Long before Larry King's marital drama (the CNN host, 76, and estranged wife Shawn, 50, halted their highly publicized divorce proceedings Monday), his pals had their concerns about his May-December relationship, reports the new Us Weekly, out today.
Mike Borchetta, a friend of the couple, tells Us Weekly that he has never seen "a person more generous with his wife" than King.
So when King -- who had wed six women before Shawn -- announced 12 years ago that he was getting hitched (again) to a much younger woman, eyebrows raised, says his sixth wife, Julia Alexander-King.
"Everyone outside of Larry knew what Shawn's designs were going in," she tells Us Weekly. "A lot of people tried to warn him" about her possible financial motivations.
It was King's generosity that allegedly set the wheels in motion for last week's divorce filings. King, who makes about $15 million a year, is said to have gifted his Shawn's sister Shannon Engemann with lavish gifts -- including a $160,000 car and Cartier jewelry. When Shawn discovered the purchases, she accused her husband and her sister of having an affair. "I think it's really sad that fingers are being pointed toward me," Engemann tells Us Weekly. "This is an unfortunate situation."
Could King and his wife -- who have two children, Chance, 11, and Cannon, 9, (and no prenup) -- overcome it all? (His attorney says "there will be no activity for two weeks" in the divorce proceedings as they work through "several issues.")
One pal hopes so -- for their children's sake.
"They worship their children," Martha Borchetta tells Us Weekly. "I am hoping and praying they work it out."