Brad Pitt has turned to his great­est love, Jen­nifer Anis­ton, af­ter his messy split from An­gelina Jolie

In Touch (USA) - - Coverstory -

Ayear af­ter she blind­sided Brad Pitt with di­vorce pa­pers, An­gelina Jolie con­tin­ues to twist the knife with her words. In a Sept. 13 in­ter­view with The New York Times, the ac­tress called the six kids she shares with Brad — Mad­dox, 16, Pax, 13, Za­hara, 12, Shiloh, 11, and 9-year-old twins Knox and Vivi­enne — “the best friends I ever had,” adding that “no­body in my life has ever stood by me more.” The Times writer caught An­gelina’s shade. “That last sen­tence hung in the air,” the jour­nal­ist wrote, “per­haps a sub­tle al­lu­sion to, or in­dict­ment of, Mr. Pitt.” An­gelina also seemed to im­ply that she and the kids are bet­ter off now with­out Brad. “None of it’s easy,” she said qui­etly. “It’s very, very dif­fi­cult, a very painful sit­u­a­tion, and I just want my fam­ily healthy. They’re get­ting bet­ter.”

While An­gelina made it clear her mar­riage was no great love af­fair, Brad is run­ning back to the great love of his life: Jen­nifer Anis­ton. Nearly 13 years af­ter Brad, 53, and the Friends star, 48, shocked the world and an­nounced they were split­ting af­ter four-and-a-half years of mar­riage, Brad is hop­ing to forge a new re­la­tion­ship with his ex. Brad, whose rep­u­ta­tion and par­ent­ing skills were smeared by An­gelina, 42, in the wake of their split, “wants and needs Jen in his life,” a source tells In Touch ex­clu­sively, “es­pe­cially dur­ing this try­ing time.”

But Jen’s hus­band, Justin Th­er­oux, needn’t worry. “Brad wouldn’t dream of break­ing up Jen’s mar­riage,” says the source. “Brad’s lean­ing on her as a con­fi­dante now. His re­newed re­la­tion­ship with Jen has been a huge source of sup­port and com­fort through the tough­est year of his life.”

An­gelina has got­ten wind of the re­newed bond be­tween Brad and Jen — and she isn’t happy. In fact, says the source, “She’s fu­ri­ous. Jen’s al­ways been An­gelina’s great­est ri­val when it comes to Brad. She hates the way that she has al­ways been de­picted as the evil femme fa­tale and

Jen as the girl-next-door vic­tim in the fa­mous love tri­an­gle.”

Jen, mean­while, takes de­light in An­gelina’s anger. “She’s get­ting her well-de­served re­venge,” says the source. “Jen feels An­gelina lorded her re­la­tion­ship with Brad over her all these years.” (In­deed, in 2006, An­gelina bragged to Vogue that she and Brad fell in love on the set Mr. & Mrs. Smith, which they filmed when he was still wed to Jen. “That stuff about how she couldn’t wait to get to work ev­ery day?” Jen later said. “That was re­ally un­cool.”) Now, notes the source, “Jen’s hav­ing the last laugh. She loves the fact she has be­come his con­fi­dante.”

Two emo­tional con­ver­sa­tions ce­mented their new­found friend­ship. As part of Brad’s new life­style (“I was booz­ing too much,” he told GQ ear­lier this year), he has stopped drink­ing and started apol­o­giz­ing to those he wronged. And Jen “was the per­son high­est on his apol­ogy list,” says the source. So he called her in June and ex­pressed his sor­row. “Brad flat-out apol­o­gized for all the heartache and pain he caused by leav­ing her for An­gelina. He came off as gen­uinely sorry, and Jen was deeply touched. She was com­pletely won over.”

the sub­se­quent cus­tody bat­tle that still rages on to­day. “He soberly spoke about hit­ting rock bot­tom,” says the source, “and how he made the climb out.”

He then of­fered another mea culpa. “He launched into a grand apol­ogy,” says the source. “He apol­o­gized for be­ing an ab­sen­tee hus­band in the mar­riage — be­ing stoned and bored much of the time. He also made amends for be­ing an avoider, get­ting lost and in a se­ri­ous drink­ing-and-get­tinghigh phase when he fell for An­gelina while mak­ing Mr. & Mrs. Smith.” Brad, who knows Jen is hap­pily mar­ried and is glad for her, even wist­fully won­dered what might have been. “He told Jen they might still even be mar­ried if he were emo­tion­ally and phys­i­cally present and sober at the time. It was the most in­ti­mate con­ver­sa­tion Brad had ever had with Jen,” who fa­mously said in 2005 that he’s miss­ing a “sen­si­tiv­ity chip.”

But not all of Brad and Jen’s con­ver­sa­tions have been so deep. The two de­sign afi­ciona­dos have bonded again about their love of over­haul­ing homes. “It’s some­thing Brad al­ways shared with Jen, as op­posed to An­gelina, who couldn’t care less about in­te­rior de­sign or home ren­o­va­tion,” says an in­sider. An­gelina re­cently told Van­ity Fair that de­sign was “Brad’s thing…. I didn’t even know I needed throw pil­lows [for my new house].” Mean­while, Jen re­cently de­clared, “If I wasn’t act­ing, I would do [ren­o­va­tion] full-time.” Now the exes are swap­ping ideas. Says the source, “They’ve been talk­ing about ideas for fu­ture houses and build­ing projects.”

They may even join forces on movies. Be­fore they split, they were part­ners on Brad’s Plan B pro­duc­tion com­pany, which pro­duced the 2017 best pic­ture Os­car win­ner, Moon­light. “Brad wants her in­volved again,” says the source, “and Jen wants in on such pres­tige projects.”

The rekin­dled friend­ship has had a pos­i­tive ef­fect on Brad. “Jen has a way of calm­ing and en­cour­ag­ing Brad, which he needs in his hec­tic life right now,” says the source. And now that he’s not drink­ing, “he’s in a great place men­tally and phys­i­cally. He’s in touch with his emo­tions and his true self like never be­fore. He is closer to the kids than he has been in months, and he’s shown tremen­dous ma­tu­rity and pa­tience with An­gelina con­cern­ing the di­vorce.” Hav­ing a loyal friend like Jen back in his life is a bonus and a bless­ing, adds the source: “He hopes to count on her for a long time to come.” ◼

Brad wants Jen in his life again. Part of him will al­ways love her” — A SOURCE


Brad, how­ever, wasn’t sat­is­fied. While Justin was out of town work­ing re­cently, Brad reached out to Jen again. “They did some ma­jor catch­ing up,” says a sec­ond source. Dur­ing the talk, Brad didn’t hold back. He opened up to Jen about the in­fa­mous plane in­ci­dent last Septem­ber when he al­legedly got drunk and got phys­i­cal with Mad­dox, the split from An­gelina and

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