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Melissa Etheridge Has Never Spoken to Angelina Jolie, Still Says Mastectomy Was “Fearful”

Bold words! Melissa Etheridge stands by controversial comments she made last year about Angelina Jolie‘s preventative double mastectomy, the singer-songwriter told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live! on Wednesday, Oct. 1.

In June 2013, after Jolie revealed in an op-ed for the New York Times that she had undergone a preventative double mastectomy, Etheridge was memorably critical about the decision. The rocker, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, carries the same BRCA1 gene as Jolie that has been linked to the disease. 

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Although many called Jolie’s decision brave, Etheridge said at the time, “I have to say I feel a little differently. I have that gene mutation too, and it’s not something I would believe in for myself. 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.”

Cohen, 46, asked the Grammy winner about those headline-making comments on his show on Wednesday. 

melissa etheridge and angelina jolie
Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images; Jun Sato/

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“I have never even, ever spoken to Angelina,” Etheridge, 53, explained. “I didn’t mean that comment meanly. I certainly want to clear [that] up. I just felt that calling it brave was not something I would do. To cut healthy tissue off is fearful, cause you’re fearful of getting something. Brave to me would be different. And that’s all. People can do whatever they want. It’s their bodies, their health.”

When dealing with her own illness, Etheridge underwent chemotherapy and a lumpectomy after her diagnosis. The “I’m the Only One” singer, who performed at Brad Pitt and first wife Jennifer Aniston‘s July 2000 wedding, also touched on her relationship with Jolie’s now-husband on the show. 

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“I haven’t talked to Brad Pitt in 10 years,” she said, confirming it was since he and Aniston divorced in 2005. 

Watch Etheridge talk Pitt and Jolie in the video above!

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