Why Brad and Jennifer Separated
January 10, 2005

America's golden couple, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, are back home in Los Angeles today, and from small town livingrooms to Hollywood's red carpets, everyone is wondering exactly what happened: did the couple break up over babies? Was it due to career clashes? Or was it something entirely different?

Now "Extra" has definite answers. Brad and Jen turned to People magazine to break the news, and Senior Editor Jess Cagle helped us put some rumors to rest.

"This was clearly a case of two people growing apart," Cagle told us.

And while Brad shared his dreams of fatherhood on "Primetime Live" and Jennifer teased about the baby issue on "Saturday Night Live," the couple's spokesman Stephen Huvane told "Extra" there were, "No family planning conflicts."

There's also been speculation that, after seven years together, their high-profile careers came between them, as Brad's been focused on charity work while Jen has half a dozen films on the way. "His attention seems to be outside of Hollywood," Cagle observed. "Meanwhile, Jennifer is really diving into a movie career."

Meanwhile, tabloids have speculated that someone else came between the couple -- but their spokesman assured us this was not true, insisting, "There is no third party."

According to Brad and Jen themselves, their statement noted, "We would like to explain that our separation is not the result of any speculation reported by the media."

But speculation was running rampant recently as the two were seen out and about, often without each other. In late November, Jennifer left Los Angeles for London to work on her film, "Derailed," leaving Brad to fly solo to his huge "Oceans 12" premieres in Los Angeles and Paris, just weeks before Friday's surprise announcement.

Meanwhile, from lovebirds Nick and Jessica to Sheryl Crow, Hollywood's biggest stars shared their love for Brad and Jen. "Our hearts to out to them," Lachey said. "I give my best to both of them," added Crow.

The split was the buzz of Sunday night's People's Choice Awards and the New York Film Critics Awards. But at the Palm Springs Film Festival, Suzanne Somers perhaps summed it up best, saying, "Nobody wanted that to happen, it was like a fairy tale."

Brad and Jen's fairy tale was in fact wrapped up with one last trip to paradise, which leaves one last question: if they knew they were breaking up, why did Brad and Jen take a trip to the Caribbean with friends Courteney Cox and David Arquette?

"They had already decided to split, however they had this vacation planned to the Caribbean around New Year's," Cagle revealed.

Now, the once-charmed couple begins their new year with an uncertain future, but remain, in their own words, "Committed and caring friends with great love and admiration for one another."

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