Though Cynthia Rodriguez's divorce papers make no mention of Madonna, her attorney Earle Lilly told ABC News affiliate KTRK the "final straw" that broke her six-year marriage to Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez was his alleged affair with the pop superstar.
In this week's cover story titled "It's Over," Us Weekly magazine reports that Alex paid late-night visits to Madonna's New York apartment, something they both denied, and that the pop superstar's marriage to film director Guy Ritchie is essentially over.
Madonna fired back Sunday with a statement to People magazine in which she denied any romantic involvement with Alex Rodriguez and said that her marriage was not on the rocks.
"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."
When it comes to affairs of the heart, it seems, whoever the Material Girl is linked to makes headlines, regardless of whether it's a confirmed romance or mere rumor. Since she first burst on the scene in the early 1980s, Madonna has reportedly coupled with a laundry list of artists, actors and athletes, men and women, A-listers and unknowns (that is, until she started dating them).
Ian Drew, editor at large at Us Weekly, says Madonna has found a way to mingle her many relationships with her career ascent and her family goals.
"She was with Carlos Leon at the time she wanted to have a baby," he told ABCNEWS.com. "She was with Warren Beatty when she had a movie to promote. She was with Michael Jackson as a date one night when she wanted to make a big splash at the Oscars."
She's a very creative person," Drew said. "She's always been up for trying different things. She loves experimenting with different types of people and not having boundaries."
That would explain the women she's been linked to as well as rumored couplings with artists as disparate as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Vanilla Ice.
Psychologist and relationship expert Bethany Marshall, an author and family and marriage therapist, believes Madonna takes on a new persona with each relationship. With British filmmaker Ritchie, it was lady of the manor, complete with an affected English accent.
"Madonna is really good at reinventing herself," she said. "Perhaps what's adaptive in professional life and makes hers so popular in her professional life is maladaptive in her personal life. She reinvents rather than reapplies herself to the commitment."
She noted that it also can't be easy being with someone as high profile as Madonna.
"You probably have to find someone who has the same level of fame and achievement to stand up to you," Marshall said.
"It's definitely hard to travel in her wake," Drew said. "She's going to control everything in her life. She overshadows things. He becomes Mr. Madonna."
So what might the attraction be between Madonna and Alex, if any? "Alex falls into her type," said Drew, "big athletes who sort of boss her around, masculine figures."
It remains to be seen if he'll be the guy after Guy, if their marriage is on the outs, or if the couple can get past this public drama. Perhaps a look back at some of the many people the media has linked to Madonna will indicate what's ahead for the pop star: