Melissa Etheridge on Angelina Jolie’s Mastectomy: I Have No Opinion on What She “Should Have” Done

Melissa Etheridge is clarifying controversial comments she made about Angelina Jolie's mastectomy being a "fearful choice" Peter Kramer/NBC; Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Melissa Etheridge wants to set the record straight on controversial comments she made regarding Angelina Jolie's preventive mastectomy. Asked about Jolie's recent New York Times op-ed, in which she revealed the procedure, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter said she thought that removing both breasts as a precaution was "the most fearful choice you [could] make when confronting anything with cancer." But it's not the Maleficent star's decision to have the surgery she objects to, Etheridge tells Us Weekly — it's the way that decision was glorified after the fact.

"I don't have any opinion on what she 'should have' done," Etheridge, a breast cancer survivor herself, tells Us. "All are free to choose. I only objected to the term 'brave' in describing it."

"Plenty of people have the gene mutation and everything but it never comes to cancer," the 52-year-old rocker previously argued in her interview with The Washington Blade, noting that a mastectomy is "way down the line on the spectrum of what you can do" to lessen your risk. "I really encourage people to go a lot longer and further before coming to that conclusion."

Jolie, for her part, has not commented on Etheridge's remarks. But her fiance, Brad Pitt, addressed them at the World War Z premiere in New York City on June 17.

"Melissa's an old friend of mine," he told Us Weekly of the rocker, who performed at his 2000 wedding to Jennifer Aniston. "I'm sure we'll talk on the phone. I don't know what it is."

"I think it's an individual decision, and I found it empowering instead of scary," he added. "We experienced the exact opposite [of fear]."

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