talking about the stories about Hughes' romance, she says.

"Someone's going to bring this to my father's office. He's a lawyer. It's a buttoned-up atmosphere. He usually deals with real estate transactions and taxes," she says, "not his daughter's personal life."

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Updated 33 minutes ago Hot and humid again today ... Boy hospitalized after being hit by car ... Bethpage drums tipster ... New oyster reef

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