"She has been nothing but a person of her word and embracing of me and my family," Lopez has said of his longtime friend

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After news of alleged infidelity in Sandra Bullock‘s marriage surfaced, she retreated from the spotlight and turned to her innermost circle of friends – including George Lopez, who has been spotted visiting her home twice in recent weeks.

“Sandra Bullock completely gave me life,” Lopez told PEOPLE in a 2006 interview.

Bullock was searching for Latino talent when she was introduced to Lopez, then a little-known comedian working the comedy circuit. Bullock drove an hour from Los Angeles to Orange County to catch his act. Two years later, she was the executive producer of his hit television show, George Lopez.

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“From the time Sandy and I first laid eyes on each other, she has been nothing but a person of her word and embracing of me and my family,” he said of Bullock, who often visited the set of his show, even making a few guest appearances. “We always trade off poses, like gang poses. It s beautiful. I love her!” (The pair most recently traded poses when she appeared on Lopez s late-night talk show Lopez Tonight earlier this year.)

The pair has been friends since 2000. As a gift many years ago, Bullock gave Lopez his first BlackBerry, and she sent him a message that he saved. “She said, ‘If you ever need me, I’m your big sister. If you ever need me to be the bad guy, I will be the bad guy,’ ” he said.

Now it’s his turn to return the favor.

• Reporting by ALEXIS CHIU

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