Spanish journalist Alfonso Merlos is in hot water after a beauty wearing only a top walked into the background of an interview he was broadcasting from home. His jilted girlfriend dubbed the sordid affair “shameful.”

Merlos is a journalist, model and celebrity in his native Spain, but now his tangled private life is being torn apart by the Spanish-speaking media.

He was speaking as a guest on journalist Javier Negre’s ‘State of Alarm’ YouTube channel last Friday, when a semi-naked woman casually sauntered into the frame, causing Negre’s jaw to drop.

Esto es una auténtica maravilla: Javier Negre hace un Skype y acaba mostrando en directo la infidelidad de Alfonso Merlos. Primera vez que destapa algo de verdad, aunque sea involuntariamente xd

It gets worse: The woman is not Merlos’s partner, former Big Brother contestant Marta López, but Alexia Rivas, a reporter with Spanish TV show ‘Socialité.’

Que no, no voy a dejarte de la mano Voy a robarle Todo el tiempo que pueda al amor Despertarme y que estés a mi lado Y el sol pinte nuestra habitación. Bikinazo de @onneswimwear qué sirve de body ✌? vamos cogiendo ideas para cuando esto acabe. ¿Foto 1, 2 o 3?

A post shared by Alexia Rivas (@alexiaarivas) on Apr 20, 2020 at 8:38am PDT

Quarantined social media users pounced, quickly dubbing the scandal ‘Merlos Place’ – a play on words referencing ‘Melrose Place,’ the American soap opera. Merlos’s modelling shots on Instagram were flooded with insults and jeers, while Twitter and YouTube overflowed with memes. 

López – the scorned lover in the scenario straight out of a telenovela – weighed in soon afterwards. She told the Spanish tabloids that she’s currently going through a rather painful breakup with Merlos, and found the whole affair “unpleasant” and “shameful.”  Merlos has apologized to her publicly and scolded journalists for not separating his professional and personal life.

Un beso muy fuerte a todos y mucho ánimo por otros 15 días más todos unidos. A ver si dan la cara por nosotros quien la tiene quedar. Lo grande de España, somos los Españoles, no nos merecemos lo mal que lo están haciendo algunos.

A post shared by Marta López (@martalopeztv) on Apr 4, 2020 at 11:01am PDT

Accidental reveals of people’s private lives are becoming more frequent during the Covid-19 pandemic, as many formerly slick media professionals are working from home along with billions of people who find themselves under some kind of lockdown regime.

Such stories have ranged from a cat meowing loudly amid a Brexit conference call between UK officials on Monday, to a Ukrainian footballer getting called out by his ex-wife – with whom he is quarantined – for bringing up threesomes with curious fans, in a scenario curiously similar to that Merlos finds himself in now.

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