Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt: it IS back on

Pals say they’re ‘incredibly close’ again and believe a renewed romance is on the cards

Jennifer Aniston Brad Pitt

by Daisy McLure |
Updated on

They drove fans wild when they were caught holding hands backstage at the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles last week. And speculation that the exes are on the brink of a reunion was intensified after a thrilled-looking Brad Pitt was spotted cheering “Oh wow,” when ex-wife Jennifer Aniston won her award.

The photographer who took the hand-holding picture later revealed, “The moment was really touching, and you could sense the respect between two people who have known each other 20-plus years and are both outstanding in their field.”

Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston at the SAG awards 2020 ©Getty

Many believe their suspicions were confirmed by Jen’s BFF Courteney Cox, who “liked” several images of the couple from the SAG Awards, including one that she cryptically captioned, “It goddam look like it”, leading fans to believe they are back on.

After Jen posted a picture of her white satin gown and shoes next to her bath the next day, followers turned up the temperature by asking if Brad had undressed her that night. One wrote, “Hope Brad took that dress off”, while another posted, “You and Brad have fun last night? I hope so!”

Their public display of affection comes just two weeks after Jen, 50, was seen looking lovingly at Brad, 56, at the Golden Globe Awards, where he called her a “good friend”, prompting fans to question whether they would get together following his divorce from Angelina Jolie, from whom he split in September 2016 after 11 years together.

Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston during their marriage ©Getty

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And sources tell Closer that Hollywood’s former golden couple – who divorced in 2005 after five years of marriage – have even got their mutual pals excited about a romantic reunion with their newfound friendship.

Despite Brad being linked to a string of women over the past few years, including actress Alia Shawkat, and Jen recently being linked to Hollywood director Will Speck, within their close circle of friends there is a growing belief that the pair could still reconcile.

A source tells Closer, “The signs are there that they’ve rekindled their feelings and the relationship is back on. They’ve gone through a lot of acrimony in the past but have come out the other side with great admiration for one another.

“Ever since he turned up to Jen’s birthday last year, their bond has been growing and their inner circles say they are ‘acting like a couple’. They’re incredibly close.

Angelina Jolie, Pax, Maddox, Shiloh, Vivienne, Knox, Zahara
Angelina Jolie with her six children ©Getty

“They’ve been speaking on the phone almost every week in the run-up to awards season. It’s such a nerve-wracking time for actors, and Brad and Jen find they can really put each other at ease. The more time they spend together, the more it feels as though they never lost touch. Their friends wouldn’t be surprised if an announcement came soon, but they expect it to be low-key.”

Brad and Jen’s 11-year romance was the stuff of Hollywood legend. The pair were set up by their agents in 1998, when she was the golden girl of TV with Friends and he was one of the world’s hottest actors.

“We both [knew] on our first date. It was weird… That was a really easy evening,” Jen later said in 2004.

Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux
Jennifer Aniston and second husband Justin Theroux ©Getty

By 1999, the couple revealed their engagement and the pair were known for their romantic gestures – on Valentine’s Day in 2001, Brad reportedly filled Jen’s Friends dressing room with 1,500 roses spelling out “I love my wife”. Still, in an interview that year, Jen confessed that when her friends first found they were dating, they thought Brad might have been a “conceited f--k”.

Jen was left heartbroken when Brad met and fell in love with Angelina, 44, on the set of Mr & Mrs Smith in 2005. When asked about the alleged affair at the time, an interviewer described how Jen looked like she had been “stabbed in the heart,” and “cried silently” for several minutes, before shaking her head to say she was too hurt to answer.

And after Brad was pictured with Angelina in 2005, after their split, Jen said, “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.”

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Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston reunite in 2020 ©Getty

Jen eventually found love again with actor Justin Theroux, with whom she was together for six years (and married for two) before announcing their separation in February 2018. And pals say it was splitting with Justin, 48, that opened the door for reconciliation with Brad.

Our source adds, “It took years for the wounds to heal for Jen, but after they both went through painful divorces, they were able to form a friendship again. Brad was the first to extend an olive branch to Jen back in 2018, although they had exchanged well wishes before then.

“Jen’s best friend Courteney also put in a lot of mediating work between the two – but it was clear that after both becoming single again, there was an interest to reunite as close friends.

“Jen threw caution to the wind and invited Brad to her 50th, and was bowled over when he turned up. That was the start of the beautiful connection that they’ve now rediscovered.They’ve had so much fun recounting their early years together, but most importantly, how much love they had for one another.”

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And pals add that Jen has been especially attentive to Brad, after he publicly admitted that he’s struggled in his divorce, particularly over missing out on spending time with his children Maddox, 18, Pax, 16, Zahara, 15, Shiloh, 13, and 11-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox.

“Jen’s been a rock for Brad this past year, and he’s been telling friends he couldn’t have got to where he is without her. He’s had rave reviews and awards for his performance in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, but it’s Jen who has given him the encouragement to get back up on the world stage.

“She’s been reassuring Brad that he will always have her love and support. She’s one of the few people who really knows him and he loves that. He’s also told her how proud he is of her, producing award-winning shows and giving some of her best performances yet. They feel as though they’re at the peak of their careers, and they’re so happy they’ve come back together to share it all.”

Read more in this week's Closer magazine, out now

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