Melissa Etheridge Turned Down Brad Pitt as Sperm Donor In Favor of David Crosby

Singer Melissa Etheridge recently experienced a devastating loss. On May 13, she announced that Beckett Cypher, her 21-year-old son with former partner Julie Cypher, had died. 

“Today I joined the hundreds of thousands of families who have lost loved ones to opioid addiction,” the Grammy winner shared via Twitter. “My son Beckett, who was just 21, struggled to overcome his addiction and finally succumbed to it today … my heart is broken.” 

Beckett’s biological father was singer David Crosby, who acted as a sperm donor when Etheridge and Cypher decided to start a family. But the “Come to My Window” singer almost turned to a different celebrity when she and Cypher made the choice to have children. 

David Crosby helped Melissa Etheridge and Julie Cypher start their family 

Julie Cypher, Melissa Etheridge, David Crosby, Jan Crosby
Julie Cypher, Melissa Etheridge, David Crosby, and Jan Crosby | SGranitz/WireImage

Etheridge and Cypher had their first child, a daughter named Bailey in 1997. Beckett was born in 1998. From the beginning there was speculation about whether the couple had used a famous sperm donor to have their children. 

For a while, the pair declined to answer questions about the kids’ biological dad. But in a 2000 interview with Rolling Stone, they opened up, revealing that the legendary member of The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash had been their sperm donor. 

The couple knew Crosby and his wife socially, and when they shared that they were interested in having kids, Jan Crosby volunteered her husband.  

“Jan said, ‘What about David?’” Etheridge recalled. “It came from her, which was the best, most perfect way.” After considering it for more than a year, Etheridge and Cypher decided to go for it.

Melissa Etheridge decided against asking Brad Pitt to be a sperm donor 

Brad Pitt in a tux
Brad Pitt | Amy Sussman/Getty Images

RELATED: Brad Pitt Has a Seriously Impressive Art Collection

But Crosby was not the only man Etheridge and Cypher considered as a possible sperm donor. Brad Pitt’s name also came up. 

“He was such a good friend of mine, and we did consider it,” Etheridge told Australia’s Studio 10 in 2016, according to Today

But the couple eventually decided against Pitt, since they knew he wanted to start his own family one day. 

“I looked and I saw how badly he wanted children and I thought, ‘I don’t want to share this with someone who really, badly wants children because my children don’t need another parent — they have two,'” Etheridge said.

Crosby, on the other hand, already had a family. “ He has his own life, has his own family,” Etheridge told Rolling Stone, adding that she admired him as an artist and musician. 

Jan Crosby told the magazine that helping their friends have babies “was a gift being given — nothing attached.”

Crosby wasn’t Beckett’s parent, but he was involved in his life 

After Beckett’s death, one person took to Twitter to say that Crosby did not play a part in the young man’s life beyond assisting with his conception, CNN reported. But the singer-songwriter shot down that notion. “Not true,” he replied in a tweet. 

He expanded on his relationship with Beckett and Bailey in a May 19 tweet.

“Just so you know …Melissa and a Julie were kind enough and generous enough to to include us as friends …visits ..overnights …kids laughing running through the olive trees ..they didn’t have to do that …wonderful memories Thank you,” he wrote.

In the Rolling Stone article, Etheridge and Cypher explained that Crosby wasn’t involved in parenting Beckett or Bailey, but that he was in their lives and they saw each other once in a while. And the couple were open with their children about who their biological father was when they began to ask questions. 

At the time, Crosby said he’d be happy just to know that his biological children were proud of him. 

“If, you know, in due time, at a distance, they’re proud of who their genetic dad is, that’s great,” he said. 

How to get help: In the U.S., contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357.