Those photos of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie together on a Kenyan beach, about which you have no doubt heard much, are finally hitting the newsstands in this week’s issue of Us Weekly, which reportedly paid at least six figures for the shots. There’s little hint of romance or physical affection in the pictures, which show the actors walking and playing with Jolie’s son Maddox in the surf. Still, the photo spread is the most convincing evidence yet that the Mr. and Mrs. Smith costars are more than just friends. Well, that, and the unlikelihood of any other excuse for Pitt to stop by the Alfajiri Villas resort on his way to a humanitarian mission in Ethiopia with Bono’s One Campaign against AIDS and third-world poverty.
Pitt and Jolie have been denying such rumors for months, though talk has only intensified since Jennifer Aniston filed for divorce from Pitt earlier this year. When they promoted Mr. and Mrs. Smith together at the ShoWest convention for theater owners in Las Vegas in March, photographers could barely capture Pitt and Jolie in the same frame. Two weeks ago, when Us ran a story quoting employees of a California hotel saying they’d seen the pair being affectionate, Pitt’s publicist issued a carefully worded denial, saying, ”This particular story is completely untrue.”
How did the paparazzi know to find Pitt and Jolie on a remote African beach last Tuesday? Us Weekly isn’t saying, but a source tells the New York Daily News, ”When you’re Brad Pitt and you’re Angelina Jolie and you’re tired of hiding, this is a great way to do it. You do it in a remote location, bring your child out and don’t have physical intimacy that’s obvious in photos. This is a way to break the news softly.”
If we were truly cynical, we’d wager that, by about June 3, a week before the film’s release date, Pitt and Jolie will have publicly acknowledged their relationship, though they’ll emulate Penelope Cruz (after Vanilla Sky or Sahara) and insist that they didn’t start seeing each other until after their film shoot ended. Again, that’s if we were truly cynical.