They've put the rumors to rest. Now they're taking the rumormongers to court.
The story, published Jan. 24 and since wisely removed from the newspaper's website, claimed the couple had met with a Los Angeles divorce lawyer to quietly divide their assets, hash out a custody deal and financially provide for their six children in advance of what the tab claimed was going to be a messy separation. (And which sparked speculation like this. And this. Not to mention this.)
"The News of the World has failed to meet our clients' reasonable demands for a retraction of and apology for these false and intrusive allegations which have now been widely republished by mainstream news outlets," the couple's London-based lawyer, Keith Schilling, said in a statement.
"We have advised them to bring proceedings, which they have now done."
The story—and the various incarnations of breakup rumors that followed—gained more traction than the usual standard-issue Brangelina split reports as it came in the middle of a nearly monthlong paparazzi dry spell for the couple, who up until their double-barrel appearances at the Directors Guild Awards and Super Bowl had not appeared in public since December.
As for the newspaper, in his statement today, Brangelina's lawyer not only discredited the story, but proved—shockingly!—that they were less than honest about their sourcing.
The News of the World had identified high-powered L.A. attorney and one-time Britney Spears defender Sorrell Trope as the divorce lawyer Brad and Angie had met up with, though Schilling's statement today included a denial from the lawyer in question.
"I have had no contact from...Angelina Jolie and/or Brad Pitt," he said. "I have never met...your clients or had any involvement with either of them. The foregoing is true with respect to all other members of this firm."
If it's any consolation, the tabloid was clearly half right. Apparently, Brangelina did visit a lawyer recently—just one that's gonna sue the pants off the News of the World.
Brad and Angie haven't split up, but the couples in our Big Celebrity Splits gallery definitely have.