Toni Gonzaga and Alessandra de Rossi speak up on the controversial e-mail exchange. Photo: Noel Orsal

Alessandra de Rossi and Jeremy Marquez had problems with their relationship but it won’t take long before they patch up their differences.

Their latest squabble however signaled the end of their romance. What went wrong? How was it different from their previous squabbles; what made it serious enough for both to call it quits?

The probable answer: the alleged involvement of Jeremy’s old friend—TV host and actress Toni Gonzaga—with whom he had recently exchanged e-mail messages over his problems with Alessandra.

Toni was widely believed to have a special relationship with Jeremy when both hosted a defunct segment—“Showbiz Helleur”—on GMA-7’s showbiz talk show S-Files. Though both denied any special ties, they admitted being good friends on and off the camera.

Since Toni’s transfer to ABS-CBN, their friendship stalled understandably because their careers went on different ways.

However, this friendship has since been revisited—with Jeremy allegedly confiding with Toni all his problems with Alessandra through e-mail.

Toni told the ABS-CBN talk show The Buzz on November 5 that she accepted Jeremy’s correspondences, saying she would not close the door on her friend from her GMA-7 days.

But this led to controversy, as it pictures Toni as meddling into the affairs of Alessandra and Jeremy. One of the e-mails allegedly showed Toni as telling on Alessandra, whom she said was talking to friends about her problems with Jeremy in a Quezon City restaurant.

Did the Crazy for You lead actress and Pinoy Dream Academy host play a major role in the events that led to the couple’s break-up or a victim of a crossfire that she unwittingly put herself into?

Nothing special

In her The Buzz interview, Toni reasserts she had no special relationship with Jeremy. "Just to clarify [things], hindi po ako nakikipag-landian sa e-mail,” Toni said.

"We [Jeremy and I] never had any relationship. Magkaibigan lang kami. Nagkasama kami sa isang segment sa S-Files [GMA-7's Sunday afternoon entertainment talk show], ‘yong Showbiz Helleur na ginagawa po namin dati. ‘Tapos ‘yon, doon po kami nag-start maging magkaibigan-kaming tatlo po ‘yon e, Tero Onor, ako ‘tsaka siya. Pero wala hong nangyari na nagkaroon kami ng relasyon."

In an interview with the same show a week prior to Toni's interview, Jeremy denies the Crazy for You actress' involvement in his break-up with his girlfriend. "Let's leave Toni out of this," says the young actor. "Whatever me and Toni had before was strictly friendship, and magkasama kami sa trabaho noon. So I think it's unfair [for her]."

Toni’s name was dragged into the controversy when Alessandra read her Internet correspondence with Jeremy.

"Si Jeremy po ‘yong unang nag-email," clarifies Toni. "Actually, hindi po e-mail e, para pong Friendster ‘yon e-sa Myspace account [a web site that allows users to send messages and share multimedia with other users]. When I opened my inbox, marami pong messages then I saw a message from him [Jeremy]-‘tapos nangangamusta po. ‘Yon po nilalaman ng e-mail. ‘Tapos ‘yong sinasabi nilang panliligaw, siya na lang po-‘yong nilalaman ng e-mail [na panliligaw]-siya na lang po tanungin niyo about that, kung ano talaga nilalaman ng e-mail na ‘yon. Pero, ako in my conscience, wala po akong ni-reply na puwedeng ikasira ng relationship nila."

In a text message sent to The Buzz, Alessandra seconds Toni's claim: "Ayoko na sana siyang [si Toni] madamay kasi si Jeremy lang naman ang lumandi sa kaniya. Binara naman niya si Fafa [Jeremy] e..."

However, in a separate interview with S-Files, Alessandra went ballistic: "Well, inamin na rin niya [Toni]. Nagsalita na rin sya sa The Buzz kanina. Ang linis niya," said the star of Barcelona pertaining to Toni's live interview earlier the same day.

Evidence

Alex confirmed that she was able to read all the e-mail messages Toni sent to Jeremy. "Nabasa ko naman lahat ng ebidensiya. Kumbaga, wala na siyang [Toni] dapat itago."

In their e-mail messages, Toni claims she only wished for the best between the two.

"I even encouraged him to pray for the matter," explains Toni. "[I said] ‘Kung ano naman kinahihinatnan noon, I'm sure everything will be alright.' And then I ended it with ‘Just pray for it.'"

In the interview with The Buzz, Toni admitted telling Jeremy that she saw and overheard Alessandra talking to a friend in a Quezon City restaurant. According to Alessandra, this admission only confirmed her participation in the issue.

"'Di siya dapat nagsumbong ng kung ano-ano kay Jeremy ng hindi naman totoo. Nag-away pa tuloy kami," added Alessandra in her statement to The Buzz.

Toni was with her Crazy For You co-star Luis Manzano and an unnamed assistant at TGI Fridays along Tomas Morato in Quezon City when she saw Alessandra chatting with a friend at the upper level of the restaurant.

Unpleasant text message

In her S-Files interview, Alessandra said after that meeting with friends at TGI Fridays, Jeremy sent her a text message.

"[Sabi sa text message] Bakit daw nagkukuwento ako sa ibang tao tungkol sa problema namin. Wala naman akong pinagkukuwentuhan. Galit na galit siya sa akin na bakit daw kailangan pang makarating sa iba yung personal issues namin."

With that unpleasant text message, Alex began to wonder who was behind it. "Sabi ko [kay Jeremy], 'Wait lang, sino ba nagsabi sa iyo niyan?' Bakit ibang tao ang kinakampihan mo?' Ayaw niyang sabihin."

Obviously disappointed, Alex couldn't stand the fact that her boyfriend at that time was keeping things from her. "Sabi ko, 'kung sino man yang tao na yan na pinoprotektahan mo e sa kanya ka na lang makipagrelasyon. Kasi ayoko ng may itinatago tayo sa isat isa.'

Kaya nakapag-email ng ganoon si Jeremy kasi nagalit siya sa akin. Kasi si Toni, kung anu-ano ang isinumbong sa kanya."

Toni, however, denied she ever mentioned that Alessandra was talking against Jeremy at the time she saw her conversing with a friend in the restaurant. What she mentioned, she said, was that she only saw her speaking to someone else.

"With that, gusto ko pong linawin na hindi ako nagsumbong," said Toni. "Wala pong naganap na sumbungan. I think I mentioned in part of that message—doon sa letter na pinadala ko—na, opo, nakita po namin sila [Alex and friend]. Actually, hindi niya siguro ako nakita..."

"Naririnig namin na may nagsasalita," recounts Toni. "Tapos naririnig namin ‘yong pag-uusap. Pag-silip po namin, ayun nabanggit na ni Luis—nasabi niya ‘Ay! Si Alessandra de Rossi.' So hindi na namin binati or hindi na kami tumayo para batiin siya kasi parang may pinag-uusapan sila..."

"Wala po akong dinadagdag na kuwento. Wala po akong kailangang i-e-mail kay Jeremy para pag-awayin ‘yong relasyon nila. I don't want to be involved in their private lives," said Toni.

Talking about 'problems'

Contrary to Toni’s claim, Alessandra said the ABS-CBN host and actress did mention about “problems.”

“Nagkukuwentuhan lang kami. E di ko naman siya [Toni] nakita. Ang nakita ko lang dun si Luis Manzano. Pero sabi nga niya [Toni] sa e-mail niya kay Jeremy: 'I was there. Alex [Alessandra's nickname] didn't see me and she was talking about you and your problem.'"

However, Alessandra clarified that she wasn't saying anything negative against Jeremy. "Wala naman akong ikinuwentong problema. Puro lang nakakatawa ang mga ikinuwento ko. Bakit kailangan nating palakihin?"

Alessandra told Toni not to eavesdrop on conversations of other people.

"Bakit ka nakikinig sa kuwentuhan ng ibang tao? Narinig mo na meron kaming problema, or may narinig kang sinasabi akong problema, bakit kailangan mong makialam? Bakit kailangan mo pang magsumbong para lalo kaming magkaproblema? 'Ayan, nagkaproblema nga kami!"

When asked by S-Files hosts Paolo Bediones and Richard Gomez whether Jeremy was a compassionate partner, Alessandra's quick reply was: "Mabait na tao si Jeremy. Friendly sa lahat ng tao, actually."

As her parting shot, Alex said that she would stand by Jeremy although the two have split-up again.

But when it comes to Toni, there's no stopping Alex in teaching the actress-TV host a lesson and that is not to meddle in somebody else's personal business.

'Sana hindi ka na lang nakisawsaw'

"Ang sama ng loob ko [kay Toni]," Alex said. "Sana hindi ka na lang nakisawsaw. Kung hindi nag-start yang sumbungan issues na yan, hindi magkakaroon ng ganitong problema. Huwag tayong makikisawsaw sa relasyon ng ibang tao. Hindi natin kailangang gatungan para lalo silang masira. Marunong ka rin naman sigurong magmahal. Alam mo ang ibig kong sabihin."