When Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from her husband, Brad Pitt, on 20 September, people immediately began speculating as to why.
Several media outlets claimed that the marriage had broken down as a result of Pitt having an affair with his Allied co-star, Marion Cotillard, despite having no evidence to base their accusations on.
The award-winning actress felt compelled to deny the rumours via a post on social media, in which she also confirmed that she and her partner of eight years, Guillaume Canet, are expecting their second baby together.
And now Canet has taken to Instagram to post a statement of his own, praising Cotillard for her strength and intelligence in the face of these rumours.
The post, which he wrote in French, reads: “I also don't usually talk about my private life, which until now I've always protected.
“But the fury of the tabloids, the venal stupidity of some people calling themselves journalists, the haters who feel braver behind a keyboard, drive me to speak of the pride, love, respect and admiration I have for Marion staying as strong and intelligent in the face all these stupid and unfounded accusations.”
He added: "I think we're all living with much more important things at this moment and now it's time to move on and raise the bar a bit.
“Even if there’s so much work for some, I want to be positive. And as Marion said so well I hope you get better and aspire to something in your life than constantly sending shit!”
Je n'ai pas non plus l'habitude de commenter les rumeurs faites à notre sujet... Je n'ai pas non plus l'habitude de parler de ma vie privée, que jusqu'à présent j'ai toujours protégé avec beaucoup d'attention... Mais l'acharnement de la presse people, la bêtise vénale de certaines personnes se faisant appeler journalistes, la haine de certains internautes se sentant plus forts derrière un clavier, me poussent quand même à dire la fierté, l'amour, le respect et l'admiration que j'ai pour Marion, de rester aussi forte et intelligente face à toutes ces accusations débiles et non fondées. Je pense que nous vivons tous des choses autrement plus importantes en ce moment et que maintenant il serait temps de passer à autre chose et d'élever un peu le niveau. Même si il y a beaucoup de travail pour certains, j'ai envie d'être positif. Et comme dit si bien Marion je vous souhaite d'aller mieux et d'aspirer à autre chose dans votre vie que d'envoyer constamment de la merde !
A photo posted by Guillaume Canet (@guillaumecanetofficiel) on
His words echo that of Cotillard, who shared her own message in both French and English.
In it, the 40-year-old wrote: “This is going to be my first and only reaction to the whirlwind news that broke 24 hours ago and that I was swept up into.
“I am not used to commenting on things like this nor taking them seriously but as this situation is spiralling and affecting people I love, I have to speak up.” Cotillard continued: “Firstly, many years ago, I met the man of my life, father of our son and of the baby we are expecting. He is my love, my best friend, the only one that I need.
“Secondly to those who have indicated that I am devastated, I am very well thank you. This crafted conversation isn't distressing.”
This is going to be my first and only reaction to the whirlwind news that broke 24 hours ago and that I was swept up into. I am not used to commenting on things like this nor taking them seriously but as this situation is spiraling and affecting people I love, I have to speak up. Firstly, many years ago, I met the man of my life, father of our son and of the baby we are expecting. He is my love, my best friend, the only one that I need. Secondly to those who have indicated that I am devastated, I am very well thank you. This crafted conversation isn't distressing. And to all the media and the haters who are quick to pass judgment, I sincerely wish you a swift recovery. Finally, I do very much wish that Angelina and Brad, both whom I deeply respect, will find peace in this very tumultuous moment. With all my love Marion Ceci sera la première et seule réaction que j'aurai concernant la déferlante inouïe qui à commencé il y a de ça 24 heures et à laquelle je suis mêlée malgré moi. Je n'ai pas pour habitude de commenter ni de prendre au sérieux le tas d'absurdités déversées à mon sujet mais la situation prenant une telle tournure et affectant des gens que j'aime, je me dois de m'exprimer. Pour commencer, j'ai rencontré il y a quelques années l'homme de ma vie , le père de notre fils et du bébé que nous attendons aujourd'hui. Il est mon amour, mon meilleur ami et le seul homme dont j'ai besoin. Ensuite, à ceux qui me prétendent dévastée, je vais très bien merci. Ce genre d'inventions aberrantes ne m'affecte en aucun cas. Et pour finir, à la "presse", à tous les haters, trolls et consorts qui ont le jugement si rapide je vous souhaite sincèrement... un prompt rétablissement. Ceci dit et un peu plus sérieusement, je souhaite à Angelina et Brad, deux personnes pour qui j'ai un profond respect, de trouver la paix dans ce moment tumultueux. Avec tout mon amour. Marion
A photo posted by @marioncotillard on
Then, addressing the tabloid speculation that she and Pitt had been conducting a secret affair on the set of their new movie, Allied, Cotillard wrote: “To all the media and the haters who are quick to pass judgment, I sincerely wish you a swift recovery.
“Finally, I do very much wish that Angelina and Brad, both whom I deeply respect, will find peace in this very tumultuous moment.”
We're sure that the bogus Cotillard affair is just one of many ridiculous tabloid headlines we shall see as Pitt and Jolie's divorce continues to capture the attention of the world's press.
Meanwhile Jolie has requested physical custody of her and Pitt's six children - Maddox Jolie-Pitt, 15, Pax Jolie-Pitt, 12, Zahara Jolie-Pitt, 11, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, 10, and eight-year-old twins Knox Jolie-Pitt and Vivienne Jolie-Pitt.
Her attorney released a statement that read: "Angelina has filed for dissolution of the marriage. This decision was made for the health of the family.
"She will not be commenting, and asks that the family be given its privacy at this time."
Pitt, meanwhile, has said that he is "saddened" by the breakdown of his marriage, and has asked the press to give his children the space they deserve.