"It was horrible," Ross tells Vanity Fair. "It was really the worst, really the worst."
Stepping in to protect his sister was Ross's brother, Atticus Ross, the Oscar-winning composer of The Social Network.
"I'm texting people because I know this is going to be huge," he tells the magazine. "It was about not destroying [Liberty]. I don't think people understand what being in the eye of that storm is like."
He reached out to record exec and American Idol mentor Jimmy Iovine (who has recently been romantically linked with Ross). Iovine provided her with p.r. support, while another friend offered Ross and her two kids a home on the California coast as a refuge from the photographers.
She had moved to Los Angeles with Sanders so that he could pursue his dreams as a director, but she says that even before Sanders was caught with the 19-years-younger Stewart, there were problems in their marriage. "We'd lost our real connection," she admits.
Despite those issues, Sanders, 42, issued an apology in the days after the scandal broke and wanted to reconcile. But Ross knew the marriage was over and filed for divorce.
"I have no words to describe what we went through," she says. "But I think, for me, something always has to completely die for there to be a rebirth. And, for me, I feel like I'm going through a rebirth."