While Angelina Jolie made it clear her marriage was no great love affair, Brad Pitt is now running back to the great love of his life: Jennifer Aniston. Nearly 13 years after Brad, 53, and the Friends star, 48, shocked the world and announced they were splitting after four-and-a-half years of marriage, Brad is hoping to forge a new relationship with his ex — and Angelina is “furious.”

In fact, a source exclusively tells In Touch, “Jen’s always been Angelina’s greatest rival when it comes to Brad. She hates the way that she has always been depicted as the evil femme fatale and Jen as the girl-next-door victim in the famous love triangle.” But Jen’s husband, Justin Theroux, needn’t worry. “Brad wouldn’t dream of breaking up Jen’s marriage,” says the source. “Brad’s leaning on her as a confidante now. His renewed relationship with Jen has been a huge source of support and comfort through the toughest year of his life.”

Jen, meanwhile, takes delight in Angelina’s anger. “She’s getting her well-deserved revenge,” says the source. “Jen feels Angelina lorded her relationship with Brad over her all these years.” (Indeed, in 2006, Angelina bragged to Vogue that she and Brad fell in love on the set Mr. & Mrs. Smith, which they filmed when he was still wed to Jen. “That stuff about how she couldn’t wait to get to work every day?” Jen later said. “That was really uncool.”) Now, notes the source, “Jen’s having the last laugh. She loves the fact she has become his confidante.”

Two emotional conversations cemented their newfound friendship. As part of Brad’s new lifestyle (“I was boozing too much,” he told GQ earlier this year), he has stopped drinking and started apologizing to those he wronged. And Jen “was the person highest on his apology list,” says the source. So he called her in June and expressed his sorrow. “Brad flat-out apologized for all the heartache and pain he caused by leaving her for Angelina. He came of as genuinely sorry, and Jen was deeply touched. She was completely won over.”

brad pitt and jennifer aniston getty images

Brad, however, wasn’t satisfied. While Justin was out of town working recently, Brad reached out to Jen again. “They did some major catching up,” says a second source. During the talk, Brad didn’t hold back. He opened up to Jen about the infamous plane incident last September when he allegedly got drunk and got physical with Maddox, the split from Angelina and the subsequent custody battle that still rages on today. “He soberly spoke about hitting rock bottom,” says the source, “and how he made the climb out.” He then offered another mea culpa. “He launched into a grand apology,” says the source. “He apologized for being an absentee husband in the marriage — being stoned and bored much of the time. He also made amends for being an avoider, getting lost and in a serious drinking-and-getting-high phase when he fell for Angelina while making Mr. & Mrs. Smith.”

The rekindled friendship has had a positive effect on Brad. “Jen has a way of calming and encouraging Brad, which he needs in his hectic life right now,” says the source. And now that he’s not drinking, “he’s in a great place mentally and physically. He’s in touch with his emotions and his true self like never before. He is closer to the kids than he has been in months, and he’s shown tremendous maturity and patience with Angelina concerning the divorce.” Having a loyal friend like Jen back in his life is a bonus and a blessing, adds the source: “He hopes to count on her for a long time to come.”

For more on this story, pick up the latest issue of In Touch — and for more exclusive content sign up for our newsletter!

Have a tip? Send it to us! Email In Touch at contact@intouchweekly.com.