October 30th, 2013
07:00 PM ET
When paparazzi photos emerged last summer catching director Rupert Sanders and Kristen Stewart in an intimate moment, everyone was caught off guard - except Sanders' wife, Liberty Ross.
As the model/actress tells Vanity Fair in its new issue, by the time the photos emerged Sanders had already told Ross about his dalliance with Stewart, albeit just 20 hours prior.
"It was horrible," Ross tells the magazine. "“It was really the worst. Really the worst.”
At the time, the images fueled rumors that Stewart and Sanders, who worked together on 2012's "Snow White and the Huntsman," had shared a fling. Stewart was thought to be in a relationship with her "Twilight" franchise co-star Robert Pattinson when the scandal broke, and she did admit to an "indiscretion" with a public apology that name-checked Pattinson.
"This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I'm so sorry," Stewart said in the statement, and Sanders responded with an apology of his own.
“I am utterly distraught about the pain I have caused my family," Sanders told CNN in July 2012. "My beautiful wife and heavenly children are all I have in this world, I love them with all my heart. I am praying that we can get through this together.”
For Ross, there are few words that can describe what that time was like. With help from her brother, composer Atticus Ross, she located a PR rep equipped to handle the storm and a friend to stay with out of sight of paparazzi.
“I was able to be there completely secluded,” Ross tells VF. “I just visualized (myself as) this sort of Masai warrior. I was just going to stand very still and very strong, and just let it all roll past me. I tried to keep as far away from it as I could and to understand that this is my family and it’s the most precious thing to me.”
While she's been able to forgive Sanders, the damage was done to their marriage.
"I’m not a quitter. I’ve done everything I could to be the perfect wife and mother and really support my husband. But I just didn’t have any more to give, you know?” Ross says. “I have no words to describe what we went through. But I think, for me, something always has to completely die for there to be a rebirth. And, for me, I feel like I’m going through a rebirth.”
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