Ronan Keating began the affair with a dancer which is threatening his marriage in Northern Ireland.
Ronan’s secret fling with Francine Cornell — who is the spitting image of his wife Yvonne — blossomed as Boyzone kicked off their UK tour at the Odyssey last year.
A source close to the band told Sunday Life that the pair clicked during rehearsals and by the time Boyzone began their tour in Belfast on May 24 last year it had developed into a sexual relationship.
The tour insider said: “There was a spark between the two of them right from the start. People were remarking on how they acted around each other.
“The spent a lot of time with each other at the hotel in Belfast and that’s when the rumours started.
“As the tour went on it was clear to everyone else that something was going on between them — it was the talk of the tour.”
It was revealed yesterday that Ronan, 33, was caught out by wife Yvonne when she found sex texts from 26-year-old blonde Francine on a secret mobile phone.
A source said: “There were very, very suggestive texts that left little to the imagination. Yvonne went ballistic and told him it was over there and then — she was devastated.”
Rather than deny the affair or try to explain the texts, Ronan cried and confessed that he had cheated on her.
The source added: “There was no point in denying it, he broke down in tears and admitted everything.
“He begged her to give him a second chance and said he didn’t want to divorce her, at least for the sake of their three kids.
“But she was having none of it. She was totally crushed by his betrayal and told him it was over before kicking him out of the house.”
Before the affair scandal, Ronan revelled in his squeaky-clean image and it was thought he and Yvonne had one of the strongest marriages in showbiz. It even earned their family a lucrative telly advertising deal to promote the Nintendo DS.
But he is now the latest in a long line of celebs — including Tiger Woods, Ashley Cole, John Terry, Vernon Kay and Mark Owen — to have risked their marriages by betraying their wives.
The Dubliner is said to still hold out hope for a reconciliation but he was snapped the day they announced their “amicable” split loading suitcases into his car outside the family home.
He is today appearing at the SkyDance festival in Zurich, Switzerland.
It has been suggested that the shock split announcement was made on Thursday in a bid to pre-empt the affair story being broken by the press.
There has been further speculation that Leeds-born Francine, who boasts a 32B-25-35 figure, will sell her kiss-and-tell story about the affair to the highest-bidding tabloid.
Ronan’s wife of 12 years, 36-year-old Yvonne has been pictured without her wedding ring and appears to be serious about ending the relationship.
When she arrived at the couple's new home on Friday — which is still in construc
tion — an onlooker said: “She looked pale and tired, but resigned.
“And she had obviously planned her appearance carefully because her wedding ring had been removed.”
This was the former model's first public appearance since the Keatings' announced their separation on Thursday.
Eyes hidden behind a pair of dark glasses, Yvonne surveyed the property — which is just down the road from the couple's existing home outside of Dublin.
Since the break-up Yvonne has been comforted by Keith Duffy’s wife Lisa at her home in Dublin, where she is looking after their three heartbroken children Jack, 11, Marie, nine, and four-year-old Ali.
The exclusive Abbington estate house in Malahide is home to the rich and famous, with Westlife star Nicky Byrne and his wife Georgina also living there.
When the majestic residences went on sale at the height of the boom they had a price tag of up to €3.5million.
Last week, Keating astonishingly admitted he was surprised Yvonne had stayed with him for the last 12 years, as he revealed he can be jealous if the former model goes out without him. He said: “I can’t believe Yvonne has stuck with me for so long. I still get incredibly jealous.
“The green-eyed monster rears its ugly head and brings out all my insecurities. I don’t like it if Yvonne is out without me. I just can’t help it.”
The star was left devastated last October when his former bandmate Stephen Gately tragically died.
They are staging a special tribute concert with a number of celebrity guests who will join the band on stage for some one-off special performances.
Boyzone's new single Love Is A Hurricane was released today and they are touring the UK in February and March next year.