Was A-Rod 'Brainwashed' by Madonna?

Cynthia Rodriguez delivered the final blow in her marriage to New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez this morning, filing divorce papers in a Miami court that indicate she will seek half of his fortune.

In the documents, Cynthia says she's "exhausted every effort to salvage the marriage" and goes on to say Alex "emotionally abandoned" her, leaving her "with no choice but to divorce him."

She alleges their marriage is "irretrievably broken" because of Alex's "extra-marital affairs and other marital misconduct."


The divorce papers, filed in Dade County, Fla., Family Court, indicate that Cynthia plans to challenge the prenuptial agreement she signed in October 2002.

Cynthia & Alex RodriguezPlay

"The wife claims and is entitled to an equitable distribution of all assests acquired during their marriage," the court papers state. That would be expensive for A-Rod, who is estimated by TMZ.com to be worth $445 million.

"The wife needs and is entitled to temporary, rehabilitative, permanent, periodic and lump sum alimony, and the husband is well able to pay all forms of alimony," the divorce filing claims.

Cynthia is also seeking primary custody of their two daughters and wants to continue the "lavish lifestyle" Alex provided their family, which means keeping their $12 million, six-bedroom estate in Coral Gables, Fla. and her Maybach car. She's also asking Alex to pay off their debt, as well as her attorney's fees.

Meanwhile, Alex has hired Miami attorney Ira Elegant to represent him in his divorce -- Elegant's the same lawyer representing Shaquille O'Neal in his split from wife Shaunie.

New York-based celebrity divorce attorney Raoul Felder said the fact that Cynthia filed for divorce in Florida, as opposed to New York where she and Alex also legally reside, might mean that she doesn't have firm evidence of infidelity. If she filed in New York and challenged the pre-nup there, she would stand to gain a greater chunk of her husband's fortune, but that would require hard proof of adultery.

"Legally it's very curious," Felder said. "If the pre-nup is set aside, she would be much better off in New York. New York clearly values celebrity status. But in New York, you still have to prove fault if the other person objects. It may well be that with all this talk, there may be no evidence of wrongdoing. Maybe A-Rod and Madonna were studying kabala up in the apartment."

Is Madonna to Blame?

While her name isn't mentioned in the divorce papers, Earle Lilly, Cynthia's divorce attorney, said the "final straw" that broke the Rodriguez's six-year marriage was Alex's alleged affair with pop superstar Madonna.

But Alex's former trainer said the relationship between Madonna and the New York Yankees all-star third baseman may have to do more with his growing interest in kabala, a form of Jewish mysticism.

Dodd Romero said the Material Girl has "brainwashed" Alex.

"Something has pulled him away from his strong family values and has caused him to search and look for something that really isn't out there," Romero told "Good Morning America."

Whether or not Madonna and the Yankees' superstar had an affair, Felder said Cynthia will try to challenge her husband's credibility by bringing up his ties to kabala.

"I think Madonna is more significant in terms of custody and visitation," he said. "She's going to try to show that A) kabalah's a cult, which can effect visitation, and B) Alex is giving money to kabala instead of the kids."

Alex and Madonna reportedly started working out together last November, and from then on friends say he became infatuated with her.

"This year all of a sudden he sat and listened to a lot of Madonna's music and videos and DVDs and stuff like that," Romero said. "That was my red flag that there was something drawing him to that.

Us Weekly reported last week that Alex had paid late-night visits to Madonna's New York apartment, though both of them denied the report.

Madonna, who is married to film director Guy Ritchie, told People magazine Sunday that she has not had any romantic involvement with Alex, and that there were no problems with her marriage.

"My husband and I are not planning on getting a divorce," she said. "I brought my kids to a Yankee game. 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."

Madonna isn't shy about her faith. In a 2004 interview with ABC News' "20/20," she credited kabala with making her a better person.

"In kabala you learn that you never know, you never know about people," she said in the interview.

Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher also practice kabala and several other celebrities have been linked to the faith.

Divorce a Long Time Coming, Lawyer Suggests

Lilly said that Cynthia has hired him to head a team of lawyers in the divorce case, KTRK reported.

Lilly, who has represented numerous celebrities in the past, told the TV station he was hired this past week, along with Maurice Kutner of Miami.

ABC News spoke with Kutner, but he declined to comment until after the divorce papers are filed Monday.

Lilly told KTRK that the suit cites a "long period of infidelity on the part of Mr. Rodriguez, an all-star baseball player for the New York Yankees," and also claims "emotional abandonment."

Madonna is not named in the suit, Lilly told KTRK, but he said that A-Rod's "affair with Madonna was the final straw for Mrs. Rodriguez."

KTRK reported that Cynthia was in Miami and not available for comment on the advice of her attorneys.

Attempts by ABC News to reach Alex and his attorney were unsuccessful.

The divorce filing comes after months of speculation that the Rodriguez's marriage was on the rocks. The rumors have made Alex as much a staple of the New York tabloids' gossip pages as he is of the sports pages.

When he was photographed last year with a former Las Vegas stripper, the New York Post labeled him "Stray-Rod." Even the Yankees' lackluster season has been blamed on the distraction caused by the rumors.

Apparently, even the birth, in April, of the couple's second daughter was not enough to save the marriage.

Alex and Cynthia were married in 2002 and have two children, Natasha Alexander and Ella Alexander.