Tuesday 23 October 2018

Explainer: What is the latest (and why it's happening) with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's very dramatic divorce?

Brad Pitt (L) and Angelina Jolie speak onstage during the opening night gala premiere of Universal Pictures'
Brad Pitt (L) and Angelina Jolie speak onstage during the opening night gala premiere of Universal Pictures' "By the Sea" during AFI FEST 2015 presented by Audi at TCL Chinese 6 Theatres on November 5, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AFI)
Actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt arrives at the 81st Annual Academy Awards held at The Kodak Theatre on February 22, 2009 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Brad Pitt and actress Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt with their son Maddox at the Oscars. Photo: Fred Prouser
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at the Oscars in 2014. Photo: PA
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie spy on each other in Mr and Mrs Smith
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in the movie-Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt during ShoWest 2005 - 20th Century Fox Luncheon at Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie attend the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Two years after shocking the world in their decision to file for divorce, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are still earning headlines with their equally dramatic ongoing divorce.

Since September 2016, when Oscar-winner Jolie began divorce proceedings against her husband of two years, whom she had been with for a total of 12, things were clearly acrimonious between from the get-go.

There was a well-documented, but still unclear, "incident" with 16-year-old son Maddox aboard a private plane which is said to have prompted her decision to file, and the Department of Child and Family Services and FBI got involved.

"There was a parent-child argument which was not handled in the right way and escalated more than it should have," a source told People at the time.

"He is emphatic that it did not reach the level of physical abuse, that no one was physically harmed. He did not hit his child in the face in any way. He did not do that; he is emphatic about that. He put his hands on him, yes, because the confrontation was spiraling out of control."

In an interview six months alter, he gave an interview to GQ detailing his experience, saying he was "really on my back" when child services became involved in the custody dispute, as well as an FBI investigation into child abuse, which the organisation eventually decided not to prosecute.

"No one wins in court - it's just a matter of who gets hurt worse. You spend a year just focused on building a case to prove your point and why you're right and why they're wrong, and it's just an investment in vitriolic hatred. I just refuse. And fortunately my partner in this agrees. It's just very, very jarring for the kids, to suddenly have their family ripped apart," he said.

In the same spread, he documented his lifelong alcohol habit, but was careful to avoid using the word addiction.

"But me, personally, I can’t remember a day since I got out of college when I wasn’t boozing or had a spliff, or something," he told the magazine.

"I mean I stopped everything except boozing when I started my family. But even this last year, you know - things I wasn’t dealing with. I was boozing too much. It’s just become a problem."

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt with their son Maddox at the Oscars. Photo: Fred Prouser
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt with their son Maddox at the Oscars. Photo: Fred Prouser

In February, Jolie spoke for the first time about the divorce, describing how "difficult" it is to be a single mother.

"It was a very difficult time and we are a family; we will always be a family and we will get through this time," she told BBC World News.

"Many people find themselves in this situation... We've all been through a difficult time and my focus is my children, our children, and my focus is finding this way through... We are and forever will be a family and so that is how I am coping. I am coping with finding a way through to make sure that this somehow makes us stronger and closer."

Over the coming months, before court documents were filed, People would become the magazine of choice for "sources" on both sides to declare their side of the story.

At the time, he was being lambasted as an irresponsible alcoholic and Jolie was seeking full custody of their six children - Maddox (16), Pax (14), Zahara (13), Shiloh (12) and twins Knox and Vivienne (10).

She currently retains primary custody with the actor being granted visitation rights, except in the case of Maddox, who, at 16, was deemed old enough to decide for himself if he wanted to see his father. 

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in the movie-Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in the movie-Mr. and Mrs. Smith

The pair received approval to continue their divorce privately, but insiders on both sides were continually leaking information to the press. Most recently, it has been in retaliation to legal documents in which Jolie alleges that she has not received suitable child support payments, which, in Los Angeles, is 50% of any costs to the children.

Earlier this week, the Changeling star accused the Fury actor of owing child support, lodging documents which stated: "Following the incident of September 2016, Angelina and the children needed to move from the family home, which Brad chose to keep, including all of its contents."

The papers allege that he was asked to assist in purchasing a new home for his estranged wife and their children, but "instead he loaned Angelina money, for which he is charging her interest on a payment plan."

Pitt emphatically denied the claim, saying he has given estranged wife Angelina Jolie $1.3 million and lent her another $8 million since their separation two years ago.

She nearly immediately hit back through her lawyer Samantha Bley DeJean who sent a statement to - you guessed it, People - that her court filing alleging owed child support was "was both legally appropriate and factually accurate in all respects."

"What has been filed by Brad’s side today is a blatant attempt to obfuscate the truth and distract from the fact that he has not fully met his legal obligations to support the children."

Actor Brad Pitt (L) and actress Angelina Jolie arrive at the premiere of Sony Pictures'
Actor Brad Pitt (L) and actress Angelina Jolie arrive at the premiere of Sony Pictures' "Salt" at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on July 19, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

"A loan is not, however, child support and to represent it as such is misleading and inaccurate."

"Typically a father of means would pay these expenses voluntarily without the need for a request or court order. We are hopeful that this can be resolved without further delay or posturing."

According to Page Six, her filing was a "publicity stunt" as Pitt has reportedly been preparing to lodge papers of his own, although the alleged details have not been publicised. Jolie concluded the latest drama, by stating that they can come to a meaningful agreement soon in order to "provide closure to the marriage in a way that clears a path toward the next stage of their lives and allows her and Brad to recommit as devoted co-parents to their children."

Watch this space.

Online Editors

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