Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston Confirm Marital Separation

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston Confirm Marital Separation
It's been speculated by the tabloids for over a year, but after months of denial, Hollywood Golden Couple Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston announced yesterday they have indeed split up.

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston attend the 2004 Emmys together []The news was released to the media via a short prepared statement delivered by Pitt's publicist. People Magazine received the news first, as the couple had often granted the publication exclusives, such as wedding photos.

In the statement, made jointly by the couple, they assert, "We happily remain committed and caring friends with great love and admiration for one another. We ask in advance for your kindness and sensitivity in the coming months."

Exact reasons for the split were not revealed, and the couple's publicists are not commenting, but the stars do say in their statement that none of the tabloid-rumored reasons are valid. Chief among those rumors? That Brad desperately wants to have children since he's hit the age mark of 40, but his younger wife is not yet inclined to be a parent.

Those same tabloids noted over the holidays that Aniston was photographed while traveling, without her wedding ring on. At that time, the couple's reps dismissed the rumors of a split saying there was a problem with the ring and it was being fixed.

The couple even vacationed together over New Year's with Aniston's former-"Friends" co-star Courtney Cox-Arquette and husband David. But only a short week later comes this news of the split.

Pitt and Aniston have enjoyed a long relationship together. They initially met in 1998, when mutual friends set them up on a blind date. After trying to keep the relationship under wraps, the two married in a beautiful Malibu wedding in 2000. The two were often seen out at awards and premiers, but vary rarely anywhere else in public, saying they preferred to be homebodies and invite friends over.

However, in recent years, Pitt and Aniston were often away from each other while on location shoots. Pitt spent most of the past two years filming "Troy" and "Oceans 12" back-to-back. It was also rumored that Pitt got a little too close to Angelina Jolie while filming the upcoming assassin flick, "Mr. and Mrs. Smith".

However, the couple has been busy together as partners in Plan B, a film production company which is releasing the upcoming Johnny Depp film, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," a reinterpretation of the classic "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."

No word yet on if this is just a "we need space" separation, or the precursor to a divorce, but after four and a half years of marriage, it's obvious the couple didn't enter into this lightly.

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