Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston stood in silence on the patio of their luxury mansion in the Beverly Hills because there were no words left to say...
Jennifer said quietly: "You better go. This can't be your home any more." Brad had finally told her that he was in love with another woman and the love story of Hollywood's Golden Couple was over for good.
It was January, 2005, and Brad Pitt had admitted that he was having an affair with Angelina Jolie, the co-star of his latest movie. How could he do this? Jennifer whispered. "I thought you were my best friend.
Hollywood's most legendary modern love story had began in 1998 when Brad Pitt met Jennifer Aniston, then the star of the cult TV series Friends, at a Hollywood dinner party and they married two years later at a lavish Malibu wedding.
For years their marriage was considered a rare Hollywood success. They were the Golden Couple, best friends as well as lovers, an easy relaxed relationship which Jennifer at least expected to go on until they were parted by death. Hollywood is full of people looking for other potential partners, Jennifer Aniston told a friend. "They're never satisfied with what they've got. Brad and I are so lucky. I've never looked seriously at another man since I met him and I'm pretty sure he hasn't looked at another woman either. Not seriously, anyway." But all that was to change just before their fifth wedding anniversary in the winter of 2004 when Brad was making an espionage action movie called Mr and Mrs Smith.
The movie's producer Arnon Mitchan would remember: "Brad called one night after we had been filming for a couple of weeks to say he was pulling out of the movie. He said there was a lack of chemistry between himself and his co-star Nicole Kidman and the movie just wasn't going to work. I said if I could find another co-star, would he reconsider and he said he might."
The replacement Mitchan found was one of Hollywood's most sensational rising stars, a 30 year-old actress who had made her name in the movie version of the video game Lara Croft. She was beautiful, wilful and highly talented but her private life worried Hollywood chiefs. She had been married to Hollywood wild man Billy Bob Thornton until they divorced in 2003 and since then had been seen out with numerous eligible men. Her name
was Angelina Jolie.
When Mitchan told Brad Pitt who Nicole Kidman's replacement was, he was amused. He wondered if he dared co-star with Lara Croft but eventually agreed. It was the start of a love story that has kept Hollywood intrigued for years.
Those on the set of Mr and Mrs Smith soon saw that unlike his attitude to Nicole Kidman, the chemistry between Brad and Angelina was there right from the start. Later she would say: "I didn't plan to ruin Brad's marriage to Jennifer. It just happened that way. At the time I didn't know where Brad was in his personal life but it was clear he was with his best friend, someone he loved and respected.
"Brad was a huge surprise to me. I had a very distant impression of him and I think at the beginning we were the last two people who were looking for a relationship. I certainly wasn't. I was quite content to be a single mum.
"Because of the film we ended up being brought together to do all sorts of crazy things and a friendship and partnership just happened. We just found a lot of joy working together and it was real teamwork. We just became a kind of pair . We spent a lot of time thinking and talking about what we both wanted in life and realised we wanted very similar things. We remained good friends for a long time."
But when that friendship finally exploded into love, rumours were soon circulating round the Hollywood grapevine and Jennifer Aniston picked them up. A friend remembered: "At first Jen simply didn't believe Brad was involved with Angelina. She started asking around but no one would tell her anything so eventually she asked Brad point-blank and he denied it."
Brad finally confessed and Jennifer told him to leave, He returned next day to collect some belongings and went to stay with friends. A week later, Jennifer announced she was filing for divorce.
Seven years later both are happily settled, Jennifer with actor/director Justin Theroux, and have a working amicable relationship. "Jen was a big part of my life and me hers, "Brad Pitt says now. We've done it our way and I love her for that. To the gossip-writers' disappointment, we've all come out of it pretty well..."