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Brad Pitt is not having a "breakdown," nor is he on the verge of a "relapse," despite an insensitive new report. The story, while alarming, is sensationally untrue. Gossip Cop can exclusively set the record straight.

A headline in the new issue of the National Enquirer blares, "Reeling Brad's Shocking Breakdown!" A smaller headline teases, "Friends fear relapse after rocker pal's death." The premise of the story is that Pitt may break his sobriety due to the passing of longtime friend Chris Cornell.

"Brad's taking his loss very hard, like it's a death in the family," the gossip magazine quotes a so-called "pal" as saying. This supposed source goes on to assert, "Now, friends fear that Brad will fall off the wagon, hard!" The supermarket tabloid's purported tipster further claims Cornell was helping Pitt maintain his sobriety, and even alleges the Soundgarden front man may have been the actor's "Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor."

The "pal" asserts to the outlet, "Chris was part of Brad's support group and now he is gone." And with the recent passing of another friend, Brad Grey, the publication's alleged snitch contends, "The two deaths hit Brad like a one-two punch! But, for Brad, Chris' death was the worst. It could push him over the edge!"

If any of this sounds familiar, it's because the National Enquirer first peddled this fake new on its website nearly two weeks ago. Just like in the new print edition, the online article claimed, "Two showbiz deaths have friends fearing he'll fall off the wagon!" In both cases, it was alleged without evidence that Pitt may relapse due to Cornell and Grey's deaths.

This is a gross exploitation of their passings, and an insensitive take not just on their deaths, but also Pitt's commitment to sobriety. The movie star is no doubt affected by his pals' untimely deaths, but the tabloid is using the situation not to express genuine concern, but for the sake of drama and scandal. Gossip Cop was already assured earlier this month that these alleged relapse fears were unfounded, and we've now confirmed they're still baseless today.

"Who has these 'fears?'" asks one of our impeccable contacts, questioning why the magazine thinks readers would believe "friends" and "pals" of Pitt are discussing such issues with this unscrupulous outlet. "It's ridiculous," our insider further scoffs. And, Gossip Cop would add, it's shameful, too.

Our Verdict

Gossip Cop believes there to be elements of truth, but the story is ultimately misleading.

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