WASHINGTON - Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell has denied that he had an affair with a female Romanian diplomat after a hacker posted a series of personal emails sent between the two for a period of several years.

In a statement to the website The Smoking Gun, Powell, 76, acknowledges that his correspondences with Corina Cretu, 46, became “of a very personal nature” over the course of 10 years.

“Those type of emails ended a few years ago,” Powell wrote in the statement. “There was no affair then and there is not one now.” The two met when Powell served as secretary of state during the Bush administration, and Cretu worked in various positions in the Romanian government. She is now a senator in the European Parliament.

Powell blames a hacker for sifting through his email for the correspondences and according to The Smoking Gun, the hacker, known as “Guccifer” made a series of posts on Powell’s Facebook page that linked to the emails and several photos that appear to have been sent by Cretu to Powell. The emails document correspondences dating as far back as 2011, and as recently as this Wednesday.

Guccifer also claimed responsibility for hacking the Bush family’s emails, including publicly releasing George W. Bush’s private self-portraits.

In an email to Cretu explaining the situation, Powell said that the hacker received his email after hacking in to President Bush’s account.

“Our security people have been chasing him for months,” Powell writes in the email to Cretu that was posted by the hacker online this week. In that same message, sent on Tuesday, Powell asked Cretu to delete the emails between them.

“He may have lots of your emails, maybe not, so best to delete all between us,” Powell wrote. “He can’t get into my account so he looks for thing [sic] sent to me. Hope this doesn’t cause you any distress.”

According to copies of the emails and photos posted by the hacker on to Cryptome.org, a website that posts documents secret or illicit documents, Cretu wrote to Powell declaring her love for him on Nov. 14, 2011. “I’ve loved you too much, too many years. YOU were my greatest love of my life . . . ,” Cretu emailed Powell on Nov. 14, 2011. She also sent him numerous photos of herself, including shots of her in a bikini and in a hot tub. But her affection for the retired four-star general seems to have never been reciprocated.

The emails from Powell to Cretu that have become public were chatty in natur- until he learned his account had been hacked and advised her to delete their exchanges.

Hers had a different tone. “I did not believe that at 43 I can cry more for a man like a teenager,” she emailed Powell on Christmas Eve 2010.

Powell is better known in Pakistan for the now famous post-9/11 phone call he made to the then President Gen Pervez Musharraf seeking Pakistan’s in US war on terrorism, in which the Pakistani leaders readily agreed.