20 years on from their wedding day, here weexplores how Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston rebuilt their relationship…
If Brad Pitt hadn’t left his marriage to Jennifer Aniston and shacked up with Angelina Jolie in 2005, then the couple would have marked their 20th wedding anniversary this month.
Instead, Jen was left nursing a broken heart and her ordeal only grew worse when Brad and Ange conceived daughter Shiloh, now 14, before the ink had even dried on the divorce papers.
Rumours that Brad, 56, and Jennifer, 51, are now back together continue to swirl, although both deny it.
But at the SAG Awards earlier this year, they made it clear that the past is in the past, packing on the PDA on the red carpet and gushing over each other.
And according to pals, their renewed closeness came after they ‘realised what’s important in life’ and learned to ‘trust each other’.
Their road to recovery is said to have started when Brad reached out to Jen following his 2016 divorce from Angelina and reportedly ‘apologised’ for his part in the split.
“Brad is in such a different place than he was when they were together. Brad is truly an introspective guy who has worked hard on himself,” an insider told Entertainment Tonight.
“He has apologized to her for many things he felt were his issues in their relationship. He truly takes ownership for his mistakes and that has changed their relationship with each other today. They both have moved on.
“Right now they just love and adore each other and have been much closer friends since their divorces. Brad has grown so much in his life since he and Jen broke up.”
However, despite Brad’s good intentions, his words apparently weren’t easy for Jen to hear given all she had been through.
After all, in 2005 when a Vanity Fair interviewer asked her about Angelina’s then-rumoured pregnancy, she cried silently for several minutes and was unable to answer.
“I have to think there’s some reason I have called this into my life,” she said of their separation. “I have to believe that – otherwise it’s just cruel.”
She also shared her hurt over a W magazine shoot Brad and Angelina, 44, did titled Domestic Bliss which showed them as husband and wife surrounded by an army of mini-Brads just months after his split.
“Is it odd timing? Yeah. But it’s not my life,” she said at the time. “He makes his choices. He can do – whatever. We’re divorced, and you can see why.
“Brad is not mean-spirited; he would never intentionally try to rub something in my face. But I know Brad. Brad would say, ‘That’s art!’… There’s a sensitivity chip that’s missing.”
Brad also took the rare step of issuing a public statement in 2011 after appearing to brand his marriage to Jen ‘boring’ in an interview with Parade magazine.
“I spent the ’90s trying to hide out, trying to duck the full celebrity cacophony,” he said.
“I started to get sick of myself sitting on a couch, holding a joint, hiding out. It started feeling pathetic. 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.
“I think that my marriage had something to do with it. Trying to pretend the marriage was something that it wasn’t.”
He later apologised, insisting he was to blame for his own boredom and hailing his ex ‘an incredibly giving, loving, and hilarious woman’.
He explained: “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.”
So when the 12 Monkeys actor reportedly met with Jen to apologise for everything that had gone before, a source told InTouch magazine it brought back a lot of old hurt.
“Jen was overcome with emotion. All the hurt feelings and resentment she’d suppressed for years came flooding to the surface, and she broke down in tears,” claimed the insider.
“He apologized to Jen for being an absentee husband. He also made amends for leaving her Angelina,” the source added.