THE job of writing this column has been terribly difficult, as I have struggled to see the keyboard through a veil of tears. I have wept uncontrollably since hearing the terrible news that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were going their separate ways. How awful is that? Admittedly, on the Richter scale of emotions, nowhere near as bad as the horrors of Haiti, Iraq, Afghanistan and countless other acts of meaningless savagery we learn about daily. But to we Brangelina addicts, this is the worst news since, well, Brad split with his then wife Jennifer Aniston, the gorgeous sweetie from the TV series “Friends”, breaking her heart, and that of countless others, mine included, in the process.

Those of you for whom, hard to believe, the lives of Hollywood superstars is just so much twaddle, on par with, say, the lunacy of “Big Brother” or “I’m a Celebrity”, may not know, or care, that it was for Angelina that Brad dumped Jennifer.

Now, five years on, showbiz hot lines are buzzing with cruel allegations that she describes him as “toxic” and he says she needs to consult a shrink.

In our house those remarks would be interpreted as “moderate”, but not so in uptown Los Angeles, where anything other than interchanged adoring looks and murmurings which indicate enduring love, lust, or both, are construed as an impending break-up.

Brangelinas quickly forgave Brad for his caddish treatment of Jennifer, figuring that someone as drop dead gorgeous as Ms Aniston would have no trouble finding a replacement.

We didn’t initially accept Angelina, the polar opposite to Jennifer, in that she smoulders and comes across as a highly-sexed tigress who wouldn’t think twice about nicking anyone’s hubby, whereas Jennifer is the archetypal girl next door, though very few, if any of us, have been lucky enough to live next door to such a ten out of ten.

However, not only did Angelina grow on us, she certainly grew on Brad, big time. They have six children, three of their own, three adopted, and divide their domestic time between homes in LA, New Orleans, Dubai and France. Perhaps they fell out over the air miles. Who knows?

It is difficult to assess because in publicity photos, which adorn the bedroom walls of Brangelinas, they look blissfully happy. We’d have had a clue had they had been pictured, trawling their local supermarket, arguing over “two for one” offers, like many other couples.

Brad and Angelina have never wed. Had they lived in the UK, which they swerved on their global property-buying trips, our politicians would have urged them to do so and thus benefit from tax allowances being trumpeted as vote winners in the upcoming General Election.

With combined assets of £205million, I doubt they would have listened.