In an interview with the New York Times, Aniston referred to McDonald as her "first love." The two dated for five years when Aniston was in her early 20s.
"He would have been the one," Aniston admits in the interview. "But I was 25 and stupid. He must have sent me Justin to make up for it all."
McDonald's wife, Mujah Maraini-Melehi, is having none of it and took to Facebook to slam the actress for her comments.
"Please respect our love and especially our Loss," Maraini-Melehi wrote, according to NY Daily News. "The children lost their father. I lost my partner."
McDonald died in 2007 from brain cancer at the age of 46. He and Maraini-Melehi had two children together.
"I am sorry that Jennifer did not realize the treasure that was Daniel when she had the chance, long before he and I met and long before he died," Maraini-Melehi continued on Facebook. "It pains me to read the headlines that allude to her losing him tragically when she was not present during his long and difficult illness. That said perhaps Daniel's gift was to teach her how to love and appreciate Justin Theroux."
Unfortunately, it seems to me, that Maraini-Melehi's comments speak to the larger pain she still carries with her as a result of her husband's trying death. Maraini-Melehi recently remarried, but that, of course, doesn't mean she doesn't still miss McDonald.
That being said, I don't keep in touch with my first love anymore. Though we had a relationship that was great while it lasted and, yes, taught me a ton of things about myself and life, it ended. I think that end was for the best and it wouldn't be beneficial to either of us to stay in touch. I can understand why Aniston didn't reach out to McDonald even when he fell ill. What was she supposed to do? Sit beside his wife in the hospital and hold his other hand? I think it was actually more respectful of Aniston that she kept her distance and let the family have the time with McDonald to themselves.
It also seems to me that her comments were meant to honor the man, not to make his wife feel inferior. Relationships, no matter the span of time, always teach us something about ourselves and humanity. For Aniston to comment on the lessons she learned from him — nearly eight years after his death — doesn't seem to do anything to me other than honor his memory.
Maraini-Melehi also said, "After Daniel died, I reached out to her to give her back all the photographs from the time they were together. I never got an answer back from her."
In my opinion, just because Aniston is reflecting on her relationship and remembering the good times she had with someone who took up a significant chunk of her life (five years!), doesn't mean she hasn't also moved on and put that part of her life in the past. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that. In fact, I think it sounds perfectly right.
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