BARBRA STREISAND’s 15-year marriage to JAMES BROLIN has exploded in spectacular fashion – with the dashing actor declaring: “I want out!”
Sources say Brolin, 73, is sick and tired of his diva wife’s controlling ways, bossing him around and treating him as “a second-rate citizen,” and he’s signing on for tons of showbiz work to put some separation between them.
If they can’t work things out, pals fear it could lead to a whopping $390 million divorce!
The behind-the-scenes drama played out during a bombshell confrontation at the couple’s lavish Malibu, Calif., estate, and 71-year-old “Funny Girl” star Barbra is still seething, insiders say.
“They have been spending less and less time together lately, and he’s telling pals that he’s completely fed up,” said a close source.
“Barbra promised James two years ago she was going to slow down and pay more attention to him, but it hasn’t happened, and he’s tired of waiting for her to change.
“James finally lost it totally and, in a fit of rage, he told her, ‘I want out!’ – and it sent Barbra into a fury.”
Streisand is one of Hollywood’s most honored stars with two Oscars, five Emmys, eight Grammys and a Tony Award. But insiders say she refuses to rest on her laurels, and her nonstop work schedule has infuriated Brolin.
“James often complains that when she’s not ordering him around, Barbra treats him like he doesn’t exist,” said a family insider.
“Over the years, he’s thrown camping gear in his car and taken off alone because Barbra got on his nerves too much.
“But Barbra sees things differently. She believes absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
The Emmy-winning actor – most famous for his TV roles in “Hotel” and “Marcus Welby, M.D.” – also believes Barbra is meddling too often in the life of her only child, 46-year-old son Jason, who is HIV-positive, sources say.
“If Barbra’s not working on her music, a movie project or some sort of political cause for the Democratic Party, then she’s digging into Jason’s life, and James is tired of it,” said the family insider.
“Everything came to a head a few weeks ago when they had a horrible argument about Jason.
“For the last six months, Barbra has been focused on trying to get Jason to move from New York to Los Angeles. She’s worried that he’s not taking care of himself and his health is declining.”
Openly gay Jason – an actor/producer/writer whose father is Streisand’s first husband, actor Elliott Gould – was diagnosed HIV-positive in 2000.
“Barbra is determined to make sure that Jason has the best medical care possible so the virus doesn’t develop into full-blown AIDS,” said the first source.
“But James feels Barbra should let her son live his own life.
“He told Barbra that Jason doesn’t want to live in California because he doesn’t want his ‘mommy’ showing up at his place at all hours of the day.
“Barbra snapped back that she can show up at Jason’s whenever she wants because he has a disease that could kill him. Besides that, Barbra said she’s supporting Jason financially so that gives her the right to be involved in his life as much as she wants.”
“Meet the Fockers” star Barbra met twice-divorced Brolin through a mutual friend in 1996. The couple tied the knot in July 1998, but sources say their personalities clash.
“The basic problem is that Barbra is a control freak while James is pretty laid back,” explained the family insider.
“She also believes their regular fights add spice to the marriage and help keep it intact.
“James often goes along with what Barbra wants just to keep the peace, but his patience has run out. He’s telling pals that he’s sick of her screaming and yelling at him.
“Sometimes he feels like that’s the only attention she gives him. He’s tired of it and throws his arms up in despair. That’s why he’s decided to start accepting more acting roles to get away from her.”
The silver-haired fox has already done guest stints on the NBC sitcom “Community” and the hit ABC series “Castle.” He’ll also appear in the upcoming holiday movie “Christmas with Tucker” as well as the film “Elsa and Fred.”
Sadly, the couple’s once-happy marriage now seems to be hanging by a thread.
“It’s a shame,” said the close source.
“James feels Barbra is taking him for granted because he’s always gone along with whatever she wanted. But this time it’s different. She may wake up one day to find that he’s gone for good.”