this week ten years ago, kristen stewart was caught cheating on boyfriend robert pattinson with her "snow white and the huntsman" director rupert sanders:
according to the photog, stewart had been headed home from the gym when she got a call and changed course, arriving at a deserted building. there, she met sanders and the two began to "paw" at each other in the actress' mini cooper. "it seemed like they couldn't get enough."
"she was swept up in the moment," added the photog who, after realizing the goldmine he'd stumbled across, quickly called his agency for backup, and three more paparazzi crowded the scene. later, stewart dropped off sanders a few blocks from his home and the two kissed goodbye.
anticipating the looming us weekly story, the actress' team also hurriedly leaked news of the affair to people magazine in an effort to get out her side of the story first and soften the blow, minimizing the affair to a mere "fleeting moment" and "lapse in judgement":
but by the next day, the photos hit the internet and stewart apologized for her infidelity in a public statement: "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."
sanders followed suit, telling people magazine: "i am utterly distraught about the pain i have caused my family. 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."
"i'm not sure they'll be able to recover from this," a source told people magazine. "[rob] is heartbroken and angry." added us weekly, "he doesn't know if he should forgive her," the mag also claiming that he'd been "weeks" away from proposing to stewart before the scandal:
stewart's affair partner would also find a frosty reception at home, with sanders' wife, liberty ross, reportedly being blindsided by the news. "it's really shocking," said an us weekly source. "she's been with rupert since she was 18. he's the only love she's known."
ross, a british model who'd given up her rising career to move to l.a. in support of sanders' filmmaking ambitions, had been open about the sacrifices she made in her marriage, telling a magazine just weeks before the scandal that she'd sometimes felt like a single mother:
"i would never say out loud that i'm raising my children alone," ross told a publication in june, "but a lot of the time it has felt like that." though adding optimistically, "that's why everything feels so amazing now. we rode through the really hard times and we stuck it out."
and in the days to follow, the model would continue to show no mercy, stepping out sans wedding ring and reportedly cutting off contact with her philandering husband. "she's been focused just on her kids," reported people magazine. "it's what she cares about the most."
meanwhile, team stewart would continue its efforts to downplay the affair, with sources "close" to the actress telling outlets that she hadn't fooled around with sanders until after the movie's press tour had wrapped and that the relationship had never even been consummated:
but soon after, stewart-friendly site gossip cop would quietly amend its initial report that the tryst was a one-time to acknowledge there'd been several hook-ups, and radar online reported that stewart had even spent time with sanders' daughter, taking her out for ice cream:
while some theorized the photos were part of a joaquin phoenix-style experiment to fool the media, others wondered whether stewart was even in her right mind during the tryst, suggesting (hoping) that she might've been drugged, or perhaps suffered from an undiagnosed brain tumor: