Did Madonna's relationship - be it an "affair of the heart" or other body parts - with Yankees star Alex Rodriguez lead to her split with Guy Ritchie?
A source close to the situation says the split was "a long time coming."
While no third party has been blamed for the breakup of the marriage, "There are many issues, and not the least is her strange relationship with Alex Rodriguez," says the source. "It is spiritual, emotional and romantic."
Alex Rodriguez's rep had no comment.
Alex Rodriguez thinks of Madonna everywhere he goes.
Madonna met the baseball star via mutual friend Ingrid Casares, and the singer introduced him to Kabbalah. The pair also share manager Guy Oseary.
This relationship did not sit well with A-Rod's wife, Cynthia Rodriguez, who filed for divorce on July 7, citing his "extramarital affairs and misconduct."
Though the Madonna and Alex Rodriguez connection was not named in the court documents, Cynthia's attorney said A-Rod had an "affair of the heart."Madonna, who was fighting off her own divorce buzz at the time, defended herself saying she was not responsible for the couple's problems and proclaiming: "I am not romantically involved in any way with Alex Rodriguez."
Nevertheless, the friendship – and the Rod's devotion to Kabbalah – helped lead to the end of Cynthia and Alex's marriage, says a source close to the situation.
"There is no question that Madonna's relationship with Alex was a big factor for Cynthia Rodriguez, and Alex, to go ahead with the divorce," says the source, adding that the marriage "was way beyond repair" at the time.
A-Rod and Mrs. Rod have settled their divorce, and a source says Alex's interest in the mystical Jewish teachings has kept his relationship with Madonna strong.
"When you want to understand A-Rod and Cynthia's problems – and Madonna and A-Rod's relationship – don't overlook the impact of Kabbalah."