For Eva Longoria, it was a double-barreled betrayal by sexting.
Like most celebrity unions, that of Eva and Tony Parker showed a cheery philanthropic face to the world. Their workplaces lay more than 1,300 miles apart — hers on the “Desperate Housewives” set in Los Angeles, his on the San Antonio Spurs court — but as she told CNN in March, “Distance makes the heart grow fonder.”
The impossibly beautiful couple did appear to be holding it together, but the start to married life wasn’t smooth. Longoria told “Extra” that her husband had cheated soon after their nuptials and had kept his acquaintance going on Facebook — shades of poor social-networking etiquette to come.
So when Eva came across Tony’s alleged heavy-duty flirtation with Erin Barry — reportedly hundreds of text messages — the end was near. Barry’s husband, Brent, after all had been Parker’s former teammate, and the four had been close friends. At their wedding, Brent Barry proclaimed to ESPN, “We’re like family.”
Parker denied anything physical, and by the time Longoria found out, the electronic exchange had died down. But, given his history — and her own friendship with Erin Barry — it was too much for Longoria. The couple talked divorce, then briefly showed a united front with civilized his-and-hers tweets announcing their breakup.
The calculated leak brought attention to the other woman, who was undergoing a quiet divorce of her own — until the hounds came, that is. And when it comes to Parker’s basketball family, betrayal turned out to be contagious. While NBA men aren’t known for their fidelity, fellow players’ wives are supposed to be off-limits, and rumors swirled about an unhappy coach and teammates.
One thing the divided spouses seem to agree on: Wait at least a week after Parker signed a four-year extension worth $50 million before filing papers, thereby ruling out any trades.
While Tony Parker has kept firmly to the “that’s my private life” line, others aren’t keeping mum. A British model has stepped forward claiming a textual exchange with the point guard. In a post-Tiger landscape, will men never learn to keep their phones in their pocket?
–Vera H-C Chan