spencerpicbustedlogo.jpgSpencer Pratt is clearly running out of ideas to stay relevant in the press. His new mission ... to make it look like his "estranged" wife Heidi is having an affair with his best friend and former Marine-turned-bodyguard, Cougar Zank.

A source close to Heidi tells X17online exclusively:

    "Spencer and Cougar did have a falling out. That's true. But not for a second do I believe that Heidi is having an affair with Cougar. He's her bodyguard ... and have you seen him? Not exactly her type. Spencer is all about making money and it's sad to think that no one is believing his crap anymore. He's been turned down this week by so many of the magazines that usually throw money at him. Just a month ago, Heidi and Spencer were being offered $50-thousand just for a cover shot and interview about their relationship. Now ... nothing. But it's about time he gets called out."

As for Heidi's impending divorce plans, X17online has learned that Heidi has been in several meetings with accountants trying to separate her finances from Spencer. Our source adds:

    "Heidi is hoping that by next week she can officially file for divorce, but she doesn't want to make any rash decisions. Contrary to what everyone believes, she doesn't want to get a divorce, but with Spencer's recent twitter rants and crazy spending, she feels she may have no choice."

The story of Cougar and Heidi is true to an extent. X17online can confirm that Heidi is currently living with Cougar Zank in Malibu, however, he's her bodyguard ... that's it. In fact, immediately after Spencer and Heidi announced their separation, Heidi relied on Cougar to secretly drive her around Malibu. We're told "Heidi would hide in the back of her Porsche Cayenne and Cougar would be driving ... just pretending that he was in the car himself. It fooled the photographers every time."

X17online got exclusive pix of Spencer last month hanging out with Cougar in Malibu, where Mr. Pratt was eagerly plugging his buddy's movie career. This story about the two guys supposedly fighting smells fishy to us. Start saving that money, Spencer! The clock is ticking ...

A rep for Heidi and Spencer tells X17online, "No comment."