updated 11/18/2010 AT 3:00 PM ET
•originally published 11/18/2010 AT 3:30 PM ET
Filed under their initials instead of names at a time when nobody outside the sports world knew who they were, the divorce proceedings last month of Erin and Brent Barry went unnoticed.
But now the Barry name is making headlines because of allegations that Erin exchanged hundreds of texts with Eva Longoria’s husband, Tony Parker, prior to Longoria filing her own divorce petition this week.
The breakup of the two marriages – and the rift between the two couples – is a tragic and seemingly sudden development.
The Barrys were among the closest friends of Parker and Longoria. Brent was a teammate of Parker’s on the San Antonio Spurs from 2004 to 2008, and the Barrys attended Parker’s lavish wedding in France in 2007.
“We’re like family,” Parker told ESPN The Magazine after the ceremony.
A source close to Longoria tells PEOPLE the two women quickly bonded as “Spurs wives” and stayed close even after Brent left the team. The four frequently socialized and Erin came to one of Longoria’s birthday parties.
“So it was more devastating,” the source says of the texting.
A source close to Parker acknowledges that he exchanged “flirtatious” texts with Erin, but insisted the pair never had a physical relationship. “He was not having an affair with Erin Barry,” the source claims.
The exact timing of the texts remains vague. But it appears they were sent in the same period that the Barry marriage was falling apart.
On Oct. 29, Brent Barry, using only his initials “B.R.B,” filed a petition for divorce in Bexar County, Texas, citing the state’s boilerplate cause of “discord or conflict of personalities.”
The Barrys had been married since 1998 and have two sons, ages 10 and 4. According to the filing, Brent and Erin were expected to “enter into a written agreement” over custody and child support. The petition also says the pair had a prenuptial agreement that went into effect on July 25, 1998 – the day they were married.
About three weeks later, Longoria filed for divorce amid reports of infidelity by Parker. After the filing, Longoria told her pal Mario Lopez of Extra that she had discovered hundreds of texts between Parker and a teammate’s wife. Longoria also claims that Parker cheated on her earlier in their marriage.
“I think this was out of the blue, “says the source close to Longoria, “but it was like this close to home.”
Reporting by LIZ McNEIL