Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been linked on the cover of the tabloids for months with rumors about their romance, babies and possibly even wedding bells.
All the while Pitt's ex, Jennifer Aniston, has kept her dignified silence. Now the woman who was once half of Hollywood's golden couple is speaking out for the first time in the September issue of Vanity Fair.
Leslie Bennetts, who spent three weeks in Malibu and Chicago with Aniston, joined "Good Morning America" to talk about the article, which hits stands on Wednesday in New York and L.A. and Tuesday, Aug. 9, nationwide.
"I think it's been a terrible six or eight month for her," Bennetts said. "There has been one provocation after another."
Brad and Jen were anointed as the king and queen of Hollywood in an appropriately lavish wedding in 2000 with 50,000 flowers and a 40-member gospel choir.
For 4½ years, they made their fans believe that true love can really last between mega stars. But the fairy tale came crashing to the ground in February when the couple filed for divorce, amid swirling rumors that the marriage failed because Aniston didn't want children and Pitt had fallen for his "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" co-star, Jolie, whom Aniston met once on the set of "Friends."
Aniston was quick to put some of the rumors to rest.
"I've never in my life said I don't want to have children," she said. "I did and I do and I will!"
Aniston said Pitt "checked out of the marriage" after filming "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" with Jolie, but she still believes he did not cheat on her while they were together.
"I choose to believe my husband," Aniston said. "At this point, I wouldn't be surprised by anything, but I would much rather choose to believe him."
Nevertheless, the constant reports of Pitt and Jolie's romance continue to hurt Aniston.
"There is a sensitivity chip that's missing [from Brad]," Aniston said of Pitt's decision to pose for a sexy photo shoot with Jolie in W magazine.
During their months together, Bennett observed "sighs" and "glum" expressions from Aniston. But she also saw signs of her humor shining through.
When Bennetts told Aniston her 13-year-old son was a big fan, Aniston quipped back, "Is he single?" Aniston's take on Pitt's transformation into a punky bleach blond: "Billy Idol called. He wants his look back."
Also apparent was her strong love and respect for Pitt.
"I love Brad; I really love him," she said. "I will love him for the rest of my life … I really do hope that someday we can be friends again."
Aniston is also hoping to find love again, but there are no romantic prospects in her immediate future. She denied rumors that she is dating Vince Vaughn, with whom she is currently filming a romantic comedy about a couple who breaks up and continues to live together.
"I'm excited that I know there's somebody out there for me, but I am absolutely in no rush," Aniston said. "There's an amazing man that's wandering the streets right now who's the father of my children. In five years, I would hope to be married and have a kid. I still believe in marriage 100 percent."