Inside Jen Aniston and Brad Pitt's friendship

When it comes to unforgettable Hollywood romances, Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt rate pretty highly. From allegedly being set up on a blind date by their agents in 1998, per E! News, to their jaw-dropping Malibu wedding in 2000, to their eventual divorce in 2005, Aniston and Pitt captured the world's attention. And despite their split being plagued by reports of infidelity, with Pitt being linked to his Mr. & Mrs. Smith co-star Angelina Jolie, fans have always held a soft spot for one of '00s most photogenic couples.

And now that they're both single again, as of this writing — Pitt split from second wife Angelina Jolie in September 2016, while Aniston announced her separation from second husband Justin Theroux in February 2018 — reunion rumors are rife. Plus, since Brad Pitt turned up at Jennifer Aniston's 50th birthday party in February 2019, fans have been wondering when the exes started talking again, and whether there's any hope of a reunion between the stars. Here's everything we now so far about Jen Aniston and Brad Pitt's rekindled friendship, and whether the exes would ever consider getting back together.

When Pitt forgot to be a 'caring friend'

Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt released a heartfelt statement (via People) in January 2005, announcing "after seven years together we have decided to formally separate." They also seemingly rebutted cheating rumors regarding Pitt's Mr. & Mrs. Smith co-star Angelina Jolie, saying, "For those who follow these sorts of things, we would like to explain that our separation is not the result of any of the speculation reported by the tabloid media."

Hollywood's once-golden couple also claimed to "happily remain committed and caring friends with great love and admiration for one another." However, in her heart-wrenching interview with Vanity Fair after the split, Aniston admitted she was blindsided "when photographs broke of Brad and Angelina frolicking on the beach with Maddox at a romantic resort in Africa" on April 29, 2005, just a little over one month since she filed for divorce from Pitt. As Aniston told the publication, "The world was shocked, and I was shocked."

The Good Girl star also explained to Vanity Fair that she was processing the difficult realization that her ex had already moved on: "Am I lonely? Yes. Am I upset? Yes. Am I confused? Yes. Do I have my days when I've thrown a little pity party for myself? Absolutely." But she also pledged to move forward saying, "I really do hope that someday we can be friends again."

Aniston thinks Pitt has 'a sensitivity chip missing' ...

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie went public with their relationship in a very real way, by posing for a July 2005 spread titled "Domestic Bliss" in W magazine. The article featured a series of photos of the co-stars playing happy family with a brood of children, and the timing felt a little raw to Aniston. She explained to Vanity Fair, "Is it odd timing? Yeah. … He makes his choices. He can do — whatever. We're divorced, and you can see why." But she also went out of her way to excuse Pitt, saying "[he] is not mean-spirited; he would never intentionally try to rub something in my face … There's a sensitivity chip that's missing." 

Aniston's Friends co-star Courteney Cox also opened up to Vanity Fair about the photo shoot saying, "I don't think that Brad is malicious, or a liar. The W thing was his idea, but I don't think he thought that one through, about what it would look like to anyone else." Aniston spoke again about the cheating rumors to Vogue in 2008. In particular, she took to task an interview Jolie had also given to Vogue about how her relationship with Pitt started during the filming of Mr. & Mrs. Smith — "while Aniston was still married to and living with Pitt." Aniston explained, "That stuff about how she couldn't wait to get to work every day? That was really uncool."

... But he was allegedly there for her when her mom died

Aniston's tumultuous relationship with her mother Nancy Dow was well-documented, especially since the release of Dow's 1999 book, From Mother and Daughter to Friends: A Memoir, which detailed their estrangement. According to Heavy, the rift allegedly started when Dow gave an interview about the actress to Hard Copy in 1996, before writing the memoir. While promoting her Netflix movie Dumplin' in 2018, Aniston opened up about the difficult relationship she had with her mom, who passed away in 2016. She told The Sunday Telegraph (via People), "She was a model and she was all about presentation and what she looked like and what I looked like. I did not come out the model child she'd hoped for."

And according to Us Weekly, knowing about Aniston's tense relationship with Dow, Pitt allegedly reached out to his ex-wife when her mother passed away. The publication revealed, "Brad contacted Jen after her mom died, and she was touched that he knew what a difficult time it was." Incidentally, Dow's death was announced on May 25, 2016, while Pitt's split from Jolie was announced later the same year.

Can emojis bring these two back together?

At the start of 2017, Us Weekly claimed that Brad Pitt got hold of Jennifer Aniston's phone number via a "tangled web" of mutual friends. Apparently, the Fury actor was keen to wish his ex-wife a happy birthday on February 11, with the pair beginning to text each other after that. As Pitt was going through a publicly messy divorce from Jolie, Us Weekly's source claimed, "[Brad] has confided in Jen. Brad told her he's having a hard time with his split and they exchanged a few texts reminiscing about the past."

A source confirmed the reports of the budding friendship to Peoplerevealing, "They have been friends for a while and often text." It was also claimed that Pitt didn't have to work very hard to get hold of Aniston's number — "This is nothing new, he didn't have to jump through hoops…" — which is definitely interesting! At the time, Aniston's supportive second husband, Theroux, was reportedly "okay with them being friends," according to Us Weekly, as he knew that "Jen just wants to be nice."

Did these divorcees reconnect on the down low?

Despite both finding love and getting married again to other people, Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt found themselves both dealing with divorce a second time around. According to reports, as their experiences were so similar in dealing with high-profile, widely-reported break-ups in the public eye, Aniston and Pitt found themselves leaning on one another. In February 2019, Grazia reported (via The Mirror) that Pitt's split from Angelina Jolie was a major turning point for the exes: "Brad and Jen have exchanged messages over email for years … For birthdays or special events … That changed when Brad split from Angelina."

While Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt in September 2016, the couple only reached a custody agreement regarding their six children — Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, Knox and Vivienne — in December 2018, per BBC. The long, and very public, divorce proceedings were apparently a big strain on the family, and in the meantime, Aniston separated from her second husband Justin Theroux. Grazia's source explained in 2019 that, allegedly, "It was in the summer of last year that Brad and Jen really reconnected, having both been through really difficult times in their relationships." The report claimed that there have even been some face-to-face meet-ups between the former couple: "They've had long phone conversations and have met up privately at least once in the past year, but it's all been kept hush-hush."

Pitt supposedly shoulders the blame for their divorce

Jennifer Aniston has often discussed the way in which her marriage to Brad Pitt ended, and suggested that she doesn't believe her ex-husband acted out of malice, as we previously established with her remarks on the subject to Vanity Fair in 2005. However, as his relationship with Jolie went public so quickly after his split from Aniston, Pitt faced a lot of scrutiny for his actions. According to Us Weekly, having had time to reflect, Pitt allegedly realized that he didn't always act in the best way. A source revealed to the publication in February 2019, "Brad wishes he'd handled the end of their marriage in a more thoughtful manner. He asked for Jen's forgiveness a long time ago, and she gave it."

In Touch Weekly (via Marie Claire) reported similar news in September 2017, revealing that Pitt contacted Aniston and had "the most intimate conversation [they] have ever had," because he'd "been determined to apologize for everything he put her through." Allegedly, Pitt recognized his shortcomings in the marriage and "apologized to Jen for being an absentee husband, for being stoned and bored much of the time. He also made amends for leaving her for Angelina." Whether or not these reports are true, it certainly seems as though Pitt and Aniston's divorce is now water under the bridge.

Aniston says her marriages were 'very successful'

Aniston has been outspoken about her feminism, and her refusal to be shamed or humiliated by the media. In a December 2018 ELLE interview, Aniston revealed that, despite going through two divorces, "[her] marriages, they've been very successful, in [her] personal opinion." She also explained that the decision to end those relationship was an important and healthy choice for her saying, "We chose to be happy, and sometimes happiness didn't exist within that arrangement anymore. Sure, there were bumps, and not every moment felt fantastic, obviously, but at the end of it, this is our one life and I would not stay in a situation out of fear." 

Regarding speculation that something major was missing from her life, or that she neglected to start a family in order to be "so career-driven and focused on [herself]," Aniston told Allure in December 2014, "I don't like [the pressure] that people put on me, on women — that you've failed yourself as a female because you haven't procreated. I don't think it's fair. You may not have a child come out of your vagina, but that doesn't mean you aren't mothering — dogs, friends, friends' children." The Cake actress is helping to redefine a new normal for women, and that appears to include being friends with her ex-husband.

No, they're not getting remarried

The media's obsession with Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt just won't die, especially since, as of this writing, both actors are apparently single. However, a report that the pair was getting remarried had to be debunked by Aniston's publicist, who called the rumor "a complete fabrication," per Independent.ie. Another source also told People that Aniston "is very happy being single" and "focused on her own happiness," thank you very much.

In February 2018, People reported that a reunion between Pitt and Aniston was unlikely, now or ever. An insider revealed, "They've been over each other for longer than they were ever together." It was also noted that Pitt's extensive family with Jolie made the reunion all the more unlikely, as did their respective second divorces. As the source explained, "Now you add six kids on his side and each of them having their own assorted battle scars into the mix? Forget it. It's not going to happen." We're not crying; you're crying!

People's source also claimed that reports of a friendship between the pair had been greatly exaggerated saying, "They haven't seen each other in ages … they have become totally different people than who they once were when they were together." Plus, like anyone that's been through a bad breakup, the two Hollywood stars have apparently been trying to learn from their mistakes.

Pitt just wants 'someone nice'

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston might be friends again, but that doesn't necessarily mean that anything romantic is going on. In fact, several alleged "pals" of Pitt told Page Six in October 2018 that the actor was "quietly dating" non-celebrities. However, one source explained a potential hiccup in Pitt's new preference in paramours: "There's all this gossip and suddenly this person ­becomes a public character." Having been the focus of a lot of unwanted media attention throughout both of his marriages, Pitt is apparently ready to live a quieter life.

Referencing his elongated divorce battle with Angelina Jolie, a source told Page Six, "To say these two years have been a nightmare is an understatement." Because of the well-documented drama regarding Pitt's separation, including the fact that the actor has since admitted to dealing with an alcohol abuse problem to GQ, the actor is looking for a low-key lifestyle. As Page Six's source explains, "The public obsession with everything he does is just hard. He wants to be with someone nice, it's just going to take a while before a long-term relationship can happen." 

We volunteer as tribute!

The birthday cameo that caused a frenzy

Jennifer Aniston's 50th birthday party was an understandably glitzy affair packed with celebrities including Katy Perry, Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson, John Mayer, Demi Moore, and Amal Clooney. While Justin Theroux was nowhere to be seen, Brad Pitt was spotted arriving at the party which was held at West Hollywood's Sunset Tower. The Daily Mail published footage of Pitt arriving at the party wearing a flat cap, presumably in an attempt to hide his identity. However, a source confirmed to People that Pitt was definitely in attendance.

Following the party, People released a new report explaining why Aniston decided to invite her ex. According to a source, "Brad, for long, was a very important part of Jen's life. She debated back and forth with friends if she should invite him. She was very happy that he showed up. Many of his close friends were at the party too." Apparently Pitt didn't get any special attention from the host, either, with a source explaining to People, "They hugged and chatted for a bit, but Jen was busy making sure all of her other guests had an amazing time." Nothing to see here, folks.

The rumor mill goes wild, but they're probably just friends

As one of Hollywood's golden couples of the '00s, Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt continue to cause fans to cling on to the idea that they may one day reunite. However, with the majority of reports about the former couple debunking any reunion claims, it seems unlikely that the pair will be romantically involved again any time soon. And as for attending Aniston's 50th birthday party, Pitt apparently "came to support her, spoke to other friends of his that were there and headed out," per Entertainment Tonight. Basically, the regular romance rumors don't appear to have any credibility.

As The Telegraph reported, fans continue to insist on "willing them back together," but for now, at least, Pitt and Aniston are just friends, and that's probably how they're going to stay. A lot has happened since the performers split in 2005, from their subsequent marriages, to Pitt's expansive family, making a reunion between them much more unlikely. But never say never, right?