“Brad and Chris were almost like brothers,” a friend of the actor told RadarOnline.com.
“Brad’s taking his loss very hard, like it’s a death in the family,” said the pal. “Now, friends fear that Brad will fall off the wagon — hard!”
Cornell, 52, was a singer/guitarist for the Seattle grunge band Soundgarden, and he took his own life by hanging himself in his Detroit hotel room on May 17.
Cornell had battled multiple addictions for years, and checked into rehab in 2002 to beat his demons.
Pitt, 53, and Chris were photographed together with their daughters during a party at American Girl Place in The Grove in Los Angeles.
“I’m a big Chris Cornell addict, anything he does,” Pitt once declared. “I’ll follow him anywhere!”
“Brad trusted Chris on every level,” spilled the World War Z star’s pal.
“It was a friendship that was honest, loyal and sparked by a mutual understanding.”
“When Brad came to terms with his demons, Chris was right there for him. He helped Brad live a happy, sober life ,” continued the friend.
“Some say Chris was his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor because Chris spoke to him on the phone daily and gave him an AA book.”
In a bombshell new interview, the father of six candidly admitted he’d quit drinking six months ago.
Now Pitt’s inner circle worries he will fall apart without his guiding light, Cornell.
“Chris was part of Brad’s support group and now he is gone,” said the source. “Brad is devastated!”
Even worse, Chris’ suicide came just a few days after the death of another close Pitt pal, former Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Brad Grey.
In November 2001, Pitt and then-wife Jennifer Aniston formed their production company, Plan B Entertainment, with Grey.
“The two deaths hit Brad like a one-two punch,” revealed his pal.
“But, for Brad, Chris’ death was the worst. It could push him over the edge!”
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