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Tyra Banks: Where Is the Love?

01/10/2008 at 02:45 PM EST

Tyra Banks: Where Is the Love?

Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks

Her career's on a roll, but some of Tyra Banks's early ambitions have been shoved aside – such as having a baby.

"After the talk show started, and I had Top Model at the same time, it engulfed me so much that it dulled my maternal instinct," the star of both The Tyra Banks Show and America's Next Top Model Banks, 34, tells Essence magazine for its February issue.

Not that the first African-American woman to grace the covers of GQ, Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue and the Victoria's Secret catalogue has completely abandoned hope of raising a family. "I hope that when I get more of a handle on my life it comes back," she says of the maternal instinct.

Although Banks, who is developing shows for Warner Bros. and one with Ashton Kutcher, is not complaining, she does say, "I'd go to work and women would be crying in my arms on the talk show. But then I'd go home and put my key in my door and ... nothing: no friends, no husband, no children. I feel so full when I'm at work but so empty when I come home."

Though Banks won't open up about it, Essence reports the buzz that she's involved with investment banker John Utendahl, 50 – and that's why she moved production of her shows to New York from Los Angeles.

Responds Banks huffily: "I'm very insulted by that rumor. I employ a lot of people; their livelihoods rest on my shows. The move to New York was a decision I made with my manager. It was not about a man."

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