(USA TODAY) -- Liberty Ross is finally opening up about the cheating scandal that ended her marriage and tarnished the reputation of Twilight actress Kristen Stewart.
In the December issue of Vanity Fair, Ross discusses her director husband Rupert Sanders' affair with his Snow White and the Huntsman star Stewart, which came to light in July 2012.
"It was horrible," she tells the mag. "It was really the worst, really the worst."
And despite the fact that she filed for divorce in January, the ordeal still sounds freshly painful for Ross, who is a model.
"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."
Ross reveals that Sanders came clean about the affair 20 hours before paparazzi shots, which showed him and Stewart kissing and hugging during a furtive meeting on a side street, were posted online and seen all over the world.
She says that when the news did break, a friend offered to let Ross and her two young children with Sanders, daughter Skyla and son Sonny, live with her as the media frenzy raged on around them.
"I was able to be there completely secluded," recalls Ross. "I just visualized (being) this sort of Masai warrior. I was just going to stand very still and very strong, and just let it all roll past me. I tried to keep as far away from it as I could and to understand that this is my family and it's the most precious thing to me."
Ultimately, she decided the relationship needed to end, as they'd lost their "real connection," but she doesn't sound bitter about the whole ordeal.
"We were together for 16 years, and that in itself is really beautiful. And we've created two exceptional lives together," she says.