“It was really tense there for a day … getting kind of threatened,” the 57-year-old singer said on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen on Thursday, April 11. “And you know what? It all just — poof! — went away.”
The drama started after the musician sat down with Andy Cohen on his SiriusXM radio show in October 2016 and said that she was “heartbroken” for Pitt, an old friend of hers, and that the accusations of child abuse against the 55-year-old were “completely unfounded.” (Amid the former couple’s split, Pitt was investigated for child abuse — following an alleged incident with son Maddox aboard a private plane — and was later cleared by both the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and the FBI.)
“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 added at the time. “I’ve gone through family courts. I’ve been twice around this block, and I know it really well, and I know when there’s some forethought to just how mean and just how you’re going to put disinformation out there first.”
Two days later, the “Ain’t It Heavy” singer appeared on WWHL and claimed she was contacted with “a subtle warning” from Jolie’s team, which was led by crisis manager and Scandal inspiration Judy Smith.
“Every time I say something it gets turned around and twisted and all of a sudden I’m saying something about [Angelina] … so I thought I would do what I do best, and I wrote a song about it today,” she told Cohen on the Bravo show at the time.
Then the two-time Grammy winner segued into the song, “The Fixer Blues,” which she finished writing in the dressing room that night. “Seems I said some things about an old, old, old friend that got some people talking,” she sang. “Well, I know broken hearts, a thing or two about divorce / I’ve been there before once, OK, twice / And I have not seen my friend in over 10 years and I swear I have never, ever, ever, ever met his wife.”
In the song, Etheridge vowed she wasn’t picking fights or saying who was wrong or who was right, and she directed a lyric to Smith: “Fixer, I hope you understand that to scandalize was never my plan.”
“So the moral of this story is divorce is a bitch and nobody wins,” she concluded. “Let’s not do unto others, and please forgive us our sins. Life is too hard anyway. So when you chatting with Andy, you better watch what you say.”
Jolie, 43, filed for divorce from Pitt in September 2016 after two years of marriage and 12 years together.
Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen airs on Bravo Sundays through Thursdays at 11 p.m. ET.