Cape Town - Say it isn’t so!
After two and a half years of marriage, Jennifer Aniston (49) and Justin Theroux (46) announced that they are separating, calling time on their seven-year relationship.
The couple said on Thursday that the decision to split was ‘mutual’ and made in a ‘loving’ manner, at the end of last year.
"In an effort to reduce any further speculation, we have decided to announce our separation."
"We are two best friends who have decided to part ways as a couple, but look forward to continuing our cherished friendship," they said in a joint statement.
From their low-key engagement to their private wedding ceremony, the two worked very hard to maintain some sort of privacy, while navigating the difficulties of living their lives in the public eye.
However, the two never shied away from showering each other with affection!
We take a look at how their romance unfolded:
The actors first met on the set of Tropic Thunder back in 2007, when Jennifer visited the set. She was introduced to Justin by their mutual friend, Ben Stiller.
Jennifer told PopSugar that although she thought he was very sweet, he seemed very dark.
"At first you think he could be like a serial killer, but he is actually the nicest person in the world," she said
The two reconnected and really got to know each other when they co-starred in the movie Wanderlust.
Nothing happened at that time since Justin was in a long-term relationship with stylist Heidi Bivens, whom he'd been dating for 14 years.
At this point rumours started swirling around about them dating but nothing was confirmed as yet. However, once they showed up at the 2011 MTV Movie Awards after-party and were photographed together, it was official!
According to ET, soon after their semi-public appearance, news broke that Justin had moved in with the Friends star.
The couple took their relationship to the next level when they adopted a puppy together and named it Sophie.
According to Hollywood Life, it was also in this year that they were photographed kissing publicly for the very first time!
Then on 10 August 2012, Justin proposed and fans everywhere were elated that Jennifer had finally found love again.
Their marriage would be Justin’s first marriage and Jen’s second, after her five-year marriage to Brad Pitt.
On 5 August 2015 the couple tied the knot in a very private and intimate ceremony, at their home in Bel Air.
The wedding was disguised as a 44th birthday party for Justin.
"It's so much more special when it's just your closest friends and family and it's lovely, [we] wanted it to be a peaceful environment, you don't want it to be hectic," Justin told ET.
The newlyweds then set off to Bora Bora for their honeymoon.
The pair headed off to Paris, where they spent Valentine's Day together, enjoying the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The two were still enjoying their marriage, doing interviews about each other and sharing more intimate details about themselves.
It was even speculated that Jennifer was pregnant, rumours which she put to bed with a letter to Huffington Post.
"For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up. I'm fed up with the sport-like scrutiny and body shaming that occurs daily under the guise of 'journalism'," she wrote.
Jennifer and Justin were last spotted together in December on a vacation in Mexico, according to US Weekly. This was a last-ditch at saving their marriage, according to reports.
Jennifer celebrated her 49th birthday with some of her closest gal pals in Malibu, California but Justin was notably absent from the festivities.
This led to speculation that they had spilt, which was confirmed on Thursday by the couple in a joint statement.
"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," the statement continues.
When it comes to celeb splits, there's no question that Jen and Justin's separation falls into the unexpected category but the couple said they will remain friends.
"Above all, we are determined to maintain the deep respect and love that we have for one another."