Several friends of New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez claim that his estranged wife Cynthia Rodriguez "brainwashed him," according to the New York Daily News.
"Alex has always been into psychotherapy, making himself mentally stronger," a longtime confidante told the paper. "Cynthia has a master's degree in psychology. Once she found out how vulnerable he was, she got into his head. Several of us begged him not to marry this woman, but he did it anyway."
Another source contested that Cynthia, who is Greek Orthodox, dislike her husband's image as a Latino sports star and urged him to downplay his Dominican heritage.
"She didn't want him typecast as a Latin player. She discouraged him from taking part in Hispanic community events," the source said.
As for the star's alleged "affair of the heart" with Madonna, a source tells the Daily News that "Cynthia's the reason Alex met Madonna. She kept hounding him to call [Madonna's manager] Guy Oseary and get them backstage at one of her concerts."
A spokesman for the Yankees slugger did not wish to comment. Calls and e-mails by the New York Daily News to lawyers for Cynthia Rodriguez were not returned.