The pair, who started dating in 2011 and married in 2015, have said the decision to separate was “mutual and lovingly made at the end of last year”. In a statement they made clear that they remain “two best friends who have decided to part ways as a couple, but look forward to continuing our cherished friendship.”
The ink was barely dry on the announcement before Twitter hastily dispensed with Theroux and called for reconciliation between America’s sweetheart and Pitt, once regarded as the sexiest man in the world.
One Twitter user, Rachel Kindred, wrote: ‘Waiting for the announcement that Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt are back together now that they’re both single again.’ Another, Jake Weisman, added: ‘Imagine, if after all they’ve put us through, Brad and Jen got back together.
But others were not so keen with Alison Bennett tweeting: ‘Hey, people cheering for Jen and Brad to get back together: not everything from the 90s needs a reboot.’
Having met in 1998 after being set up by their respective agents, Aniston and Pitt seemingly enjoyed one of the most romantic relationships in Hollywood.
Pitt once enthused: ‘Jen is the fire we all crowd around for warmth.’
Meanwhile four months before they wed in July 2000, Aniston was effusive about her fiance: ‘Brad is the kindest person I know … the sweetest goofball on the planet.’
If ever proof were needed that they thought the world of each other, Pitt famously sneaked into her dressing room on the set of Friends one Valentine’s Day, filling it with roses and spelling out ‘I love my wife’ in petals.
Their split in 2005 after Pitt starred with Angelina Jolie in Mr and Mrs Smith prompted fans to go into meltdown and declare whether they were “Team Aniston” or “Team Jolie”. Last year it was reported that Pitt apologised to his former wife about how he treated her at that time.
For her part Aniston has undergone a lot of therapy, telling Vanity Fair after her split from Pitt, that she refused to be a victim.
‘I’ve worked with this therapist for a long time, and her major focus is that you get one day of being a victim – and that’s it. Then we take responsibility for our own input. Relationships are two people; everyone is accountable. A lot goes into a relationship coming together, and a lot goes into a relationship falling apart.’
While Pitt undoubtedly hurt Aniston, she has never criticised him except to wonder whether he had a “sensitivity chip” missing. Even her dear friend Courtney Cox, who organised her 49th birthday recently, has said she doesn’t think Pitt is a “malicious, or a liar”.
So will Aniston take back her former husband, now a father of six?
Who knows, but the world would love it if she did.