Jennifer Aniston is opening up about her secret IVF journey.
The Friends star, 53, has been plagued with tabloid pregnancy rumors throughout her time in the spotlight — and in a way unlike any other star. She's had to deny gossip and speculation about her body over and over, and then some more. Now she's revealing for the first time that amid all that public poking and prodding about something so personal, she had privately tried to get pregnant, but it wasn't successful.
In Allure's December cover story, the Morning Show star, 53, said she feels "the best in who I am today, better than I ever did in my 20s or 30s even, or my mid-40s." She said that in her late 30s and 40s she went "through really hard s***, and if it wasn’t for going through that, I would’ve never become who I was meant to be." She said she has "gratitude for all those s***ty things. Otherwise, I would’ve been stuck being this person that was so fearful, so nervous, so unsure of who they were. And now, I don’t f***ing care."
It was then that the Friends alum revealed, "I was trying to get pregnant. It was a challenging road for me, the baby-making road."
She doesn't give a timetable, but added, "All the years and years and years of speculation … It was really hard. I was going through IVF, drinking Chinese teas, you name it. I was throwing everything at it. I would’ve given anything if someone had said to me, 'Freeze your eggs. Do yourself a favor.' You just don’t think it. So here I am today. The ship has sailed."
Today, "I have zero regrets," she said. "I actually feel a little relief now because there is no more, ‘Can I? Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.' I don’t have to think about that anymore."
Perhaps the biggest kick in the face, she said, was the tabloid "narrative that I was just selfish. I just cared about my career," and that's why she wasn't getting pregnant. That was a tabloid thread while she was married to Brad Pitt, from 2000 to 2005, and was then resurrected when she was married to Justin Theroux, from 2015 to 2017.
"And God forbid a woman is successful and doesn’t have a child," she added. "And the reason my husband left me, why we broke up and ended our marriage, was because I wouldn’t give him a kid. It was absolute lies. I don’t have anything to hide at this point."
Aniston used many different approaches to handle tabloid pregnancy rumors, from joking about them to writing an op-ed for the Huffington Post in 2016 slamming the media for its obsession with her being pregnant.
"I got so frustrated," she said, "Hence that op-ed I wrote. "I was like, ‘I’ve just got to write this because it’s so maddening and I’m not superhuman to the point where I can’t let it penetrate and hurt."
Aniston said she "spent so many years protecting my story about IVF. I’m so protective of these parts because I feel like there’s so little that I get to keep to myself. The [world] creates narratives that aren’t true, so I might as well tell the truth. I feel like I’m coming out of hibernation. I don’t have anything to hide."
The star said she has learned to take the "darker things that happen in our lives, the not-so-happy moments" and "find places to honor them because of what they have given to us … It’s toxic to have that resentment, that anger." She spoke about the growth she's gone through as a person, healing from her trauma, including wounds of childhood, growing in a fractured home with her a challenging relationship with her late mother.
"I have had to do personal work that was long overdue, parts of me that hadn’t healed from the time I was a little kid," she revealed. "I’m a very independent person. Intimacy has always been a little here [extending her hand an arm's length in front of her] I’ve realized you will always be working on stuff. I am a constant work in progress. Thank God. How uninteresting would life be if we all achieved enlightenment and that was it?"
But after going "through a period that was challenging," she has found herself "back into the light." And while she's single, she's open to a relationship with the right partner.
"I didn’t want to partner with someone until some of that work was done. It wouldn’t be fair," she told the outlet. While she'll "never say never" to a third marriage, "I don’t have any interest." However, "I’d love a relationship. Who knows? There are moments I want to just crawl up in a ball and say, ‘I need support.’ It would be wonderful to come home and fall into somebody’s arms and say, ‘That was a tough day.’”