Late-night calls. Secret meetups. Shared passions. Inside Selena Gomez and Justin Theroux’s surprising relationship
The friendship between Selena Gomez and Justin Theroux turns into something more — and Jennifer Aniston is furious.
Selena Gomez looked absolutely thrilled. On May 6, she met up with a group of famous friends at the Minetta Lane Theatre in NYC’S West Village to catch the off-broadway play Harry Clarke. As she said goodbye to everyone outside the theater that day — including actress Rooney Mara, artist- model pal Petra Collins and Paul Rudd and his wife — Selena saved an especially enthusiastic embrace for the sexy single guy in the group: Justin Theroux.
They started out as friends. Now, Life & Style has exclusively learned, Justin and Selena’s re- lationship has taken an unexpected turn into something more serious. “They’ve known each other for years through their manager,” explains a source. “Initially, they leaned on each other for emotional support after going through messy breakups.” Justin announced his split from wife Jennifer Aniston in February while Selena parted ways — again — with pop star Justin Bieber in March. In recent weeks, though, “they’ve become closer than ever,” says the source. “It’s turned into something more than friendship.” Despite a 21-year
age difference (he’s 46, she’s 25!), says an insider, “Selena and Justin are falling for each other.”
Justin’s been having the time of his life since he and Jen, 49, ended their two-year marriage. The actor, who loathed the LA scene, immediately moved back to NYC, where’s he’s been riding his bike around town, hitting hot parties like the Met Gala and spending time with edgy, beautiful, younger women. “He’s not looking back or mourning
the end of his marriage. He’s enjoying his freedom and living his best life,” the source close to him tells Life & Style. He was briefly linked to 33-yearold Parks and Recreation star Aubrey Plaza, the source says, and has also been spending time with artist- model Petra, 25, who directed one of Selena’s music videos, his Maniac co- star Emma Stone, 29, and model Erika Cardenas, 25, whom he met at his gym.
But whenever he’s around Selena, notes the first source, “sparks fly.” They’ve been having a lot of one- on- one conversa-
tions lately, and they talk about everything. “They Facetime and text late at night and have inti- mate conversations about where they’re going in life and their career goals,” says the source. “They’re extremely honest, open and comfortable with each other. They’ve even
discussed how they adore babies and how they’d each love to become a parent one day.” They’ve also confessed a mutual admiration for one another’s work. “Selena’s praised Justin for his writing and acting — she was a huge fan of his HBO series The Leftovers,” says the insid- er, “and Justin’s encouraged her to use her gifts as a singer more and given her tips on how to negotiate the acting world.”
At first glance, they seem like a bizarre pairing. For one thing, there’s that enormous age gap (awkwardly enough, Selena’s almost exactly half Jen’s age). And edgy New Yorker Justin and the former Disney Channel starlet seem to be from totally different worlds. But Justin’s been spending time exclusively with creative, funny younger women since splitting from
They will keep their love life to themselves. – an insider, on how Justin and Selena would handle a romance
Jen. And Justin’s exactly the kind of guy Selena’s been looking for. “I’d be so stoked with a writer or producer or actor who is low-key,” she said in 2016, a description that fits Justin perfectly. Selena thinks he’s “mature” and “cool,” the source adds. They’ve discovered a shared passion for shelter dogs as well as fashion and accessories, explains the insider, who says they’ve hung out together in LA and NYC. Though the source believes nothing physical has happened, “judging from the amount of flirting that goes on, it’s only a matter of time before they take things to the next level.”
THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL
Friends think that’s a mistake — and warn that if Justin and Selena become a full-fledged couple, it will end badly. After all, Selena, Justin and Jen all share the same manager, Aleen Keshishian — and Jen, who views Selena as a friend (see box, opposite page), is already aware that her ex and the pop star- actress have been hanging out. “Jen,” says the source, “is not happy about it.”
She took Selena, who she’s called “a little cherub that I feel like I want to take care of,” under her wing years ago after they were introduced by their management team. She felt flattered after learning Selena was one of her greatest admirers. But Selena’s fascination with Jen bordered on creepy. “The whole reason I started my show [ Wizards of Waverly Place] and mannerisms, they were after Jennifer Aniston,” Selena confessed in 2009, adding that she’d been studying Jen’s career since she was 8 and also viewed her as her personal style icon. At 16, Selena admitted that pals had accused her of being “obsessed” with the Friends star after she recited dialogue from Jen’s TV and film work during an awards show honoring her.
If Selena goes public with a romance with Justin, friends worry it’ll seem like she wasn’t just obsessed with Jen’s life, but actually stole it. “Part of her attraction to Justin is knowing how much Jen loved him,” reveals the insider. “The fact that the woman she idolized so much prized him only makes Justin all that more appealing.” If Jen knew how close Selena and Justin really are now, adds the insider, “she’d be horrified. She’d think of it as a complete betrayal on both their parts.”
The “Hands to Myself” singer can’t help herself. “She finds Justin to be a breath of fresh air after going through such turbulent times with her other Justin [Bieber, whom she dated on and off since 2011],” says the source. “Selena will always carry a torch for her ex, but right now, Justin [Theroux] is helping her take her mind off things.”
Next up for Selena and Justin 2.0? The pair have discussed meeting up in secret, where they won’t be photographed together and put under the mi- croscope, says the source. It’s another sign, says the insider, that what started out as a genuine friendship “is progressing into something far more significant.”
Mature Appeal “Selena calls Justin the coolest and bestlooking older man she knows,” says an insider.
Moving Fast Since their respective splits from Jennifer Aniston and Justin Bieber, says an insider, “Justin and Selena have gotten closer.”