JENNIFER Aniston has filed for divorce from Brad Pitt two-and-a-half months after Hollywood's golden couple announced they were separating, court papers in Los Angeles show.

Pitt, 41, one of Hollywood's most sought-after leading men, and Aniston, who became a household name on the beloved television comedy Friends, met on a dinner date in 1998.

They were married in a lavish, celebrity-studded wedding capped by fireworks in the California seaside enclave of Malibu on 29 July 2000.

The two remain partners in film production company, Plan B, whose first film, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, is due out later this year from Warner Bros.

In a statement on 7 January, the superstar couple announced their separation but said they remained "committed and caring friends with great love and admiration for one another".

Apart from that statement, neither star has spoken publicly about their decision to split up.

Representatives for Pitt and Aniston could not be immediately reached for comment after Aniston's petition was filed early on Friday.

Aniston's next film is called The Breakup, but in a TV interview last week, her first since her own much-publicised break-up, she gave no details about her personal life.

"There is always going to be the tough and the nasty, " Aniston told syndicated TV show Access Hollywood, referring to rumours and tabloid reports surrounding the couple's surprise separation.

"You just tune out to that."