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Posted at 11:04 AM ET, 01/25/2010

Brad and Angelina and the split that wasn't

By Liz Kelly

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (then pregnant with twins Knox and Vivienne) at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. (AP)

Maybe it was the timing -- after weeks of supposed leaks about Angie's hatred of New Orleans, Brad's bid to get Angie psychiatric help and a dearth of joint public appearances -- but by Saturday afternoon when Britain's News of the World posted a story detailing a supposed Brangelina split, we were primed to believe it. So unlike the scads of rumored break-up stories that have bubbled to the surface over the past five years only to fall flat before rising above the level of basement bloggers, this time the story took off as if powered by turbo jets.

Saturday night, both "Brad Pitt" and "Angelina Jolie" were trending topics on Twitter and guys like Roger Ebert -- you know, people who we consider to be somewhat above the gossip fray -- were lamenting the passing of a Hollywood super couple. Cable newsers were reporting the rumor as if it were a done deal, with concerned anchors wondering how Brangelina would handle breaking the news to their six-kid household. And we all (yeah, me too) sat on the edge of our seats waiting for official word from camp Brangelina.

We're still waiting. But by mid-morning Sunday People magazine -- the go-to spot for controlled celebrity leaks -- was quoting "multiple sources close to the family" who termed the rumored break-up as false. Still, that didn't stop the U.K.'s Sun from claiming that Pitt's brother recently begged him to leave Angelina and rehashing a week-old National Enquirer rumor that placed Jolie in an affair with a voice coach.

News of the World's James Desborough -- whose byline appeared on Saturday's story -- declined to elaborate on the editorial process that led to his story being posted online, only saying in an e-mail exchange that "the story remains as it was written."

Thus far, Jolie and Pitt have remained mum and, judging from their long track record of media aloofness, neither is likely to turn up on "Today" to reassure a skittish public.

But why were we so quick to believe that Brangelina had called it quits? You tell me -- let's open this up for discussion in the comments section below...

By Liz Kelly  | January 25, 2010; 11:04 AM ET
Categories:  Brangelina  
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Comments

Yes, I must comment on this alleged breakup. No, I don't know any facts, nor do I know the couple in question. But yes, they are breaking up, unless they are not.

Posted by: hugmekatie | January 25, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

We're so quick to believe it because of the public displays of affection, the reassurances of how much in love they are, the tattoos, the bad Hollywood track record for successful marriages, you know, stuff like that.

Oh, and the fact that he has already dumped one wife and she has a trail of crazy exes. The word "stability" isn't jumping to mind regarding either of them.

But have it their way. Tell us later. We'll wait.

Though, since you mentioned "Today," I bet Ann Curry is jumping up and down hoping for a chance to stroke Brad's cheek again. I can hear her squealing now.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | January 25, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

We are quick to believe because this sort of trajectory has been happening more and more frequently lately - a rumor appears in the total trash mags, only to escalate up the line to reliable publications and eventually be confirmed. Unfortunate, but true.

That said, though obviously my opinion means squat, I really hope these two find a way to make it work.

Posted by: Lizka | January 25, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

why does anyone care?

Posted by: stephenrhymer | January 25, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Maybe it's because Angelina is such a smug, pompous bytch.

Posted by: mbrumble | January 25, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Brad Pitt has a brother?

Posted by: reddragon1 | January 25, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Can't believe we have been talking about this so long. Saw the People cover in the grocery store yesterday. Jennifer Aniston on the cover with the headline "Jen, 5 years after Brad." Whatever.

Posted by: hodie | January 25, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

This is off-topic, but hope you are feeling much better, Liz!

And for Brad and Angelina, I think it is that they, as a couple, still seem sort of improbable...despite the 5 years and the kids and etc., just sort of improbable...

Posted by: KKreutzer | January 25, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Well, of course most of us don't really care about stuff like this, but on some level we just can't help it. It's a celebrity-driven culture, and it's hard to ignore news about couples that we find ourselves caring about, either positively or negatively. So, even though they have no direct effect on my life at all, I felt a little sad about the breakup of Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, and I'm kinda glad that Golie Hawn and Kurt Russell are still hanging in there. On the other hand, regarding TomKat- run, Katie, run!

Posted by: justmike | January 25, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Call me crazy, but if my husband were sporting a chin monstrosity such as Brads that looked like a brillo pad in braids, I'd probably get a little snarky myself.

Posted by: peepmonger | January 25, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

"And we all (yeah, me too) sat on the edge of our seats waiting for official word from camp Brangelina."

Liz, you really must stop doing that, else you'll end up with what the Indian student developed in this article:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/checkup/?hpid=sec-health

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | January 25, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

If we can accept the war-igniting ditty "weapons of mass distraction" line, why is it so difficult to believe so many will fall hook, line and sinker for the Brangelina split rumour?
What next, rumours that Tiger might like waitresses and Sarah Palin's new book includes crayons? Too bad Conan is gone, there is some good material here for a late-night talk show!!!

Posted by: Mytwobits2010 | January 25, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Brillo pad in braids ... ROFL!!! Comment of the week. :-D

The People article says "several observers say they saw nothing amiss" ... um, hello, Brangelina are ACTORS ... of course they're going to put on the game face in public. It wouldn't surprise me if Angie has sunk her claws into another married man and Brangelina broke up, but then again, it wouldn't surprise me either if they confounded all expectations and grew old together.

Posted by: Californian11 | January 25, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Coincidentally I read the News of the World article this weekend, and was struck by the considerable detail it included, as well as the claim by both Brad and Angie re concern for the welfare of the children, all lending it a certain air of verisimilitude. If it's a in fact hoax, someone sure went to a lot of effort to fabricate persuasive details.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | January 25, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"you really must stop doing that, else you'll end up with what the Indian student developed in this article"

Ahem....think the article mentioned American kids also getting the exact same thing sasquatchbigfoot. Why wouldn't the "American" portion register in your mind?

Posted by: MDey | January 25, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Whether it's true or not, that article detailing the terms of their split and their conversation at dinner seemed to be a little too detailed for it to be completely false...

It seems as if this relationship has been doomed from the start. I agree with a previous poster that I'm surprised it has lasted this long. However, I do feel badly for their children. For better or for worse, Brad and Angie have chosen the lives they lead; their children didn't get such a choice and will end up with the short end of the stick no matter what.

Posted by: clw96 | January 25, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

"But why were we so quick to believe that Brangelina had called it quits?"

Because Brad and Angelina union broke up Brad's marriage in the first place. I think everyone is waiting for Karma's other shoe to drop.

If it never does, at least we can content ourselves with how "unhappy" they seem to be together.

You see, at least our spouses with all their faults and foibles are not saddling us with multiple children or making us live in some dumpy, hurricane battered town. We're so lucky, in that respect.

Posted by: mdreader01 | January 25, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Why were we so quick to believe that Brangelina had called it quits?

"WE" weren't.

Posted by: Georgetown1 | January 25, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Karma, baby.

Posted by: emily8 | January 25, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Who cares?

Posted by: futbolclif | January 25, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Ahem....think the article mentioned American kids also getting the exact same thing sasquatchbigfoot. Why wouldn't the "American" portion register in your mind?

Posted by: MDey | January 25, 2010 12:57 PM

Pffffffffft.

Because I obviously don't have a mind. Isn't that what you want me to write?

Pffffffffffft.

If you were a regular follower of Liz's exploits, you would recall an instance where Gene Weingarten publicized the fact that Liz was moderating the chat session while seated on the porcelain convenience.

Hence the relevance of the following section of the health article:
"And in one touching instance, an Indian child also was asked to abandon the habit of doing homework while sitting on the john for hours."


Pffffffffffffffffffffffffft.

Posted by: angelos_peter | January 25, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

But why were we so quick to believe that Brangelina had called it quits?

My guess is that people are so unfulfilled and unhappy with their own lives (especially in these tough economic times) that they want to bring others down to their level.

Brad and Angelina seem to have it all - beauty, love, fortune, a beautiful family meanwhile the average american is stressing about jobs and job security, making ends meet financially and social type problems - family and friends. Hearing about Brad and Angelina's wonderful life would make anyone bitter and lash out. We want them to see them struggle. If we are miserable we want them to be miserable as well.

Posted by: member8 | January 25, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

There is no such thing as karma behind bad things happening - if there were, what harm had poor Jennifer Aniston done to be dumped by her husband? None, I think, stuff just happen. People fall in love.

Some are expecting a break-up simply because it's so difficult to "get" this couple. Jolie is not your ordinary Hollywood fare. We thought Pitt was, but it turns out he isn't.

Best wishes to all of the family, kids and parents, and to Aniston as well - I hope she finds a great soul-mate one of these days.

Posted by: asoders22 | January 25, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Sas, are you saying you own the Orioles? Wow, you're a lot older than I thought!

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | January 25, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey, it's a mini BKD.

Why we were so quick to believe? I don't know, the unmarried status, the continent hopping, the general instability of everything about them.

Posted by: epjd | January 25, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we're quick to believe the breakup rumours because the unofficial "Brangelina" biographer, Ian Halperin, predicted they would split soon. His biography on the couple claims that they really aren't good for each other and are just drawn together by sexual chemistry. I gues that's not so hard to believe. As for whether or not they have split this time, I'm not certain. I've feel like I've been overexposed to Brangelina.

Posted by: fnnov11 | January 25, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

There is no such thing as karma behind bad things happening - if there were, what harm had poor Jennifer Aniston done to be dumped by her husband?
-asoders22

Friends?

Posted by: DorkusMaximus1 | January 25, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Dorkus, I bet NBC wishes it had "Friends" back now...

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | January 25, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

brad pitt appears to have aged 15 years in the last 5. the cause? who knows? too many children? no structure? a whackjob of a gf? all, none?

Posted by: frieda406 | January 25, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

frieda, Angelina seems to be the sort of person who never does anything by half, so maybe she plum wore Brad out.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | January 25, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

There is no such thing as karma behind bad things happening - if there were, what harm had poor Jennifer Aniston done to be dumped by her husband?
-asoders22

Friends?

Posted by: DorkusMaximus1 | January 25, 2010 4:24 PM
------------
Dorkus for 3 points.

Posted by: mdreader01 | January 25, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

chocolate ugg
chocolate ugg boot
chocolate ugg boots

Posted by: snj88859206 | January 26, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps we believe it because it is true. Let's look at the facts here. Angelina has had several break-ups after very passionate starts. Although Brad and Jennifer made a beautiful couple, Brad (being a man) wanted children right away and found a surrogate (Angelina) to have children. In his mind, she was the perfect woman, but in truth, his rush to have children clouded his judgement about a life partner.

It's sad for all parties, but I believed from the beginning that it wouldn't work. And, it isn't. Angelina has commitment issues and her behavior starts to become irrationale. Brad was being very male and wanting what he wanted when he wanted it instead of holding onto a more stable life partner who clearly loved him and wanted a family. This was a receipe for disaster and the biggest loser was the kids. They are here, but not with two supportive parents.

What a nightmare. I give it less than a year.

Posted by: etriscari | January 26, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

It's believable because Pitt has broken up with beautiful women before(notably Fiancee Gwyneth Paltrow and wife Jennifer Aniston). Also Jolie was married twice before she met Pitt and is admittedly bi-sexual. They have tons of money to do whatever they please and they don't have to "stay together for the children" if they don't want to. They have many more choices than an ordinary couple.

Posted by: jerseyhokie | January 26, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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