It was far from just a casual fling between Larry King’s wife, Shawn, and their kids’ little league coach, Hector Penate. In fact, a source tells RadarOnline.com that the two became confidants, as well as lovers – with Shawn even confiding in Hector that her sister, Shannon Southwick, was having an affair with her husband.
In addition, the source says that Larry fired his wife’s lover as soon as he found out about the affair, around the summer of 2008, despite the fact that his two children “idolized Hector.”
The source also claims that Shawn was so distraught by the affair between Larry and her sister that it was one of the causes of her depression and the start of her drug dependency issues.
“Shawn told Hector that Larry was having an affair with her sister,” the source tells RadarOnline.com. “I know she told Hector that, because then Hector told me. This was back in 2007 or so. And I know that, or at least from what Hector told me, that was the reason why Shawn was in such a depressive state all the time and started her dependency on drugs - because her husband was spending an exorbitant amount of money on his sister-in-law, her sister." Hector himself confirmed on the record that Shawn knew about Larry's affair with Shannon in his interview with Entertainment Tonight. Hector also added that Larry and Larry and Shawn's two children knew about his affair with Shawn.
“According to Hector, Shawn said her sister would come to stay in Beverly Hills and Larry would pay for her apartment and he would buy her all these expensive gifts.
“There was an attraction between Shawn and Hector as soon as they met, albeit a slightly one-sided one. You could tell Shawn found him attractive and she was flirting with him. I know, because I was there with them! Hector’s a good looking guy. You know, very tall, he’s like 6’2”, 6’3” and he’s got like dark features, he’s got the Hispanic dark feature look going on – every girl found Hector attractive.”
According to the source though, Hector didn’t reciprocate with any flirting, at least not at that first meeting. “I think probably, you know, he was trying to get in with the family. I think he was like, 'Oh my god this is awesome, Larry King, and this is going to help me out.' So I think he was going the extra mile to be super nice, especially to Larry, and that didn’t involve flirting with his wife!
“They first met at a party Larry and Shawn had for their youngest son, in March or May of 2007. Hector was working for a company called Amazing Parties, where he would go out and pretty much play with kids at birthday parties and he got this birthday party at Dodger Stadium and it happened to be the little one’s birthday and that’s where he met Larry and Shawn King for the first time.
“Then Shawn invited him to some barbeque and then she invited him to play baseball with the kids. Hector hit it off with the kids right away, and they absolutely idolized him, they all grew very attached, even Larry and Hector struck up a strong relationship.
“Hector was really fond of Larry and likewise of Shawn. I mean, he was with them all the time and he never said anything bad to me about Larry. Shawn, I know that she was, from what he told me, because of the dependency issues and her depression, sometimes she wouldn’t come out of her room and, you know, she always complained about headaches and, you know, Hector would spend time with her and talk with her and try to distract her from the pain and bring her out of her funk.
Although the source doesn’t doubt that Hector certainly had a fondness for Shawn, and that he tried to help her through a difficult time in her life, at the same time she questions his motives for becoming so ingratiated within the King family. “I’ve known Hector for a very long time and he’s been very ambitious from the very beginning, very ambitious,” the source says. “When he gets something in his head, he’s like very driven. And this whole acting thing for him, he, you know, I guess back in 2004 or 2003 he decided he really wanted to be an actor and that was what he ate, slept, dreamt and breathed – acting. I mean, it was like that’s all he wanted to do all of a sudden. And that’s probably why I wasn’t surprised to hear he was having an affair with Shawn, because I thought he probably just thought that that was his ticket to Hollywood.