Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux have split, but Gossip Cop must be clear and blunt: Much of what has been written about the couple's separation was and remains false. We can separate fact from fiction on a number of the most recent inaccurate claims.
Since Aniston and Theroux married in 2015, the tabloids have recycled divorce stories over and over. Hardly ever have the gossip magazines actually had any real insight. Much like with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, these outlets have peddled the same breakup tales repeatedly, hoping one day reality would match their manufactured fantasy. Frankly, few Hollywood couples go the distance. Eventually, most pairings break apart and that's what these publications bank on.
In a joint statement announcing their separation, Aniston and Theroux noted that "the gossip industry cannot resist an opportunity to speculate and invent." They stressed, "Whatever else is printed about us that is not directly from us, is someone else's fictional narrative." That's exactly what the tabloids have often been printing: Fiction. And below, Gossip Cop is highlighting a number of the made-up stories.
FICTION: Jennifer Aniston turned to "ex" Gerard Butler as her marriage fell apart, according to RadarOnline.
FACT: Aniston and Butler never dated, despite the website wrongly calling the actor her "ex-boyfriend." More importantly, he is in no way involved with Aniston's separation. Gossip Cop was told by a Butler confidante that there was no truth to claims he was consoling the actress and hoping to start a romance with her.
FICTION: Brad Pitt surprised Jennifer Aniston for her birthday, according to NW.
FACT: The tabloid claimed Pitt and Aniston had dinner at the Sunset Tower Hotel in honor of birthday, and he proposed starting a business together. Of course, the former spouses were never seen together at the hotel's restaurant because this get-together never actually happened. Gossip Cop confirmed these contentions were all lies.
FICTION: Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt are planning a date for the Oscars, according to New Idea.
FACT: This cover story bogusly alleged the actor's camp was "confirming reports of a reconciliation," and further asserted he and Aniston planned to use the upcoming Academy Awards for their "big reveal." Pitt's inner circle never confirmed any kind of relationship. Gossip Cop was also assured that he and Aniston will not be attending the Oscars as a couple.
FICTION: Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt are engaged, according to Woman's Day.
FACT: In another cover story from a foreign outlet, it was claimed Pitt actually "popped the question to his ex-wife" and asked to renew their marriage. To get out of this phony premise, the tabloid acknowledged that since Aniston and Pitt are both legally wed to other people, they actually can't marry again. Our sources actually laughed at the engagement allegation, telling Gossip Cop it was 100 percent "false."
FICTION: Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux's divorce was confirmed by Jason Bateman, according to Woman's Day.
FACT: The gossip magazine maintained Bateman, a close friend of the pair, was openly discussing the stars divorcing at a SAG Awards party. Of course, no reputable publication reported any such thing. Gossip Cop confirmed Bateman was not publicizing anything about an impending split, nor would he.
Gossip Cop suspects the weeks and months to come will be filled with more of what Aniston and Theroux have called "fictional narratives," just like the ones we've has highlighted here. We cannot stress enough: Those genuinely close to Aniston and Theroux, personally and professionally, are not going to the tabloids with details about their marriage and breakup. These articles are exercises in creative writing, not truth-telling. Keep that in mind as the newsstands and Internet become flooded with even more fake news. We'll continue separating the fact from fiction as necessary, just as we have always done our best.
Gossip Cop has determined this story is accurate to the best of our ability.