The whole people watched as her “perfect” marriage dropped apart. Only her closest friend knew what yes, really happened. Now, in Jennifer Aniston’s an initial interview since she split from Brad Pitt, she spills her heart, and some tears, come Vanity Fair, sharing her shock and also confusion over Pitt’s liaison through Angelina Jolie, she desire for a family, and also her deep, conflicting emotions (anger, hurt, exasperation, tenderness) toward the guy she quiet loves.

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When Jennifer Aniston opens up the door to the Malibu bungalow she’s to be holed up in lately, she provides me a radiant smile and also an effusive hello.

Then she bursts right into tears.

We have scarcely sat down in the living room, a serene small haven just furnished with cushy white sofas and also white flowers and also white candles, once her face crumples. She is soon aghast.


“I can not use been feeling emotional lately, really i haven’t,” she wails, fluttering she hands prefer Rachel green in distress, except that this time it no funny.


Other 보다 the 24-hour security information guarding she safety, Aniston is all alone in the usually rental where she has camped out while managing the end of her marital relationship to Brad Pitt—and its devastating aftermath, which has been far worse than the actual split. The last couple of months have carried an limitless nightmare the hurtful headlines around her soon-to-be-ex-husband, together with blatantly cheat stories around herself, in the tabloids and also supermarket gossip magazines. Pursued about the clock by the rabid paparazzi she refers to as “ratzies,” she is ambushed also on her own deck by photographers that lurk top top the beach exterior her door, spying on her every move.

As she squeezes she eyes close up door in an effort to protect against crying, the scene offers a painful comparison with the critical time we met. Little more than a year ago, ns interviewed Pitt in ~ the Beverly Hills mansion the he and Aniston had actually just invested two years renovating. A testament to both his passion for architecture and the couple’s hopeful vision that their common future, the beautiful old residence awaited only a baby in a bassinet to finish a picture-perfect existence.


When ns left, they both go me the end to my car. Your home, its home windows lit and also welcoming, glowed in the twilight. Together we claimed our good-byes, Pitt and Aniston leaned with each other in the driveway, eight twined about each other. Her head rest trustingly on his buff chest, still pumped increase from his rigorous training come play the warrior Achilles in Troy.

They seemed the many fortunate couple imaginable—two beautiful superstar who had hit the jackpot, earning not only fame and riches but also an enduring love. Your fans had actually long been captivated by the romance of America’s Sweetheart and the Sexiest male in the World, and now they were ready to start a thrilling new chapter. Aniston’s 10-year operation on Friends to be ending, and also she and also Pitt had vowed to begin a family when she stupendously successful television series was finished.


Pitt’s final words to me reinforced the impression of connubial bliss: “I’m happier than I’ve ever been.” yet the occurring months lugged an onslaught the rumors that he had gotten involved with Angelina Jolie if filming Mr. & Mrs. Smith. instead of the joyful announcement many had anticipated from the Pitts, there was just silence. The new Year started with photographs that the beautiful couple strolling hand in hand follow me the beach on Anguilla, spring relaxed and also happy. Automatically the buzz shifted into rhapsodic re-appraisals the the state of their union.

And then came the oh-so-civilized announcement, ~ above January 7, the Jennifer Aniston and also Brad Pitt were separating—that your parting to be “the result of lot thoughtful consideration,” the it to be not brought about by “any that the speculation reported by the tabloid media,” and that castle would remain “committed and also caring friends with an excellent love and also admiration because that one another.”

If Pitt had kept a low profile in the month to come, that can even have actually turned the end to be true. Instead, the ominous drumroll the gossip started to crescendo as he and also Jolie rendezvoused in exotic locales, quiet denying that they were an item. Through the paparazzi snapping away, Pitt stepped into what looked suspiciously choose a paternal duty with Jolie’s embraced Cambodian son, Maddox.


“It was exceptionally hurtful to Jen the he was watched with another woman so quickly after they to be separated,” says Andrea Bendewald, one actress who has been one of Aniston’s closestly friends due to the fact that they were teenagers.

Instead of gift reviled as The various other Woman, Jolie make for pictures on an energetic ring of appearances as a goodwill ambassador because that the joined Nations—and climate trumped even that public-relations bonanza through adopting one more orphan, an african girl whose parents had died of AIDS. In the blink of an eye, the twice-divorced Jolie—previously well-known as a tattooed vixen v a taste for bisexuality, heroin, brotherly incest, mental institutions, and wearing she husbands’ blood—had morphed into a globe-trotting humanitarian who seemed to be channeling Audrey Hepburn.

For the 36-year-old Aniston, who had actually expected to invest the past year being pregnant, the pains of watching this spectacle unfold to be compounded through vicious rumors around herself. Together misogynist together they were false, sensationalistic stories declared the real reason the marriage finished was that Aniston refused to have actually Pitt’s baby since she to be so ambitious she cared only about her career.


Even now, the sexist slur provides her challenge darken. “A guy divorcing would never be accused of selecting career end children,” she says. “That really pissed me off. I’ve never ever in my life stated I didn’t want to have children. Ns did and also I do and also I will! The women that inspire me room the persons who have actually careers and children; why would certainly I desire to border myself? I’ve constantly wanted to have children, and I would certainly never provide up that experience for a career. I desire to have actually it all.”

Aniston’s intimates keep in mind acidly that Pitt could have done an ext to refute the mean-spirited rumor that his wife wouldn’t bear his child, i beg your pardon reinforced the impression that he had an excellent cause to leaving her for earth Mother Jolie. Come some, this looks choose sheer hypocrisy.

“When Brad and also Jen to be in the marriage, having actually a infant was not his priority—ever,” says one mutual friend. “It was an abstract desire for him, whereas because that Jen it to be much much more immediate. Therefore is over there a component of Brad that’s diabolical? Did that think, I require to gain out the this marriage, however I desire to come the end smelling prefer a rose, so i’m going to let Jen be actors as the ultra-feminist and also I’m going to get actors as the poor husband who couldn’t get a baby and also so had actually to move on?”

As the image wars raged in the gossip media, a upper heart Aniston retreated to she Malibu hideaway to lick she wounds in private, accompanied just by her elderly corgi-terrier mix, Norman, that spends many of his time snoring ~ above his dog bed. Publicly sympathy seemed to be on her side; the Hollywood boutique Kitson reported that its “Team Aniston” T-shirts were outselling “Team Jolie” T-shirts by a margin that 25 to 1. But that to be cold comfort together Aniston was struck by one provocation ~ another.


When the Pitts split up, Brad insisted he hadn’t slept v Jolie, and also Aniston embraced his denial. “She wasn’t naïve,” claims Kristin Hahn, an executive, management at the Pitts’ manufacturing company, setup B. “She’s not suggesting she didn’t understand there to be an enchantment, and a friendship. Yet Brad to be saying, ‘This is not around another woman.’”

The moment he and also Aniston separated, however, the re-emerged in what looked like a full-blown affair through Jolie. Struggling to accept a separation she never wanted, Aniston found that the “facts” she had been told kept shifting prefer quicksand beneath she feet. As soon as I ask around that gracious, no-one-is-to-blame announcement of their separation, she bring away a deep breath. “What we stated was true—”

As ns raise my eyebrows, she pauses for a moment, and then to add carefully, “—as much as ns knew. We composed it together, really consciously, and also felt very great about it. Us exited this relationship as beautifully together we entered it.”

All Aniston wanted then to be to number out what happened; how did the happy life you will do it planned drift so far off course? yet everything readjusted on April 29, once photographs damaged of Brad and Angelina frolicking on the beach through Maddox in ~ a romantic will in Africa. “The people was shocked, and also I to be shocked,” she says, quiet bending end backward no to excoriate she ex.


But to say that this news was like pouring salt in the wound would understate its impact considerably; how about pouring molten lava into the hole where somebody ripped her heart out?

And then things obtained worse.

The skies end Los Angeles are uncharacteristically gray today, and also the Pacific shimmers through an opalescent sheen. Although the weather is gloomy, the s is calm; tide lap tenderness at the shoreline, do a soft shushing sound that Aniston has found an extremely soothing lately.

“That’s fairly a backyard, in my opinion,” she states as us stand on her deck, the town hall the hypnotic rhythm of the waves. “Just being able to walk to the water’s edge and also scream—”


*

Photographed through Mario Testino because that the September 2005 issue.She grins. “Not also loudly. You don’t want people to think that you’re crazy. But it can be really cathartic.”

She is attract a white tank top and also white drawstring linen pants, with a vivid lavender cashmere cardiwrap approximately her come ward turn off the unseasonable chill. Formidably toned through yoga, her body is in superb shape, yet despite she tanned skin and megawatt smile she look at fragile and also wan.

She remains resolutely optimistic nonetheless, casting her current situation in the most positive light possible. “It’s beautiful here; ns love it,” she says. “I’ve always wanted to have actually a little Malibu coast house, and it feels good. I’m enjoying simple things.”


Although the bungalow to be dark and also depressing when she an initial saw it, a quickie makeover has actually transformed it right into a cozy sanctuary it is far an ext representative that Aniston’s personal taste 보다 the showplace she and also Pitt shared, where the décor seemed all tough edges and unforgiving materials. “Brad and I provided to joke that every piece of furniture to be either a museum item or simply uncomfortable,” Aniston says. “He definitely had his sense of style, and also I absolutely have my feeling of style, and sometimes castle clashed. I wasn’t so much right into modern.”

I point out Nicole Kidman’s quip after dividing up v Tom Cruise, as soon as she was asked what she looked forward to in her new life without the diminutive husband who had actually abruptly finished their marriage. “Wearing high heels again,” Kidman retorted.


So i ask Aniston—who filed for divorce on in march 25 and also expects it to become final this fall—what she’s enjoying around being on she own. “I deserve to have a comfortable couch,” she says with a wry smile.

In the tabloids and celebrity gossip magazines, the soap-opera variation of she life continues to hurtle along like a runaway refer train, rushing Aniston through significant life stages with ludicrous speed: Jen Is Devastated! Jen Is Furious! Jen gets Revenge! Jen has a new Man! Jen Is end Brad! most of the stories room wrong. (No, Oprah didn’t shot to get Brad and Jen ago together; no, Jen is not romantically connected with Vince Vaughn, her co-star in The Break-Up, a comedy around a separating couple who proceed to live together, which lock shot in Chicago over the summer.)

Other reports are just idiotically simpleminded, breathlessly progressing a plot that bears little resemblance to the long, complex, painful experience of acquiring over a divorce. While the tabloids urge on splitting Aniston’s emotions right into neat, distinct chapters, the fact is that pain and denial and anger and also resignation all blur together, occasionally at the exact same moment—and the an extensive process that mourning is nowhere close to over.

“There are numerous stages that grief,” she says. “It’s sad, something comes to one end. It crack you open, in a way—cracks you open up to feeling. Once you shot to prevent the pain, the creates better pain. I’m a human being, having a human experience in prior of the world. Ns wish it weren’t in former of the world. I shot really tough to rise above it.”

Aniston is struggling to discover a deeper definition in the debacle. “I need to think there’s some factor I have referred to as this right into my life,” she says. “I have actually to think that—otherwise it’s just cruel.”

Her friends space filled through admiration for the way she’s taken on the entirety mess. “This woman is basically having a root canal without anesthesia, but she’s really trying not to numb the ache or support it under the rug,” says Hahn. “She’s grown so much, and also she proceeds to thrive on a daily basis, because every time girlfriend think, ‘Well, I’ve encountered this,’ there’s one more hurdle to gain over. The a little Job-like in ~ the moment.”


*

Aniston’s an answer has been to retreat right into her cocoon, “in an effort to take care of myself and also my heart,” she says. “I feel favor I’m nesting. Ns love being home. I have friends that come over. Mine girlfriends I’ve had actually for 20 years. When things happen, the people gathers around and lifts girlfriend up. I’ve had actually lonely moments, sure, however I’m likewise enjoying being alone. Yes sir no concern it takes getting used to; ns a cooperation person, and also if something happens her instinct is to share it—but you’re no longer component of a couple. I definitely miss that. It’s type of favor Bambi—like she trying to learn how to walk. She a little awkward; girlfriend stumble a little bit. The things you would perform with your partner, you nothing do. That uncharted territory, but I think it’s good for me to it is in a solo person right now. You’re compelled to re-discover yourself and also take it to an additional level. If girlfriend can find a way to see the glass half full, these are the moments when you discover the most. I’ve had actually to re-introduce myself come myself in a method that’s different.”

She no downplay the difficulties. “Am i lonely? Yes. Am ns upset? Yes. Am i confused? Yes. Do I have actually my days when I’ve thrown a tiny pity party for myself? Absolutely. However I’m likewise doing really well,” she says. “I’ve obtained an unbelievable assistance team, and I’m a hard cookie.… I believe in therapy; ns think the an incredible device in educating the me on the self. I feel an extremely strong. I’m really proud of just how I’ve conducted myself.”

A an important part of Aniston’s strategy has been to neglect the putrid stew the rumor, speculation, and outright falsehood in the tabloid media. “It’s been really important because that me not to read anything, no to view anything,” she says. “It’s to be my saving grace. That stuff is just toxic for me ideal now. I probably avoided a many suffering by no engaging in it, no reading, not watching.”

She gestures toward Norman, who has roused self for a minute to inspect on his mistress’s whereabouts. “It’s like those dog cones,” she says, encircling her neck together if placing on one of the plastic hat prescribed by vets to prevent dogs native scratching their ears. “I have actually my imagine dog cone on, so ns don’t view anything. The just allows for a much more peaceful life.”

Nevertheless, together Pitt publicly flaunted the instant family he had developed with Jolie, the tableaux of their newfound togetherness were humiliating. “I would certainly be a robot if I stated I didn’t feeling moments of anger, that hurt, the embarrassment,” Aniston acknowledges.

But she do the efforts to keep the lurid details come herself. “She is grieving, but she’s bring away the high road,” states Bendewald. “She’s mourning the death of a marriage, and also she’s done it an extremely privately. She have the right to have she moments the rage, however she doesn’t desire to out him, and also that keeps her heart clear. She’s not bad-mouthing him. She doesn’t desire to do him the villain and also her the victim.”


Indeed, Aniston vehemently rejects the translate that she to be left for another woman. “I don’t feel like a victim,” she says. “I’ve functioned with this therapist for a lengthy time, and also her significant focus is that you gain one work of gift a victim—and it is it. Then us take obligation for our very own input. To live in a victim location is pointing a finger at who else, together if you have actually no control. Relationships space two people; everyone is accountable. A lot of goes right into a connection coming together, and a lot goes into a partnership falling apart. She’d say, ‘Even if that 98 percent the other person’s fault, it’s 2 percent yours, and that’s what we’re walking to focus on.’ You have the right to only clean up your side that the street.”

These days, one table of contents of restore is the fact that Aniston’s sardonic feeling is resurfacing. Once I call her that my 13-year-old kid is a large fan that hers, she doesn’t miss out on a beat. “Is the single?” she asks, deadpan.

She’ll toss off a crack around Pitt’s startling transformation into a punky bleached blond. “Billy Idol called—he wants his watch back,” she murmurs with a cunning smile.

By currently she can also talk about those gut-wrenching picture of Jolie and also Pitt in Kenya v mordant resignation quite than tears. “I can not say the was one of the highlights of mine year,” she says. “Who would deal with that and say, ‘Isn’t that sweet! that looks like fun!’? but shit happens. You joke and also say, what doesn’t death you renders you stronger.’”

She sighs. “I feel like I’ve earned a superpower shield,” she says. Then, fear of sound grandiose, she adds, “I’m not comparing my enduring to various other people’s suffering. Everybody has their own.”

Aniston’s friend were an especially horrified through W magazine’s 60-page photograph spread featuring Pitt and also Jolie together an early-1960s-style married couple with a brood that miniature blond Brads. “You want to shiver the shit out of him and also say, ‘Your time sucks!’” states one. “He’s make some selections that have actually been tremendously insensitive.”

The W feature, which to be entitled “Domestic Bliss,” couldn’t be blamed top top the paparazzi; not just did Pitt conceptualize it, however he preserved the international rights, so he actually profited from it. Aniston’s eye widen in surprise once I point out that last fact, and she grimaces. “I didn’t understand that,” she says. But she refuses come indulge herself in an angry reaction. “Is the odd timing? Yeah. However it’s no my life,” she says. “He renders his choices. He can do—whatever. We’re divorced, and also you can see why.”

She shakes her head in exasperation. “I can likewise imagine Brad having actually absolutely no clue why civilization would it is in appalled through it,” she adds. “Brad is no mean-spirited; he would never intentionally try to obstacle something in my face. In hindsight, I deserve to see the going, ‘Oh—I have the right to see the that to be inconsiderate.’ however I know Brad. Brad would say, ‘That’s art!’”

She rolls her eyes, pretending to screw something right into her forehead. “There’s a sensitivity chip it is missing,” she says.


Aniston’s friends space amazed at she willingness to provide Pitt the advantage of the doubt, but they basically agree v her assessment. “I don’t think he to be trying come hurt Jen,” says Courteney Cox, Aniston’s dear friend and former co-star ~ above Friends. “I don’t think the Brad is malicious, or a liar. The W thing was his idea, however I nothing think he thought that one through, about what it would look favor to everyone else.”

Although Aniston remains determined not to lash out, she occasionally questions her very own restraint. “Why am i protecting him?” she exclaimed come one friend, only to proceed with what she sees together the dignified course of action.


“I’m not interested in taking public potshots,” she explains. “It’s no my problem anymore. What occurred to the after the separation—it’s his life now. I’ve made a mindful effort not to include to the toxicity of this situation. Ns haven’t retaliated. I don’t want to be a part of it. I don’t have actually a halo that I’m polishing here; everyone has actually their an individual thoughts. Yet I would lot rather everyone relocate on. I am not characterized by this relationship. I am not characterized by the part they’re making me beat in the triangle. That maddening to me. Yet I had actually a mother who was really angry about her divorce, and made shots, and I don’t want to play that out. If civilization are irritable that ns don’t want to execute that, ns sorry. I’m figuring this out as I go along. This is my an initial time at this specific picnic.”

As befits a storybook tale, the Pitts’ marriage was the very first for both the them, and also some of Aniston’s fondest memories room from the time they shared before the world discovered your romance. “We had actually so much fun fallout’s in love,” she claims wistfully. “It to be so private; we maintained it come ourselves for so long. It to be something we were yes, really proud of.”

But ~ the relationship came to be public, it to be always difficult to reconcile their mythic picture with the quotidian truth of their exclusive life, i m sorry was much more likely to involve watching television, bespeak takeout, and also having close friends over than swanning around on red carpets.


*

Photographed by Mario Testino because that the September 2005 issue.“We were placed on a pedestal, but we were just a couple like anybody else,” Aniston says. “When us were home, we’d watch the mirrors we loved, and one time there to be this program dubbed It’s an excellent to it is in Brad and also Jen. It was all about us going to Scotland and Greece and also having our corresponding S.U.V.’s, and it no my life—I’d never even been to some of these places, but even I acquired sucked in. We’re sitting there saying, ‘Yeah, boy, that sure need to be good to it is in Brad and also Jen!’ therefore is it our obligation to demystify this, to say, ‘This is not what that like—it’s no that fabulous, not that great’? yes sir no doubt ours life is fortunate, but … “

But even golden couples battle with the formidable difficulties of marriage. “It’s choose the ebb and also flow the every relationship,” Aniston says. “It’s hard; it gets easy; the gets funny again. What’s tough to sustain is some right that it’s perfect. It is ridiculous. What’s fantastic about marriage is obtaining through those ebbs and flows through the exact same person, and also looking throughout the room and also saying, ‘I’m quiet here. And also I quiet love you.’ friend re-meet, reconnect. You have marriages within marriages within marriages. That’s what ns love about marriage. It is what I desire in marriage. The unfortunate, but we live in a an extremely disposable society. Those moments whereby it looks prefer ‘Uh-oh, this isn’t working!’—those room the most important, transformative moments. Most couples draw up divorce papers when they’re missing out on one amazing moment of deepening and enlightenment and connection.”


She sighs heavily and turns far to light a Merit cigarette. “That’s no Brad’s watch of it,” she says, glum again. “We think in various things, i guess. Friend can’t force a relationship, also if it’s your see of how you would like it to it is in conducted. Obviously two civilization leave a relationship because there’s a various thought pattern happening. My score is to try and achieve a very deep, cursed relationship. It is what i’m interested in, but it’s someone’s prerogative to be or not to it is in in or the end of a relationship.”

“I think Jen wanted to work-related it out, and I nothing think he want to occupational it out,” Andrea Bendewald observes. “I nothing think he knew what that wanted.”


Nevertheless, Aniston has only kind words about her marriage. “I still feeling so happy to have experienced it. I wouldn’t recognize what I know now if ns hadn’t been married come Brad,” she says. “I love Brad; ns really love him. I will love him because that the remainder of my life. He is a fantastic man. Ns don’t regret any kind of of it, and also I’m not going to beat myself up about it. We invested seven an extremely intense year together; we taught each other a lot—about healing, and around fun. We aided each other through a lot, and also I really value that. It was a beautiful, complex relationship. The sad thing, because that me, is the way it’s been lessened to a Hollywood cliché—or perhaps it’s simply a person cliché. I have actually a many compassion for anyone going through this.”

As because that what go wrong, Aniston rejects any kind of simplistic explanation. “It’s just complicated,” she says. “Relationships room complicated, whether they’re friendships or service relationships or parental relationships. I don’t think anybody in a marriage gets to a point where castle feel prefer ‘We’ve got it!’ she two human being continually evolving, and also there will certainly be times once those alters clash. There space all this levels the growth—and as soon as you stop cultivation together, that’s once the troubles happen.”

Friends say that it to be always an overwhelming for Aniston and also Pitt to maintain the intimacy lock craved when juggling your demanding work-related schedules, which often forced long separations. Those emphasize notwithstanding, Aniston believed her marital relationship was the genuine thing. “We both did,” she says.

So what happened? “I think—it changed,” she claims haltingly. “We both changed.”

She sighs again. “You carry out the ideal you can, and also I think us did. We did the best we could.”

Both the them? She watch me directly in the eye. “Both parties,” she says.

But nagging inquiries remain around Pitt’s conduct during the months leading as much as their separation. “She to be committed come the marriage,” claims Bendewald. “He wanted to number out that he was and also what he wanted, but he appeared to desire to execute it without being married. She want him to figure out what he wanted and stay married. He no think he could do that, so in ~ that point she was like, ‘O.K., go number it out.’”

Throughout the period, Pitt insisted the his connection with Jolie was no the reason of his marital discontent, however his actions due to the fact that the separation have argued otherwise.

“I just don’t understand what happened,” Aniston admits. “There’s a lot i don’t understand, a lot ns don’t know, and probably never will know, really. For this reason I pick to take away with me as lot integrity and also dignity and respect for what that connection was as I can. Ns feel as if i’m trying come scrounge around and pick up the pieces in the middle of this media circus.”


Does she buy Brad’s case that he no cheat ~ above her before they separated? “I choose to think my husband,” Aniston says. “At this point, ns wouldn’t it is in surprised by anything, yet I would much rather pick to think him.”

Their friends space still trying come parse what occurred with Jolie. “I don’t think he started an to work physically, yet I think he to be attracted come her,” claims Courteney Cox, who vacationed v her husband, David Arquette, and also the Pitts top top Anguilla just before they announced their separation. “There to be a connection, and also he was honest around that v Jen. Most of the time, when people are attracted to various other people, they don’t tell. At least he to be honest around it. It was an attraction that he battled for a period of time.”

He may have been fighting it, but Pitt virtually checked out of his marriage as soon as he started working with Jolie, follow to Aniston’s intimates. “He was gone,” states one.

Aniston has met Jolie only once, as soon as she took a passing chance to say hello. “It to be on the the majority of Friends—I traction over and also introduced myself,” Aniston recalls. “I said, ‘Brad is for this reason excited around working through you. Ns hope friend guys have actually a really an excellent time.’”

But that soon came to be emotionally unavailable to his wife, at a time once she essential him desperately. Pitt’s withdrawal synchronized with the end of Friends, which Aniston knowledgeable as a large loss. “That was really painful. It was a family, and I nothing do good with families separating up,” claims Aniston, who was deep wounded by her parents’ bitter divorce, which taken place when she was 9. “It was tough to have actually such a wonderful constant in your life, a location to go every day, and also then all of a sudden it’s no there.”

When she reached out for she husband’s support, she didn’t obtain it. “He simply wasn’t there because that me,” she says.

To the amazement of Aniston’s friends, Pitt no even show up because that the final taping the Friends.

“He was working,” she says, tho defending him, also though movie stars have actually been known to request changes in a shooting schedule to accommodate events that are important to them.

Although she isn’t talking to Pitt this days, Aniston stays in regular call with his mother, whom she loves dearly, and also she doesn’t rule out a far better relationship with Brad in the future. “I really perform hope that one day we can be friends again,” she says.

She absolutely doesn’t remorse her four-and-a-half-year marriage—not also the million-dollar wedding through 50,000 flowers, a 40-member gospel choir, a Greek bouzouki band, and also fireworks exploding over the Pacific. (“It was fantastic!” she says.) but she does have actually other regrets.


“There’s a lot ns would more than likely do differently,” she says. “I’d take an ext vacations—getting far from work, enjoy it each other in different environments. But there was always something preventing it; one of two people he was functioning or i was.”

She made an ext profound mistakes together well. “I wouldn’t give over so much of myself, which i did in ~ times,” she admits. “It was the thing around being a nurturer; i love taking treatment of people, and also I certainly put his needs before mine sometimes. It’s seamless; somewhere along the way, you kind of shed yourself. You just don’t understand when the happens. It’s together an insidious thing, you nothing really view where the started—and where you ended. There’s no one to blame but yourself. I’ve always been that way in relationships, even with my mom. It’s not the healthiest. Ns feel favor I’ve damaged the pattern now. I’ll never let myself down prefer that again. I feel prefer my sense of me is gift strengthened due to the fact that of it.”


Aniston’s dissatisfied family background colored her suffer of marriage from the outset. “I come native a fighting family, and also I had actually a challenging time arguing,” she says. “Fighting scared me. Ns wouldn’t speak up for myself. It is something i’ve learned; i will constantly speak mine mind.”

In current months, the procedure of healing from the breakup v Brad has additionally created a brand-new openness come healing relationships with her mother. Your estrangement began nearly a decade ago, when Nancy Aniston gossiped around Jennifer on a tv show, and also worsened when she tried come cash in top top Jennifer’s reputation by creating an appalling book called From Mother and also Daughter to Friends. Jennifer severed every contact, but she is currently re-assessing their relationship.

“We’ve exchanged messages,” she says. “Our doors space open. We’re acquisition baby steps. That a good thing.”

Although Aniston occurs criticism for distancing herself from her mother, that did no attend she wedding, she provides no apologies. “I feel pretty good about the choices I’ve made. The choice of no speaking to mother for a while—that’s ours. Nobody else has to understand it. The very same thing through Brad and also myself,” she says. “I wouldn’t readjust my childhood, ns wouldn’t readjust my heartaches, ns wouldn’t adjust my successes. Ns wouldn’t readjust any of it, due to the fact that I really love that I am, and also am continuing to become.

“Besides, it’s all in the past,” she adds. “This doesn’t death you. You move on. You can’t let the devastation that a divorce take over and also win—let it do you this bitter, closed-off, angry, cynical person. Then you’re just falling victim to it. Friend don’t want to shut your heart down. Friend don’t desire to feel that as soon as a marital relationship ends, her life is over. You deserve to survive anything. Compared to what other world are making it through out there in the world, this is no so bad, in the grand scheme of things. Person endurance is unbelievable. Think of what mothers of soldiers have to rise above! Everything’s relative.”

She looks down at she firm, to the right body. “Nothing’s broke,” she says.


Catching the quizzical look on my face, she concedes, “Maybe a little bruised.”

A couple of weeks later, on a stiflingly warm day in Chicago, Aniston and also I are sitting in her hotel suite looking the end on Lake Michigan, which is studded with small white boats. I’ve just told her around the gossip magazine that claims she’s registered right here as “Mrs. Smith.” The report cases Aniston is acquisition perverse satisfied in do hotel staffers resolve her together Mrs. Smith, even though they recognize perfectly well who she is.

The only difficulty with this funny tidbit is the it’s no true. “I wish I’d thought of it,” claims Aniston, who is registered under an totally different, although same humorous, name.

Despite her vow of abstinence, she yielded to a celebrity newspaper the various other evening—and instantly regretted it. “I feel prefer I’ve fallen off the wagon,” she moans. Unfortunately, the first publication she picked up featured an insult from Kimberly Stewart, Rod’s party-girl daughter. “She stated I’m homely,” Aniston says. “It literally destroyed my night. I gained my feelings really hurt, actually. That was my instant Karma.”

She has constantly fretted around her appearance, although that is frequently hard for others come believe. Posing for her Vanity Fair covering shoot, Aniston was equally fetching in French-dance-hall-girl black stockings and also in a half-open oversize shirt that evoked every man’s favourite just-rolled-out-of-bed look. With her tousled hair, cobalt-blue eyes, and dazzling smile, she seemed the can be fried adorable sexpot. Much from pining away in seclusion, she showed up to be sending a far more spirited message—like “Eat her heart out, Brad!”


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But Aniston has never been able come reconcile the glamorous Jen on page or display screen with the self-doubting mrs she watch in the mirror, and also the present tabloid coverage has actually exacerbated the gap. “It’s accurate two various people—the genuine me, and also the ‘Jen’ they create about, ‘fighting back,’ ‘getting revenge’—everything i couldn’t be farther indigenous wanting come do,” she says. “So I’m earlier on the wagon.”

When she come in Chicago to film The Break-Up, the gossip media, frantic because that a new development, immediately plunged her right into a torrid romance with her co-star, Vince Vaughn. This affair apparently does no exist.

“I adore Vince Vaughn, however I’m not going out through Vince Vaughn,” she says. “I barely know the guy. We’ve exchanged a wine-and-cheese basket for the begin of the movie, and we’ve gone the end to dinner v the director and other people. We’ve got to obtain to know each other.”

But is Aniston see him—or everyone else? “Nobody,” she says firmly. “I prefer a most people, but I am sooo not ‘in like’ with anybody. Ns am yes, really enjoying being by myself. Ns excited that I understand there’s someone out there because that me, but I to be absolutely in no rush. This is all an extremely fresh, very new. This to be a seven-year partnership that was very dear, an extremely complicated, very special. I have to honor it.”

Aside from her initial flurry of tears, Aniston continues to be calm and also thoughtful through hrs of conversation v me end the food of number of weeks. But there is one final topic to be addressed, and also it’s the most hurtful of all. The rumor that Jolie is pregnant with Pitt’s child has actually swept roughly the world; some reports even have she finishing her first trimester.

When ns ask Aniston about that, she looks as if i have stabbed her in the heart. Her eyes well up and spill over. Several lengthy minutes walk by as the tears store rolling under her cheeks; she bites she lip, seemingly can not to speak. Finally she shakes she head; this subject is just too excruciating come discuss.


“My worst fear is the Jen will have actually to face them having actually a baby together soon, because that would be beyond beyond painful,” states Kristin Hahn.

Fortunately, there are numerous other things to store Aniston populated these days. Return she took some time turn off after Friends ended, she has since shot numerous movies, and the coming months will carry a collection of premieres. An initial up is Derailed, a thriller certification Aniston and also Clive Owen as 2 married strangers who satisfy on a train and also arrange a hotel-room tryst—only to have actually an armed man burst in, rape the woman, and beat the man and also blackmail him, setting off a horrific chain of events. The film will certainly make adultery look around as appealing together Fatal Attraction did, follow to Aniston: “It will certainly be one of those movie you leave and say, ‘The to work thing? probably not!’”

Then yes sir Rumor has actually It, whose plot revolves around a young reporter’s conviction the The Graduate was based on her family, and that she it s her is adopted. Note Ruffalo plays she fiancé, and Shirley MacLaine is the Mrs. Robinson character, v Kevin Costner together the Benjamin Braddock who might or might not be Aniston’s father.

Yet an additional upcoming movie is Friends through Money, in which Aniston portrays a pothead maid who friends—played by Catherine Keener, Joan Cusack, and Frances McDormand—are all married and far much more successful in life.

Aniston is additionally re-evaluating she future function at arrangement B, the production agency she developed with Pitt and also Brad Grey, who has because become chairman the Paramount. Pitt is currently assuming the lead function at setup B, however Aniston claims she will certainly still create movies with the company.

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“I’m excited about what the future holds,” she says. “I’m not a fortune-teller; I have no idea how it will play out. Civilization say, ‘What room you going come do?’ ns don’t know. I type of love that not knowing.”

She is trying come outgrow some youthful illusions. Prince Charming let her down, and Aniston no longer believes in one true love. “I think there are countless people, plenty of soul mates,” she says.

But she quiet has confidence in the redeeming power of love itself. “It’s the end there,” she says. “It will happen. Yes sir an amazing man that’s wandering the roadways right currently who’s the dad of my children. In five years I would hope to be married and have a kid. I still believe in marital relationship 100 percent. Once I hear human being say the they would never ever do that again, it’s favor cutting turn off your sleep to spite your face. Why would you ever before close your heart down?”

She gives me a sheepish smile. “Maybe it’s a fairy tale, yet I think in happily ever after.”