It had seemed unlikely that anything could thaw the frosty relationship between Jennifer Aniston and her ex-husband Justin Theroux. In the 18 months since their split in February 2018, the break-up – initially fairly harmonious – had turned increasingly sour. Justin had become ‘sanctimonious’ at times, a source close to Jen had explained, continued to socialise with her friends when she wasn’t around, and gave a revealing interview about the intensely private Jennifer and the demise of their relationship (calling it ‘heartbreaking’).
Last week, however, it became clear that their relationship was back on friendly terms – albeit tinged with sadness – when Justin posted images of a funeral held for their dog. Jen had adopted Dolly in 2006 and the pair had shared custody of her since their split. In the touching photos, Dolly lay strewn with flowers, with what appeared to be Justin and Jen’s entwined hands across her. The post read, ‘Tonight, at sunset, after a heroic struggle... our most loyal family member and protector, Dolly A, laid down her sword and shield. She was surrounded by her family.’
While it was a surprise to her fans that Jen and Justin were spending time together, this wasn’t a sudden reunion for the couple, who were married for two years. A source tells Grazia they’d already been in contact for a while via phone and email, before their emotional reunion happened in person – a process that Jen had told friends she was finding incredibly healing. ‘They’d been in touch for some months prior to Dolly’s death, but bonding over the pet they both loved eradicated any lingering frostiness,’ said the source. ‘It’s been positive and constructive on numerous levels.’
Indeed, this development is symptomatic of a broader change in Jen’s outlook on life. Since she turned 50 in February, friends close to the actor say she has been following a cohesive strategy of self-improvement – one that has included prioritising forgiveness and ‘internal zen’. ‘Since splitting from Justin, Jen has been on a mission to become her very best self,’ the source continued. ‘She has found a way not to sweat the small stuff and has gained a sense of closure on all negative and hurtful aspects that have caused her pain in recent years. In short, she’s learned how to forgive and forget, and that’s been hugely beneficial.’
This is echoed in a new biography by Ian Halperin, called Friends With Benefits, who claims Jen has invested in her ‘inner and outer health’ by spending £200,000 a year on therapy, yoga and laser skin resurfacing. Of the 350 sources interviewed by Halperin, most say they’ve never seen her more content and focused. ‘She doesn’t really seek happiness, she seeks well-being,’ one said. ‘And clearly she’s accomplished that. She lights up the room wherever she goes.’ Halperin claims that it’s Jen who has had the ‘last laugh’.
If that is supposed to refer to her marriage breakdown with Brad Pitt – the fallout from which saw her pitted against Angelina Jolie – it’s a narrative Jen herself may be frustrated by. Because her new sense of well-being has come not only from making peace with Justin (who has told The New York Times that their friendship is ‘shifting and changing’) but also with Brad. Since his split from Angelina, Brad has been in touch with his ex-wife, even attending her 50th birthday. The pair are thought to now be exploring potential joint work projects.
Still, Jen is determined to avoid any potential negativity. ‘Jen is all about looking forward now,’ says the source. ‘While she used to make sure that every article ever written about her was sent to her, she now no longer cares. Her priority is herself.’
With that in mind, Grazia has learned that since filming for new Apple-produced comedy The Morning Show wrapped, Jen has been in the early stages of putting together her own book, thought to be a collection of essays, stories about her life and ‘meditations on wellness’. While she’s notoriously private, she has shared her feelings in the past, notably when she wrote for the Huffington Post about having her private life and appearance so publicly scrutinised.
In the book, however, Grazia understands there will not be a focus on relationships or love, because Jen is now unconcerned by either. At the end of last year, Jen said she had realised she didn’t want to stay in an unhappy relationship out of fear. ‘Fear of being alone. Fear of not being able to survive,’ she’s said. ‘To stay in a marriage based on fear feels like you’re doing your one life a disservice.’
‘It’s twigged that she doesn’t need a man to be happy,’ our source adds. ‘Her attitude is very much, “If it happens, it happens, but if it doesn’t I’m blessed to have what I have already.” at’s enabled Jen to stop putting pressure on herself – and with that has come some major self-belief.
Jennifer Aniston Style - Best Dresses & Outfits
Jennifer Aniston - 1995
Jennifer Aniston - 1997
Jennifer Aniston in Balenciaga at Horrible Bosses LA premiere - July 2011
Jennifer Aniston at Along Came Polly premiere - 2004
Jennifer Aniston poses onstage at the 'Life Of Crime' Press Conference on September 14th
Jennifer Aniston attends the premiere for 'Life Of Crime' on September 14th
Jennifer Aniston in Burberry at We're The Millers New York premiere - 1 August 2013
Jennifer Aniston at Cannes Film Festival - 2004
Jennifer Aniston in Celine at Horrible Bosses London photocall - July 2011
Jennifer Aniston in Dolce & Gabbana trousers in Paris, 2012
Jennifer Aniston in Dolce & Gabbana at the Daily Show - August 2010
Jennifer Aniston in Donna Karan at Bounty Hunter premiere, LA - March 2010
Jennifer Aniston in Chanel - The Hollywood Walk of Fame - February 2012
Jennifer Aniston at Emmy Awards - 1999
Jennifer Aniston at Emmy Awards - 2004
Jennifer Aniston attends the European premiere of 'We're The Millers' in London. August 14th 2013.
Jennifer Aniston In Kaufmanfranco – Annual Women in Hollywood Tribute
Jennifer Aniston in Valentino Couture at London premiere of Horrible Bosses - July 2011
Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux at 'The Leftovers' premiere - June 23, 2014
Jennifer Aniston at the LACMA Art + Film Gala Honoring Ed Ruscha and Stanley Kubrick - October 2012
Jennifer Aniston in Valentino - 2012 MTV Movie Awards
Jennifer Aniston in Nina Ricci at The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Jennifer Aniston in Paris, 2012
Jennifer Aniston in Valentino
Jennifer Aniston - 1995
Jennifer Aniston SAG Awards - 1999
Jennifer Aniston at SAG Awards - 2000
Jennifer Aniston in Vivienne Westwood at Sephora Fragrance Signing - May 2011
Jennifer Aniston attends the 'We're The Millers' premiere in Germany. August 15th 2013
Jennifer Aniston in Burberry at 40th AFI Life Achievement Award - June 2012