BY GEORGE RUSH AND BILL HUTCHINSON
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Pop icon Madonna is using kabbalah to brainwash Yankee star Alex Rodriguez into believing they are "soulmates," the ballplayer's estranged wife is telling friends.
Cynthia Rodriguez, who has bolted to rocker Lenny Kravitz's Paris pad to avoid the limelight, is blaming the Material Girl for breaking up her five-year marriage, a close friend told the Daily News. The 34-year-old stunner has revealed to close confidants that she discovered a note her husband wrote professing his true feelings to Madonna.
"I believe he was having an affair with Madonna," she told a friend, who spoke anonymously for fear of angering A-Rod. "She said she found a letter where Alex told Madonna: 'You are my true soulmate.'"
The friend said Cynthia Rodriguez, who gave birth to the couple's second daughter about 10 weeks ago, is teary and heartbroken over the split. Despite the sleepless nights and jags of tears, Cynthia Rodriguez is telling friends, "I still love my husband."
The startling revelations come just days after reports that Rodriguez, 32, had been dumped by his wife and has been seen making late-night visits to the 49-year-old Madonna's upper West Side home.
While Madonna's flack has vehemently denied any hanky-panky, insisting the slugger and the singer "are just friends," Cynthia Rodriguez is convinced otherwise. She has privately insisted to pals that the "Hard Candy" singer beguiled A-Rod by introducing him to the mystical Jewish teachings of kabbalah.
"I feel like Madonna is using mind control over him," Cynthia Rodriguez told the friend. "I don't recognize the man he's become. He was a sweet, beautiful, loving husband and father. Today he's very cold and calculating."
The Bombers' $275 million third baseman upset his wife in April by showing up 10 minutes after she gave birth to their daughter, Ella Alexander. He only exacerbated her hurt feelings by spending only a day with her and their newborn before rejoining the Yankees.
"This all started with kabbalah," said the friend. "Alex told Cynthia that he'd discovered that he'd been looking for his soul mate. And now, he said, he'd found her."
Simultaneously, Madonna has been hounded by reports that her seven-year marriage to filmmaker Guy Ritchie is on the rocks.
'I believe in family more than anything'
At first, Cynthia didn't find it odd that her brawny husband was spending so much time with the married pop star, whose daughter, Lourdes, shares his mother's name.
"Cynthia was so innocent," said the friend, adding that the scorned wife believed A-Rod and Madonna were hanging out simply because they share the same manager, Guy Oseary. "Cynthia thought he just respected the woman," the friend said. "Cynthia told me, 'I respected her, too - her creativity and ability to reinvent herself. I grew up listening to Madonna songs. I never dreamed this 49-year-old woman was anything more than a friend.'"
Three weeks after the birth of their daughter Ella, A-Rod dropped a knee-wobbling bomb on his wife, the friend said. Alex "came to Cynthia and claimed their marriage was over," the friend said. "That was news to her. She'd had no clue. She said, 'I was devastated,'" the friend said. "I've been with him for 13 years," she told her friend. "I stood beside him through all his struggles."
Despite the public humiliation of his romps at strip clubs and seeing photographs of him with Scores dancer Joslyn Noel Morse, "Cynthia has been a faithful wife," the friend said. "She said, 'I believe in family more than anything in the world.'"
Friends of Cynthia Rodriguez suspect A-Rod, or his allies, floated the story this week that she was having a fling withKravitz in Paris. Kravitz who was playing a gig in Belgium last night, was forced to issued a public denial Thursday.
"There is absolutely no affair between Cynthia Rodriguez and myself," he said in a statement. "This is unequivocally 100% not true. Cynthia is a friend and is here with the godfather of her baby, who is also Alex's trainer, his wife and their baby girl."
A-Rod suggested a Paris respite
HER FRIEND told The News that Cynthia Rodriguez bolted to France because she "wanted to escape the stress and clear her head."
"It was Alex who suggested she go to Paris for a few days," the friend said. "He said, 'Why don't you stay with Lenny?' He said to stay as long as she wanted. A day after she got there, the paparazzi were waiting outside the poor guy's house. Alex, or somebody in his camp, tipped them off."
The friend confirmed that Cynthia Rodriguez was in Paris with her daughters and their godparents, Dodd and Sabina Romero, and their daughter. "It was a family vacation," said the friend. "Lenny Kravitz is a gentleman who opened his home to her in a time of crisis. For people to portray him as an adulterer is sick."
Cynthia Rodriguez has declined to talk with friends about whether she's ready to get a divorce. "She keeps saying, 'I love him, or at least the man he was when I married him.' "But he's forced her to defend herself and their children. It's a very emotional time for her." A spokesman for Cynthia Rodriguez refused to comment, saying only, "This is a private matter."