Jennifer Aniston reportedly cried when she read about Angelina Jolie's double mastectomy.

The 'Horrible Bosses' star - who split from Brad Pitt in January 2005, shortly before he started dating Angelina, his current fiancee - was deeply upset when she read how the actress had both breasts removed after finding out she had an 87 per cent chance of developing breast cancer.

A source told National Enquirer magazine: "She was moved beyond belief reading Angelina's story. It really took her by surprise how brave she is. To go through such a major thing for all her family has made Jen realise that regardless of how they hooked up, Angelina does really love Brad and [their six] kids.

"Sure, Jen got hurt when Brad left her and the pain dragged on for years, but she's so over it now, and wants to extend an olive branch to Angelina."

Jennifer, 44, has long been a campaigner for breast cancer awareness and has friends who have been affected by it, including singer Sheryl Crow, who had a lumpectomy in 2006, and Christina Applegate - who played the sister of her character Rachel in 'Friends' - who had both her breasts removed as a preventative measure.

The source added: "Jen was a major rock for Sheryl, who had seven weeks of radiotherapy when a lump was found after a standard mammogram. Jen will never forget how brave she was.

"That's why she knows full well what an enormously brave decision Angelina's made."

The source added Jennifer has been in touch with Brad by text message to offer her support after reading Angelina's revelation of her mastectomy in the New York Times newspaper on May 14.