Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux announced their separation on Thursday, but, judging from their statement, it’s a permanent thing. Looking back, the signs were there that they were — for lack of a better term — living separate lives.
After a flurry of back-to-back appearances together early last year — Vanity Fair Oscars party! Paris Fashion Week! The Leftovers Season 3 premiere! — it all sort of came to a screeching halt. Their last public appearance wasn’t a flashy red carpet. It was a Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony for their friend Jason Bateman, on July 26.
Aniston — who preferred the West Coast to Theroux’s NYC livin’ — delivered a speech about her frequent co-star Bateman. When she sat back down, it was next to Theroux. They smiled big. She rested her arm on his lap. He gave her a squeeze. They looked happy.
And that, folks, was all she wrote. After that, they both made appearances but solo ones…
One day later, Theroux was on the carpet holding hands with someone else — Bateman. The buds went to the 5th Annual Ping Pong 4 Purpose in L.A.
In August, Theroux was off to Budapest, where he filmed The Spy Who Dumped Me with Mila Kunis and hung out with her and her husband, Ashton Kutcher, at a music festival. Meanwhile, Aniston headed to Atlanta to work on Dumplin’, which one of her BFFs, Kristin Hahn, wrote the screenplay for.
By September, Theroux was back in the U.S. and ready to promote the LEGO Ninjago Movie, for which he voiced a character. While Aniston had looked h-o-t as his plus-one for the Leftovers premiere a few months earlier, he went stag to the Sept. 16 movie premiere, but there was no hint anything was wrong.
A few days earlier, he attended a press conference for the film with co-stars including Olivia Munn, Dave Franco, Jackie Chan, and Fred Armisen.
When Theroux wasn’t promoting projects or filming, he started spending more time at his home in NYC — despite his ongoing drama with his neighbor. He didn’t stay holed up at home, though. On Nov. 30, he stepped out solo for an evening honoring Louis Vuitton and Nicolas Ghesquière at Lincoln Center.
Aniston wasn’t hiding out either. She appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! — Kimmel is another mutual friend of the pair — around the time she and Theroux were deciding to part ways. And she stepped out on Dec. 7 to support her old pal Jennifer Meyer at the launch of the jewelry maker’s collaboration with Jenna Dewan Tatum, benefiting the charity Baby2Baby.
Although Aniston and Theroux said in their statement that they quietly separated at the end of 2017, they rang in the New Year together in their favorite place: Los Cabos, Mexico. This trip marked the last time they were photographed together. (If you remember, Aniston and her first husband, Brad Pitt, took a vacation leading up to their separation too.)
While they split, they kept it to themselves and their inner circle. Aniston attended the Golden Globes, skipping the red carpet, to present with Carol Burnett on Jan. 7. (Who would turn that down?!)
And she partied that night. Aniston attended Netflix’s after-party at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, posing with Ted Sarandos, the company’s chief content officer.
Just days ahead of Aniston’s 49th birthday, Theroux stepped out for New York Fashion Week. On Feb. 8, he sat front row for the Adam Selman show looking dapper and not stressed over the fact that his breakup news was about to change his life for a while.
Aniston wasn’t sitting at home either. On Saturday, she attended Ellen DeGeneres’s star-studded 60th birthday bash, where she hit the photo booth with Olivia Munn and her old pal Kathy Najimy.
Scroll to the second photo to see Aniston hamming it up:
On Sunday, Aniston celebrated her big day — with girlfriends. Her manager Aleen Keshishian posted a photo from the Malibu fete, which was also attended by Courteney Cox and Kristin Hahn.
And on Tuesday, Aniston attended Amy Schumer’s supersecret (and last minute) wedding to chef Chris Fischer in Malibu.
Next step, Thursday afternoon, when Aniston and Theroux released a statement to the Associated Press: “In an effort to reduce any further speculation, we have decided to announce our separation. This decision was mutual and lovingly made at the end of last year. We are two best friends who have decided to part ways as a couple, but look forward to continuing our cherished friendship. Normally we would do this privately, but given that the gossip industry cannot resist an opportunity to speculate and invent, we wanted to convey the truth directly. Whatever else is printed about us that is not directly from us, is someone else’s fictional narrative. Above all, we are determined to maintain the deep respect and love that we have for one another.”
The pair, who were married just two years, were tabloid targets from the start of their relationship. (Thanks, Brangelina!) Their split, of course, has the rumor mill swirling that Aniston could (would? should?) reunite with Brad Pitt. But this is our favorite tweet on that topic.
Hey, people cheering for Jen and Brad to get back together: not everything from the 90s needs a reboot
— Alison Bennett (@bennettleigh) February 15, 2018
Look for the pair to have to face questions about their split in the coming months as they promote their new projects. In addition to films, Aniston has an upcoming show with Reese Witherspoon for Apple. Luckily, Aniston and Theroux are both PR pros at this point.