Joseph Gordon-Levitt Blasts ‘GQ’ Magazine For Its Coverage Of His Brother’s Death

"Dan was a brightly positive, genuinely caring, and brilliantly inspiring person"

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, one of the stars of The Dark Knight Rises, is featured on the cover of the new issue of GQ magazine but instead of celebrating his achievement, JGL is lamenting the way the coverstory turned out. At issue is the magazine’s portrayal of the way his brother Daniel Levitt passed away. Upon his death, many media outlets began reporting that Daniel‘s death was caused by an “alleged drug overdose” … which is how GQ explained his death in JGL‘s coverstory feature. Joseph decided to post a personal message on his official Facebook profile to refute that claim and to make clear how unhappy he is that GQ chose to report and focus on his brother’s death in this feature story. Click below to read the full text of JGL‘s statement.

BURNING dAN in GQ

First of all, I’d like to thank both of the Jims and everyone else at GQ for putting me on the cover of their magazine this month. That kind of exposure is a huge help to all the work I love to do, and I’m deeply appreciative. I’m writing this because I have a problem with what their article says about my brother. I’ll be honest, it really made me feel terrible. Here’s a quote:

‘…the elder Gordon-Levitt died of an alleged drug overdose in 2010. “It was an accident” is all Joe will say about that.’

Using the word “alleged” technically allows the writer to say whatever she wants. The “allegations” to which she must be referring were made by a handful of gossip websites. They are factually incorrect according to the coroner’s office and the police department. I don’t like publicly speaking about my brother’s death, but I’m making an exception to correct this irresponsible claim. By the way, while I asked the writer not to dwell on how he died, I did say quite a bit about how he lived, and how much he means to me. Dan was a brightly positive, genuinely caring, and brilliantly inspiring person, and I liked the idea of such a wide readership learning about him. My parents and I are disappointed with what the article chose to focus on regarding this sensitive subject.

thanks J


It’s a real shame that GQ decided to squander the opportunity to make this coverstory feature a positive one for JGL. Of course GQ has the right to report on whatever it likes but it sounds to me that Joseph made it very clear that he and his family were not interested in media speculation on his brother’s tragic death. While I don’t honestly believe that GQ set out to intentionally hurt JGL, I do believe that they felt it was worth the risk to report on Daniel Levitt‘s death even if it was something that their coverstar JGL was uncomfortable with. I fully applaud and commend Joseph Gordon-Levitt for his statement.

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  1. Oscar in Miami Beach

    Lies sell magazines.

  2. Kel

    I am so impressed by this graceful and dignified expression of his feelings. I cannot imagine the pain of losing a brother/son. PS: he looks FLY on that cover

  3. Ben@pr

    JGL is a very talented, professional and serious actor. He never uses his personal life to make publicity and I applaud him for honoring his brother’s memory and claiming respect.

  4. apriljan

    Class act. Love him.

  5. Alys

    I already love JGL for his talent as an actor, but now I admire him that much more for being a gracious, thoughtful, compassionate guy. He clearly loved his brother and wants only to honour his memory. GQ should know better and retract their statement, issue an apology, and release 10 more covers of JGL for us to make up for their faux pas.

  6. hampton

    magazines seem to think they will sell more issues if they print negative or out of context stories about their subjects.GQ tells me I have to wear a $5000.00 off the rack
    suit with my $1900 white Hermes shirt and my $7.99 tie from Target….and don’t wear cargo shorts in the south of France.
    Mr. Levitt has class—GQ does not.

  7. he is my favorite actor,

    he stood up and made this statement with class !!!

    BRAVO

  8. I loved him before but this just makes me love him even more.

  9. helen

    He’s just the perfect role model for young celebrities. He’s great at his work, he’s educated, very well articulated and above all, he’s a true class act. Any other celebrity would’ve turned this into a crazy scandalous twitter fewd. He was just standing up for his brother memory which is fully respectable. About GQ, well, they didn’t exactly published anything bad or false about his brother, but they did implied it. I think there’s something very wrong with the way they did not mind tampering with the memory of (not even a celebrity) a deceased loved one.

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