Celebrity relationships and friendships are a rare breed. These famous faces have their lives played out in front of the masses, whether it’s the good, the bad, or the straight-up shady. In Elite Daily’s new series, It’s Complicated, we’re highlighting the biggest celebrity “feuds” that took over Hollywood and dominated our Sunday brunches for weeks on end. We’ll take a deep dive into the lives and social media feeds of our favorite stars and dissect what happened in front of the camera, what went down behind the scenes, and everything you might have missed in between.
Relationship goals are great and all, but today, I want to talk about breakup goals. It takes a special kind of person to handle a breakup with grace and maturity, so I'm tipping my hat to none other than Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt. As two of the leading actors in Hollywood, the former husband and wife have always conducted themselves with complete courtesy toward one another, so much so, they've even been able to maintain a friendship post-divorce. Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt's quotes about each other speak volumes about their mutual respect for one another.
As of 2019, nearly 15 years after divorcing, the two stars not only keep in touch, but support each other when it matters most. Pitt was there to celebrate with Aniston when she turned the big 5-0 in February 2019, and he attended Aniston's annual holiday tree-trimming party, too. These milestones aren't exactly the types of things most ex-lovers spend together. Then again, most people aren't Jen and Brad.
The pair have had their fair share of ups and downs through the years, and, like any relationship, things have gotten complicated. And, though actions speak louder than words, Aniston and Pitt's words about each other still say a whole lot.
February 2003: Aniston Makes A Surprising Confession About Her Romance With Pitt
In an interview with W magazine Aniston was hesitant to call Pitt the "love of her life," though they'd been married for three years at the time. The honest remark came at a time when Aniston and Pitt seemed like the picture of happiness.
"Is he the love of my life? I think you’re always sort of wondering, 'Are you the love of my life?' I mean, I don’t know, I’ve never been someone who says, 'He’s the love of my life,'" she said. "He’s certainly a big love in my life... And I know that we have something special, especially in all this chaos. In this nutty, brilliant, wonderful, hard business that we have, it’s nice to have somebody who’s anchored and knows you, really knows all of you."
January 2004: Aniston Gushes About Her Romantic First Date With Pitt
In an emotional interview with Diane Sawyer, Aniston reflected on her first-ever date with Pitt, which was set up by their agents.
“We both [knew] on our first date. It was weird… That was a really easy evening. It was really fun," she said. However, in that same interview, Aniston questioned if she was really "ready" for marriage.
January 2005: Aniston And Pitt Announce Their Divorce
Aniston and Pitt's official split statement hit the internet on Jan. 24. They didn't reveal much about the reasoning behind the breakup, but they insisted they remained "caring friends."
The former couple also called out tabloid rumors claiming Pitt cheated on Aniston with his Mr. & Mrs. Smith co-star Angelina Jolie.
"We would like to announce that after seven years together we have decided to formally separate," the couple said in a statement People magazine. "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. This decision is the result of much thoughtful consideration. We happily remain committed and caring friends with great love and admiration for one another. We ask in advance for your kindness and sensitivity in the coming months."
September 2005: Aniston Throws Subtle Shade At Pitt
Seven months after they announced their breakup, Aniston shared a mixed message about Pitt's character while speaking with Vanity Fair. When reflecting on Pitt's 60-page glossy W Magazine spread with Jolie, she hinted he lacked sensitivity.
"Brad is not mean-spirited; he would never intentionally try to rub something in my face," she says. "In hindsight, I can see him going, 'Oh—I can see that that was inconsiderate.' But I know Brad. Brad would say, 'That’s art!' There’s a sensitivity chip that’s missing."
However, in the same interview, she admitted she loved Brad, and reflected on the happier moments of their seven-year relationship.
“I still feel so lucky to have experienced it. I wouldn’t know what I know now if I hadn’t been married to Brad. I love Brad; I really love him. I will love him for the rest of my life," she said. "He’s a fantastic man. I don’t regret any of it, and I’m not going to beat myself up about it. We spent seven very intense years together; we taught each other a lot—about healing, and about fun. We helped each other through a lot, and I really value that. It was a beautiful, complicated relationship."
December 2008: Aniston Gets Real About Brangelina
Aniston spoke out on Pitt's relationship with Angelina Jolie. In an interview with Vogue, revealing she was hurt by Jolie's story to the press about meeting and falling for Pitt while he was still married.
"There was stuff printed there that was definitely from a time when I was unaware that it was happening," she said. "I felt those details were a little inappropriate to discuss. That stuff about how she couldn't wait to get to work every day? That was really uncool."
September 2011: Pitt Seemingly Shades His Marriage With Aniston During An Interview
Pitt spoke out about the downfall of his marriage for the first time, and explained that his marriage to Aniston might have been why life felt less than interesting to him.
“It became very clear to me that I was intent on trying to find a movie about an interesting life, but I wasn’t living an interesting life myself,” he told Parade. “I think that my marriage [to Aniston] had something to do with it. Trying to pretend the marriage was something that it wasn’t," he said.
Pitt eventually released a statement clarifying his words:
"It grieves me that this was interpreted this way," he said in a statement to E! News. "Jen is an incredibly giving, loving, and hilarious woman who remains my friend. It is an important relationship I value greatly. The point I was trying to make is not that Jen was dull, but that I was becoming dull to myself—and that, I am responsible for."
November 2016: Aniston Defends Herself From Divorce-Shamers
In an interview with Marie Claire, Aniston shared a powerful message to her haters at the time.
"My marital status has been shamed; my divorce status was shamed; my lack of a mate had been shamed; my nipples have been shamed. It's like, 'Why are we only looking at women through this particular lens of picking us apart? Why are we listening to it?" she told Marie Claire. "I just thought: 'I have worked too hard in this life and this career to be whittled down to a sad, childless human."
January 2020: Pitt Gives Aniston A Friendly Shoutout
From 2016 to 2019, Pitt and Aniston didn't make comment about one another to the press, but they definitely kept in touch.
In addition to Pitt stopping by Aniston's 50th birthday party and her 2019 holiday bash, he had nothing but kind words about Aniston on the red carpet at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 5.
When asked about the possibility of running into Aniston at the event by ET, Pitt wasn't phased in the least. "I'll run into Jen, she's a good friend," he replied.
Whether they're on the road to rekindling a romance in 2020, or simply just being supportive friends post-divorce, Pitt and Aniston's relationship is rooted in respect.