Paparazzi aren’t the only ones who’ve sought to profit from Aniston’s personal life. In 1999, her mother published her memories of Jennifer’s childhood—including the gory details of the divorce—in a stomach-turning tell-all called From Mother and Daughter to Friends. “I don’t think my mother understood how it would make me feel to have all that stuff broadcast,” says Aniston, who is clearly still emotionally bruised by the experience. “But then, of course, when I told her, she still didn’t get it,” she continues, her tone twisting slightly in anger, “or she just didn’t care how I felt.”
Still, Aniston seems certain that the two will reconcile eventually. “It’s just a matter of time,” says the actress, who credits “years of therapy” with helping her understand the situation. “I don’t need an apology because I already know the truth, and if I approach her with an expectation of an apology it could just lead to disappointment,” she says. “I just, at some point I’ll just have to let go and decide to forgive her, which I can’t do yet.”
She shakes her head sadly. “The bummer is that we were so dirt poor when I was growing up, and now there’s plenty of money, and I feel like we should be able to enjoy it together.”
Indeed, Aniston says she’s still routinely floored by the paycheck she takes home every week for “Friends.” “That’s not something I’ll ever get used to,” she says.
Not that she and Pitt aren’t having an awfully good time trying. In addition to the Beverly Hills house—complete with waterfall pool—the couple also purchased a sprawling oceanfront estate in Santa Barbara that Aniston refers to as Brad’s Baby.
“Brad’s a land man,” she explains. “He wants land, land, land.” And land isn’t Pitt’s only domestic interest either. He and Aniston have been renovating the Beverly Hills house since they purchased it in June 2001 and are still “not quite there yet,” she admits. “We were just going to do the floors,” she says drily. “But Brad has such an incredible eye, and he gets in there and sort of says, ‘Well, how high can this ceiling go?’ and ‘What’s behind that wall?’
“He definitely has strong opinions about aesthetics, and I admire that so much,” she goes on. “It’s hard, though, because the one thing I thought I could do well was put homes together, but it’s something that really matters to him, so we’ve learned to make decisions that we both feel good about. And I actually think our marriage is even better now because we’ve been through this stuff. We’ve settled in; we’ve survived the whole house-construction aspect, and that’s a big thing. It’s not always easy. It takes work.”