Feminist writer and activist Gloria Steinem has jumped to the defence of actress Jennifer Aniston, the ex-wife of Brad Pitt, as she continues to be dragged into the whirlwind surrounding his high-profile divorce from Angelina Jolie.

Steinem, 82, made clear that the Friends star – who is now happily married to director Justin Theroux – should be left out of the debate.

"Yes, enough already," she told PEOPLE at the Women's Media Center 2016 Women's Media Awards. "Enough already."

Aniston's five-year marriage to Pitt ended in 2005 when the Hollywood heartthrob fell for Jolie on the set of Mr and Mrs Smith – leaving many to speculate about Aniston's reaction to the 'Brangelina' split.

Steinem also expressed broader admiration for how Aniston handles herself in the glare of unwarranted media interest about her personal life, supporting the 47-year-old's recent essay that called out body shamers and false pregnancy rumours.

"Yes, I think Jennifer has been subject to scrutiny in ways that I cannot understand or participate in," Steinem added, "and so we need her wisdom, we need her as an early warning system."

Steinem is the latest high-profile figure to defend the star, after Theroux also spoke out against the "nonsense his wife subjected to since news broke of Pitt's latest divorce troubles".

"There's an endless appetite for trash, apparently," he said, " though everyone would say that they don't have that appetite. But I think a lot of people do because people buy it."

Theroux continued: "But there are bigger things to bitch about. It's shocking how much bandwidth things can take up when there are far more important things going on in the world."

Pitt, 52, has agreed to drug and alcohol testing as part of a temporary custody agreement reached with Jolie, 41, after an alleged intoxicated meltdown on a flight home to America reportedly left him fighting with 15-year-old son, Maddox.