Credit: Steve Granitz/

Long before she settled down with British rocker husband Chris Martin (they have kids Apple, 6, and Moses, 4), Gwyneth Paltrow was one of Hollywood's most eligible bachelorettes -- and her beaus included both Brad Pitt and Ben Affleck.

In a new E! special, Gwyneth Paltrow, that aired Wednesday night, the Country Strong star, 38, admits those high-profile, late-90s romances were kind of weird.

"It was strange to be part of a public couple," she says in the interview.

The profile also reveals that Paltrow's road to Hollywood wasn't as easy as some might expect. Although she is the daughter of actress Blythe Danner and late director Bruce Paltrow, she didn't get a free ride while she waited for her big break.

"We could have paid for everything and had a spoiled kid," mother Danner says. "[But] I think it's really important for people to work hard."

Paltrow admits: "I would say 'Dad, I can't go out to dinner, I have no money,' and he would say 'you're welcome to come over here and eat at our house anytime, but I'm not giving you money for your social life.'"

Plus, the star sheds new light on her struggle with post-partum depression following son Moses' birth in 2006. "You don't want anybody to know that you're depressed or crying all the time, " she said. "There's this shame that we bring to it and it's incredibly debilitating and scary and you just don't feel like yourself."