Melissa Etheridge Defends Brad Pitt, Says She 'Lost a Friend' When He Married Angelina Jolie

by Jackie Willis 5:45 AM PDT, October 04, 2016
Playing Melissa Etheridge Defends Brad Pitt, Says She 'Lost a Friend' When He Married Angelina Jolie

Melissa Etheridge admits she hasn't spoken to Brad Pitt in "years," but she still has his back.

The 55-year-old singer, who was a longtime friend of the 52-year-old actor, responded to the news of Angelina Jolie filing for divorce from Pitt and the custody battle over their six children.

"It breaks my heart that anyone would take something as personal as your marriage and your relationship and your rights to your children and do it as purposefully as I see it’s being done,” Etheridge told Andy Cohen on his Sirius XM radio show on Monday.

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Etheridge had her own custody battle with ex Tammy Lynn Michaels in 2010, and insisted that "there’s a way to be" when going through something like that. "I’ve gone through family courts. I’ve been twice around this block, and I know it really well," she said. "And I know when there’s some forethought to just how mean [you can be] and just how you’re going to put disinformation out there first."

As for the allegations that Pitt was verbally abusive and physical with his son during a recent flight, Etheridge said she finds those claims "completely unfounded” and “heartbreaking.”

The musician, who sang at Pitt's wedding to Jennifer Aniston, is now hoping to reconnect with her friend. "I really hope that he reaches back out because there are a lot of us who haven’t seen him in 10 years," Etheridge -- who will soon have her own talk show, Volume, on Sirius XM's music talk channel -- admitted. "And it was hard then. We all lost a friend."

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Etheridge also slammed Jolie, claiming she witnessed firsthand her "nasty" behavior when the 41-year-old actress got together with Billy Bob Thornton -- who was engaged to Etheridge's friend, Laura Dern, at the time -- and was married to him from 2000 to 2003. "I was around when Angelina was not doing nice things with Billy Bob to Laura Dern," she claimed. "I helped Laura move out of her house with Billy Bob. I, like, broke into their home to get their stuff out because it was so nasty."

This is not the first time that Etheridge has criticized Jolie. Shortly after the mother of six published an op-ed in 2013 about undergoing a preventive double mastectomy, the singer -- a breast cancer survivor -- said she wouldn't have made the same decision for herself. "I have that gene mutation too, and it’s not something I would believe in for myself," she told the Washington Blade at the time. "I wouldn’t call it the brave choice. I actually think it’s the most fearful choice you can make when confronting anything with cancer.”

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Prior to Etheridge's recent comments about Jolie, a source told ET that Pitt "made it clear to friends to not say anything negative about her," adding that he "only has positive things to say about her as a mother" and refuses to disparage her.

"He will only say positive things about [the] mother [of his children]," the source said of Pitt. "He continues to hope that there is an amicable resolution in the interest of the kids."

Last week, ET confirmed that Jolie and Pitt had agreed to a temporary custody deal, and had volunteered to participate in individual counseling. Pitt also agreed to undergo drug and alcohol testing, though he was not required to, sources told ET.

"She is only concerned with the health and safety of her children, that is how she feels at this moment," a source close to the situation said of Jolie.

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A source also told ET that camps for the A-list stars had recently been having "productive discussions."

"The fact that things have quieted down is a good sign for everyone," the source noted.