FED-UP ANTONIO IN SECRET SPLIT WITH MELANIE

Published on: November 26, 2002

Melanie Griffith's worst nightmare has come true -- her hunky Latin hubby Antonio Banderas packed his bags and left!

Tired of Melanie's jealousy and insecurities, Antonio recently moved out of their Los Angeles home before flying off to a film location.

The secret split left Melanie devastated.

"Antonio's had it!" a source told The ENQUIRER.

"Melanie's become increasingly clingy during the six years they've been together, always pestering him over whether he's cheating on her and constantly seeking reassurances that he still loves her.

"She was beside herself with jealousy over Antonio's co-star in his new movie 'Femme Fatale,' Rebecca Romijn-Stamos. Melanie grilled Antonio over whether he was having an affair with her.

"The irony is that Rebecca is about as safe a co-star as a man could have -- she's madly in love with her husband John Stamos, and like Antonio has no interest in cheating on her spouse.

"But Melanie can't get this fear that Antonio is cheating on her out of her head."

An insider told The ENQUIRER: "Melanie's been in Australia playing Frank Sinatra's wife Barbara Marx in 'The Night We Called It a Day.' But being away hasn't helped the situation -- she worries constantly about what he's up to and calls and e-mails at all hours.

"Antonio finally told her one evening in a phone call that he couldn't take her jealousy anymore -- and that when she gets back to the States, he wouldn't be there to greet her."

But the split isn't necessarily a death blow to the marriage -- Antonio's hoping that the move will help convince Melanie to rein in her jealousy, the source disclosed. "Antonio's decided it's time for some tough love -- he wants to shock Melanie back to reality.

"He's decided to step back and see if time and distance can help recapture their old passion.

"The fact is, Antonio loves Melanie, he loves his family life with her and their daughter Stella, and there have been no other women -- but he can't convince her that he has eyes only for her.

"He's decided to stay away for a few weeks to let her sort through things and to let him sort through things as well.

"He did make plans to be with Melanie for Thanksgiving dinner.

"He feels Melanie needs to get a grip, and he's hoping that leaving will bring her around and make her stop being so clingy.

"But there's no guarantee this isn't the end!"

The 45-year-old actress' insecurities stem from "low self-esteem" and her fear that Antonio, 42, will fall for a younger woman, another insider revealed.

"Melanie has such low self-esteem that when she looks in the mirror she doesn't see what everyone else sees. To her, she is a woman struggling to keep her dashing husband.

"Melanie believes Antonio could have his pick of any younger woman he wants and she fears he's going to leave her for a woman who can give him another child."

Melanie knows how much Antonio wants another child and has been "beating herself up" over the fact she's not been able to get pregnant again, said a close family friend.

"She's has been undergoing fertility treatments, injecting herself with hormones and visiting a fertility specialist on a regular basis.

"But she's not been able to give Antonio a son. She's a wreck."

Melanie is so out of control that she's "doing things she wouldn't normally do," said a friend of her ex-husband Steven Bauer. "For example, when Bauer got fired from the TV show 'Kingpin,' she phoned NBC herself and begged them to give him his job back.

"Melanie even promised to make a guest appearance on the show if they'd agree to give him another chance.

"But her efforts were all in vain."

And now that Antonio has split, Melanie's emotional state is more fragile than ever, the source told The ENQUIRER.

"She's been on the phone constantly, calling everyone she knows and asking what she can do to win Antonio back."

Melanie's spokesperson Robin Baum denied there is trouble in the marriage.

"Melanie and Antonio are still very much together and very much married."

But the source added: "Antonio helped Melanie through rehab recently, and he still loves her.

"And he's certain that if she can pull herself together just a little, they can make it over the long haul."