With just two words, Justin Theroux confirmed celebrities are lying about their breakups.


There’s something odd happening in celebrity land.

Famous couples are breaking up without really… breaking up.

They’re consciously uncoupling, quietly parting ways, remaining the best of friends. They’re not throwing each other’s belongings on the front lawn and blocking each other on social media.

You see, earlier this year Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston announced they had separated after three years of marriage.

On February 5, 2018, they issued a joint statement describing themselves as “two best friends who have decided to part ways as a couple”.

On Saturday, Justin told the New York Times theirs was a “gentle separation”.

“The good news is that was probably the most — I’m choosing my words really carefully — it was kind of the most gentle separation, in that there was no animosity,” he said.

“In a weird way, just sort of navigating the inevitable perception of it is the exhausting part.”

This is all probably sounding a little bit familiar.

In 2014, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin announced they had “consciously uncoupled”.

“It is with hearts full of sadness that we have decided to separate,” the couple said in a joint statement on Goop.


“We have been working hard for well over a year, some of it together, some of it separated, to see what might have been possible between us, and we have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much we will remain separate.”

“We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and co-parent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.”

In April 2018, Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum announced they had “lovingly chosen to separate as a couple” after almost nine years of marriage.

In Australia, The Wiggles’ Emma Watkins and Lachlan Gillespie announced their separation as a “positive change in our relationship”.

“We have, and continue to share, the most beautiful life together,” 28-year-old Emma wrote in a statement.

When Bachelor in Paradise’s Megan Marx announced she had broken up with Jake Ellis, she described him as her “best friend”.

When they split in September, Love Island’s Eden and Erin said they had “quietly parted ways”.

Looking at the recent bout of celebrity separations, it would be easy to conclude that there’s only one way to breakup – quietly, gently, while still loving each other immensely, and wishing each other nothing but the best.


It’s hard to reconcile this with the reality of most breakups – some which involve infidelity, addiction, and betrayals. Others that come about once a couple has found themselves living such separate and strained lives, they don’t know who the other person is anymore.

There’s usually shouting, and swearing, and slammed doors. Angry text messages, bitching sessions with friends, personal insults slung at each other in family court.

Breakups are rarely gentle and amicable. They’re messy and fraught with anger and heartache.

Especially when there’s huge estates, massive egos and big public profiles at stake.

So when celebrities tell us they have experienced a “gentle separation”, it makes us question our own normal shout-y, angst-y heart-rendering experiences.

Sometimes, like with Love Island’s Erin and Eden, the carefully constructed facade quickly drops away and we find out the real reasons behind their breakups.

But with others, like Gwyneth and Chris and Channing and Jenna, were are still being led to believe that “best friends” who still “love each other with all our hearts” would calmly choose to live their lives separately.

Justin’s words, if anything, are a not so gentle reminder to take everything celebrities say with a huge grain of salt.