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Cover Story: Inside Madonna & Guy's Big Split

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Oct. 22 2008, Published 10:38 a.m. ET

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She’s made a career out of jaw-dropping moments, but when Madonna announced her split from Guy Ritchie on Oct. 15, the news was hardly shocking. Indeed, ever since rumors of an affair with baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez appeared in July, it seemed to be only a matter of when — not if — the Ritchies would divorce.

CLICK HERE for OK!'s gallery of Madonna photos!

OK! was the first to reveal the relationship between Madonna and A-Rod last July. At the time, her rep insisted it was only an acquaintance brought about because they shared the same personal manager, Guy Oseary. But the reality was far different, and within days of our story hitting the stands, Alex’s wife Cynthia Rodriguez filed for divorce.

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“Cynthia found out about her husband’s relationship with Madonna last June,” a source tells OK!. “And her understanding of their ‘plan’ was for both of them to get rid of their spouses and be together publicly.”

But A-Rod is not the only reason for the Ritchies’ split. Signs of trouble first appeared earlier this year, after Guy was a no-show for his wife’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in NYC on March 10. At a Cannes Film Festival event Madonna attended in May, “Guy’s smiles seemed to be few and strained,” an eyewitness told OK!.

Both parties openly admitted there were problems. When asked the secret to a happy marriage, Guy told OK! at the Sept. 4 Toronto Film Festival premiere of his film RocknRolla, “Ah, if you know, you tell me. That’s a toughie.”

And in the May issue of Elle UK, Madonna discussed the difficulties of their long-distance relationship. “It’s not easy. You have to work hard to make it work,” she said. The upshot? “Sex with Guy is incredible.”

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Click here for OK!'s gallery of Madonna photos!

But according to the UK’s News of the World, the Ritchies reportedly went 18 months without making love, because Madonna was too tired after her grueling workouts. The paper also reported that Guy admitted to a pal that sex with his missus was like "cuddling up to a piece of gristle.”

A source close to Guy tells OK!, “It sounds like she’s trying to spread that he didn’t have sex with her. I bet she’s instructed her team to start a hate campaign.”

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Then there is Madonna’s devotion to Kabbalah, the Jewish mystical religion the pop star says has made her a better person. Although he followed the faith along with his wife, Guy shockingly told TV’s Extra in September, “I don’t really understand Kabbalah as a religion. I don’t think it is a religion as far as I’m aware.” A-Rod is reportedly now a follower of Kabbalah.

CLICK HERE for OK!'s gallery of Madonna photos!

For more on Madonna and Guy Ritchie's split, what's at stake in their divorce, and where they're headed, pick up the new issue of OK! — on sale everywhere Thursday!

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