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Aniston ‘picking up pieces’ after split with Pitt

Ex-‘Friends’ star wanted to have baby but says husband emotionally absent
/ Source: Access Hollywood

It's been four months since Jennifer Aniston's first post-Brad interview with Access Hollywood's Billy Bush.

And now, thanks to the new Vanity Fair cover girl, there's no longer any reason to guess what life is like for Jen.

A candid, emotional and surprisingly topless Jen re-emerges in a very sexy Vanity Fair photo spread wearing black panties and not much else.

But not only are there sexy pictures, there's also a very open conversation with Vanity Fair's Leslie Bennetts, who over the course of several days, met with Jen at her Malibu beach house and on location of her new film in Chicago where Jen laughed, cried and laughed some more — and then took to task those nasty rumors surrounding her split from Pitt.

In her first interview since the split, Jennifer says she was "shocked" by the breakup and is trying to "pick up the pieces in the midst of this media circus."

"I think she finally felt it was time to say her piece," Bennetts told Access Hollywood after the interview. "I think possibly the most hurtful and infuriating for Jennifer was the reports that she wouldn't have Brad's child and that's why their marriage ended."

In the interview, Jen said: "I've never in my life said I didn't want to have children. I did and I do and I will!…I would never give up that experience for a career. I want to have it all."

Jen said she and Brad planned to have a child when she wrapped "Friends" in January of 2004, but by then Jen said Brad "just wasn't there for me."

In fact, Brad didn't even show up for the final "Friends" taping.

"Unfortunately, when she finished 'Friends,' he had already started filming 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith' with Angelina Jolie and had basically checked out of the marriage emotionally so — who would want to get pregnant then?" Bennetts revealed to us.

Jen met Angelina just once — ironically on the "Friends" lot, where Aniston introduced herself and said "Brad is so excited about working with you. I hope you guys have a really good time."

Aniston filed for divorce in March, citing irreconcilable differences after 4 1/2 years of marriage. The couple separated in January.

Brad insists Jolie wasn't the reason for the split. But his actions suggest otherwise. Just three months after he separated from Jennifer, he was spotted with Jolie on a romantic getaway in Africa.

Admittedly, Jen says it wasn't the highlight of her year.

"Who would deal with that and say, 'Isn't that sweet! That looks like fun!' But, s*** happens. You joke and say, 'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.'"

So did Brad cheat on Jen with Jolie?

"I choose to believe my husband," Aniston said, referring to Pitt's denial of an affair.

Attraction to JolieJen's close "Friend," Courteney Cox, agreed saying "I don't think he started an affair physically, but I think he was attracted to [Angelina]."

She was also hurt by a fashion spread in W magazine — a concept of Pitt's — that showed the actor and Jolie as a 1960's-style married couple.

"There's a sensitivity chip that's missing," Aniston says of Pitt.

Otherwise refusing to talk badly of Pitt, the actress says she doesn't want to mimic the bitterness of her parents' divorce.

"I love Brad; I really love him. I will love him for the rest of my life," says Aniston. "I don't regret any of it, and I'm not going to beat myself up about it. ... The sad thing, for me, is the way it's been reduced to a Hollywood cliche, or maybe it's just a human cliche."

Nevertheless, Vanity Fair's Bennetts commended Jennifer's trust.

"Jennifer is nobody's fool. She chooses to believe the best about the person she spent 7 years of her life with," Bennetts noted.

But what was unbearable for Aniston was addressing the rumor that Jolie is three-months pregnant with Brad's child.

When asked, Bennetts said Jennifer looked as if she'd "been stabbed in the heart" as the tears "kept rolling down her cheeks."

"Her friends feel Brad could have done more to dispel the rumors," Bennetts added. "She does not believe that Brad is a malicious guy and she does not believe that he did any of this to be hurtful to her."

What has bothered Jen has been the unrelenting media circus surrounding her private life, including rumors of a romance with Vince Vaughn, who costars with Jen in her new film "The Break Up."

"I think Vince Vaughn is a great guy. I think he's totally hysterical and we are in no way, shape or form involved," Aniston told Bennetts.

Besides working, which she's been doing a lot of with four movies on the way, Jen is also concentrating on healing by seeing a therapist who is helping her to avoid feeling like a victim.

"She has bent over backwards to take the high road and not say anything negative about Brad at any point," Bennetts pointed out.

And Jen was also brave in admitting that it hasn't been quite blissful since the split, saying: "Am I lonely? Yes. Am I upset? Yes. Am I confused? Yes. Do I have my days when I've thrown a little pity party for myself? Absolutely. But I'm also doing really well."

And while she also admitted she's "maybe a little bruised," it didn't seem to jade her according to Bennetts.

"I asked Jennifer where she thought she'd be or hoped she'd be in five years and she said, 'I expect I'll be married and have a child,'" the Vanity Fair writer concluded.

One thing is for sure, Jen certainly hasn't lost her sense of humor.

On Pitt's recently dyed blond hair, she says, "Billy Idol called — he wants his look back."

The new Vanity Fair hits newsstands on Wednesday and in case you're wondering, Jennifer has read it and thinks the article came out great.