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The 32-year-old actress and the 58-year-old star were seen hanging out together in 2019 and 2020, which led to speculation they were more than friends.
Alia – who denied the rumours at the time – has now told The New Yorker: “[Brad] had no awareness of it at all.
“Which is so funny… I was like, ‘You know everyone thinks we’re dating? And there’s this whole thing, and I’m being followed.’
“And he was, like, ‘I’m sorry. It happens. If you hang out with me, it happens.’ He had no awareness of it at all.”
The rumours even reached Alia’s family, and she admitted her grandmother was delighted by the stories in the media.
She recalled: “She’s been in this country for over thirty years and still barely speaks English. An Iraqi Muslim woman.
“She’s sitting there, watching her Turkish soap opera. And next to her is this old gossip magazine with Brad’s face, and my face in a small circle. And it says, ‘Brad’s New Girl!’
“And then on the inside it’s old Instagram photos of me and friends at dinner. It was like, ‘ALL ABOUT ALIA.’ This whole made-up story about how we were healing each other by spending time together.
“I looked at my grandmother, like, ‘Why do you have this?’ She’s, like, ‘It’s you and this movie star! And it’s your face.’ I was embarrassed by it. I told her she had to throw it away. And she laughed.”
While Alia didn’t enjoy the attention she gained from her friendship with Brad, she was keen to point out she puts no blame on him for the confusion.
She said: “There’s something ironic about it. It has nothing to do with Brad as a person—he’s a great f****** guy.
“But of course, the idea of me being romantically involved with an older white guy is what gets me the most attention. Not a 20-year career. That’s what gets me.”