Today is a big anniversary in Gossip History. Do you know what it is, off the top of your head? Well, you’ve probably already just seen the photo so, yeah.
It is the 15th anniversary of the Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie Kenya beach photos. April 19, 2005 was a Tuesday. Back then, Us Weekly had the resources and sources and they were able to secure the shots, the first shots of Brange that confirmed they were indeed a couple after he and Jennifer Aniston announced their divorce three months earlier in January. The rumours about Brange had already been out there since the year before, when Brad and Angelina were shooting Mr & Mrs Smith. Still, they hadn’t been seen together, there was no solid confirmation. Until a pap somehow found themselves in Kenya, photographing Brange playing with Maddox.
From that point on, for over a decade, Brange would be the First Couple of Gossip and kept an entire industry in business. It was a beautiful time. And the stories were amazingly ludicrous. One of the tabloid stories that came out of that trip, I’ll never forget, it was so crazy…can you guess which one?
Remember the sex story? Not just any sex, but animal sex. That their aggressive lovemaking was so loud and so… primitive… other guests at the resort where they were staying thought that there had been a pack of tigers on the loose, or something.
And then there was the tincture! That detail came from The Sun in the UK. Here’s how it read at the time:
“Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie made so much noise during a hotel romp that other guests thought they had been attacked by wild animals.
Armed guards dashed to protect the smitten pair in the early hours of Wednesday morning after guests reported "terrifying" noises coming from their £1 200-a-night Kenyan hotel suite - which sounded like "like something being killed".
But hotel staff were stunned when they reached the couple's room and discovered the pair locked in a passionate embrace.
A source told Britain's The Sun newspaper: "Worried guards grabbed weapons and banged furiously on the door with clubs to frighten the animal.
"All of a sudden it went quiet and Brad was heard saying 'Everything is cool, guys. You can leave, we're okay."
Locals believe the Hollywood heartthrob may have downed a bizarre black-magic tincture, to improve his performance.
A hotel source was quoted by Britain's Daily Star newspaper as saying: "People here have loads of respect for men with sexual prowess who can keep their women satisfied.
"Miss Jolie got so excited the guards thought maybe Mr Pitt was taking juju herbs to give him the strength of a lion."
Black-magic tincture! The dick strength of a lion! As you can see, 15 years later, the British papers are still publishing racial microagressions. It’s just that, then, a lot of us didn’t know any better. Going back to revisit that report then, there’s an added layer of cringe to accompany the titillation.
Now, 15 years later, Brange is over. But that Tuesday in 2005 left its mark. It kicked off a worldwide obsession over a celebrity couple that hasn’t been matched since. Will we ever see a couple like Brange again?
There are some who think that 2020 Brange is Harry and Meghan. I mean, they’re certainly photogenic. And the Sussexes have definitely brought the drama. If the initial sensationalism over Brange had to do with the eternal love triangle (Pitt-Aniston-Jolie) then you might say that there is a love triangle equivalent to the Harry and Meghan story, with the British Royal Family assuming the Jennifer Aniston role and people taking sides about whether or not Meghan “stole” Harry from the Royal Family and everyone coming out for either Team Markle or Team Royal.
Now that House Sussex has gone Hollywood, there’s certainly the potential for Harry and Meghan to hit as many red carpets as they can and fondle each other from one premiere to the other the way Brange did.
I don’t know if I’m convinced. There was an element of sensual danger about Brange that was intoxicating on a level that, well, if you were around to observe it, the heat was explosive. Harry and Meghan have the sweetness but I’m not sure that they bring that heat…yet. Brange, at least at the beginning, were never earnest. They came out of the gate with no apologies. No one would say that that W Magazine spread (which was the July 2005 issue - the photos were conceived by Brad himself and they were taken in March 2005, a month before the Kenya pictures were taken) was earnest. It was the polar opposite of earnest. And it added so much fuel to the whole phenomenon.
This moment in Gossip Nostalgia has been brought to you by …the new look of our website! Thanks so much for your feedback yesterday – and your patience! There were a couple of minor kinks but all in all, we’re super into our glow-up and we hope you continue to enjoy the experience!
Yours in gossip,