More than one year after husband Rupert Sanders was caught cheating with Kristen Stewart, Liberty Ross is still trying to cope with life after scandal. The 35-year-old British model speaks out on her now estranged husband's public affair and their subsequent divorce filing in the December issue of Vanity Fair.
"It was horrible," Ross tells the magazine. "It was really the worst, really the worst."
"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."
Director Sanders, 42, was caught cheating with his Snow White and the Huntsman star Stewart, 23, on July 17, 2012. Us Weekly broke news of the affair with exclusive photos, released on July 24.
Though the scandal may have left Ross speechless, her Academy Award-winning composer brother, Atticus, had plenty to share with Vanity Fair about what his sister went through. "It was f---ing crazy," he says. "To some extent at that moment, Rupert was in denial, and Liberty didn't know what was going to happen . . . I'm texting people because I know this is going to be huge. I knew this had all the makings of what our world has become. This is going to be f---ing big, and Liberty needs to be protected."
The day after photos of his fling were released, Sanders issued a public apology to his wife of 11 years and their two children. "I love them with all my heart," he said in the statement. "I am praying that we can get through this together." But Ross tells Vanity Fair that she already made her decision to divorce. "I'm not a quitter. I've done everything I could to be the perfect wife and mother and really support my husband," she says. "But I just didn't have any more to give, you know?"
Reflecting on their marriage, Ross also admits to the magazine that they weren't perfect even before the affair. "I knew that I wasn't feeling 100 percent right," she explains. "I found myself on a roller coaster, like, I'm going to keep things moving, keep things going. I'm going to keep up this amazing [facade], everyone looking at me and Rupert, thinking, Oh, wow, you guys have it all . . . Really, I had times when I felt very lonely, very disconnected from Rupert. We'd lost our real connection."
But Ross tells Vanity Fair that she does forgive Sanders. "We were together for 16 years, and that in itself is really beautiful," she says. "And we've created two exceptional lives together." The estranged spouses are parents to daughter Skyla, 7, and son Tennyson, 5. Ross filed for divorce from Sanders in January 2013, and it has yet to be finalized. At the time of the affair, Stewart was in a longtime relationship with Twilight costar Robert Pattinson. Their relationship also ended nearly one year later in May 2013.
For more of Ross' interview, pick up the December issue of Vanity Fair on newsstands nationwide Nov. 5.