Renee Zellweger's brother helped her through her first public break-up by making her face tabloid reports about the demise of her relationship head-on.

In a chat with Vanity Fair magazine, the Judy star opened up about her relationship with Drew, who she claims is "very" protective of her and her life in the spotlight.

Explaining how her elder sibling helped her though her "first big public break-up", the actress revealed he staged an intervention after recognising she was struggling to move on.

"He picked up all the tabloids, and we were riding in the car home, and his shoulders were shaking, and I thought, 'Oh gosh, he's crying, too'," she said. "And I look over. He's laughing so hard. He's laughing! He thought it was the best thing in the world! All the things that they say you say or what you did.

"So he started reading them out loud in a (ridiculous) voice. And we were both laughing until we were crying. And I've always looked at it that way since, and that was years ago, decades ago."

The 50-year-old, who is currently nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of Judy Garland in Judy, added Drew's support was invaluable to her not only as a member of her family, but also as a friend. She said: "He's my best friend. But he also helps me keep perspective."

The Bridget Jones's Diary actress has enjoyed a number of high-profile relationships over the years, with stars including actors Jim Carrey and Bradley Cooper, and musician Jack White. She was also married to country singer Kenny Chesney for four months in 2005.