What began with Madonna and Guy Ritchie divorce rumors has spiraled into a soap opera on two continents. Access Hollywood has your guide to the cast of characters and the story so far…
Madonna - The Material Mom has been married to British director Guy Ritchie since 2000 and denies the recent divorce rumors.
“My husband and I are not planning on getting a divorce,” she said in a statement to Access, also shooting down A-Rod allegations. “I am not romantically involved in any way with Alex Rodriguez. I have nothing to do with the state of his marriage or what spiritual path he may choose to study.”
The recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee is prepping a world tour, “Sticky & Sweet,” behind chart-topping album “Hard Candy.” Britney Spears is expected to shoot a video this week that will be part of the show. Madonna is a longtime Kabbalah disciple and the celebrity face of the Kabbalah Centre.
Guy Ritchie - Madonna’s husband and the director of films such as “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,” “Snatch” and this year’s upcoming “RocknRolla.” Following divorce rumors, he flew from London to New York to be with Madonna and their family. The couple has one biological son, Rocco, and adopted child David Banda. Like Madonna, he practices Kabbalah.
Alex Rodriguez - The baseball superstar known as A-Rod usually earns headlines for his mammoth contracts (his current 10-year deal with the Yankees could be as much as $305 million, including bonuses) and his breathtaking skills - he’s a three-time MVP, twelve-time All-Star and the youngest player ever to hit 500 home runs. His agent is Guy Oseary, manager to Madonna and Lenny Kravitz. But now, A-Rod finds himself as the star of the entertainment news stratosphere with reports he is having an affair with pop queen Madonna. On his involvement with Kabbalah - Madonna’s religion of choice — a source close to A-Rod told Access, “He’s into it. He’s exploring his spiritual side.”
Oh, and his wife has also filed for divorce. Speaking of his soon-to-be-ex-wife…
Cynthia Rodriguez - As Madonna rumors broke, A-Rod’s wife left for Lenny Kravitz’s home in France with former A-Rod trainer Dodd Romero. She filed for divorce on July 7, 2008, citing “extramarital affairs” and emotional abandonment, though the papers do not mention Madonna by name. The couple married in 2002 and have two children, Natasha Alexander, 3, and Ella Alexander, two and a half months. “C-Rod” has asked for primary custody, as well as child support and alimony. The divorce papers acknowledge the existence of a prenuptial agreement. According to the New York Daily News, Cynthia has a note from A-Rod to Madonna telling the singer, “You are my true soulmate.”
Lenny Kravitz - After Cynthia Rodriguez stayed at Lenny’s pad in France after leaving Alex (Lenny was out of the country at the time), the rock star released a statement to Access denying an affair, calling C-Rod “a friend.” Like Madonna and Alex Rodriguez, he is represented by Guy Oseary.
Guy Oseary - The aformentioned manager of Madonna and Lenny Kravitz and agent of Alex Rodriguez, his only athlete client. Oseary is the CEO of Maverick Records and is the godfather of Madonna and Guy’s son, Rocco.
Candice Houlihan - The ex-Centerfolds stripper alleged to the Boston Herald on July 8, 2008, that she had conducted an affair with A-Rod, having sex with him on two separate occasions in 2004. “I’m not a bad person,” she told the Herald. “I know how it feels to be cheated on, it sucks. But a couple of drinks later, I didn’t notice all that much, to tell you the truth.” Upon hearing news of A-Rod’s divorce, Houlihan told reporters, “A leopard doesn’t change his spots.”
The Kabbalah Centre - A much talked-about religious organization based in New York and Los Angeles, led by Philip Berg and wife Karen. The Centre teaches principles of Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism, and has come under criticism from traditional religious establishments for simplifying teachings previously restricted to scholars. Madonna is a major patron. Other celebs affiliated with the organization have included Britney Spears and Demi Moore.
Rabbi Michael Berg -- A co-director of the Kabbalah Centre and son of founder Philip Berg. Michael was reportedly sighted with A-Rod on July 7 having lunch in New York. He co-founded the Raising Malawi charity with Madonna and, along with his U.K. counterpart Eitan Yardeni, has been reportedly working to save Madonna’s marriage with Guy.
Rabbi Eitan Yardeni - According to the New York Daily News, Madonna’s London-based Kabbalah guru has been attempting to save her marriage with Guy - while tutoring A-Rod in the Judaic sect.
Dodd Romero - A-Rod’s former trainer accompanied C-Rod to Paris in the wake of the Madonna rumors. He is the godfather of the Rodriguez’s two children. “Alex, God bless him, is lost,” he told the New York Post of the baseball superstar’s relationship with Madonna. “I think he got pulled in by the dark side, if you can say that nicely. He’s totally brainwashed.”
Fiona Shackleton - The high-profile divorce lawyer who represented Paul McCartney during his divorce from Heather Mills. Mills infamously poured water on Shackleton’s head. Madonna has reportedly been meeting with Shackleton, further fueling rumors of a split from Guy.
Ira M. Elegant - A-Rod’s attorney. He is also representing basketball star Shaquille O’Neal in his divorce from his wife, Shaunie.
Maurice Jay Kutner, Anthony Sabatino (Miami, FL), Earle Lilly and John Van Ness (Houston, TX) — Cynthia Rodriguez’s four lawyers, reportedly dubbed “The Greed Team” by an A-Rod pal. Lilly reportedly called the relationship between A-Rod and Madonna “an affair of the heart” rather than a sexual one.
Liz Rosenberg - Madonna’s representative. She has issued numerous statements denying Madonna and Guy divorce rumors.
Lady Amber Leighton - Guy Ritchie’s mom, who also denies a split between the director and Madonna.