Heather Locklear Discovered 'Provocative' E-Mail
Locklear found the e-mail, which contained "provocative pictures" of the female, a close friend of the pair tells PEOPLE. Though the woman had long been "a sore subject," says the source, Locklear never thought she and Sambora had actually been "romantic."
Whatever conclusions Locklear has now drawn from the photos, they were, her friend believes, the deciding factor. "She's devastated," says the friend. "Absolutely devastated."
Sambora, meanwhile, is as upset by the photos as Locklear, according to their friend: "Richie's saying nothing ever happened, that he never asked for the pictures."
Another source close to the Bon Jovi guitar player says the photos are neither the cause of the breakup nor indicative of a liaison between Sambora and the woman. "It's absolutely not true that they had an affair," says the friend.
Many observers believed the bond between Sambora, 46, and Locklear, 44, was strong. "I thought they were the perfect couple," says their longtime friend, music journalist Lonn Friend, who insists Sambora was not your typical rocker. "He'd sown some wild oats in his day" but since hooking up with Locklear, Friend says, he'd become "a family man." The couple have one daughter, Ava, 8.
Read more in this week's issue of PEOPLE magazine, on newsstands Friday.