Breaking up on center stage: Jolie vs. Pitt
The Jolie-Pitt divorce was never going to be a private affair, but even so, the news blew up the Internet with remarkable speed and ferocity.
As has been reported for some time, Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt, 52, in Los Angeles. The divorce papers, show that Jolie cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the split. It has also been reported that Brad Pitt was surprised by the filing.
Jolie, 41, has not asked for spousal support, but she has demanded sole physical custody of the couple’s six children, with TMZ, which broke the story, reporting that she believed Pitt’s behaviour was becoming “dangerous for the children.”
It has since emerged that Pitt may be under investigation for child abuse, following a heated argument involving their 15-year-old son Maddox on the family’s private plane during a flight from France to California two weeks ago. (Pitt has denied that anyone was physically harmed in the incident.)
After Pitt departed LA again for a trip to Croatia, Jolie quickly hired celebrity divorce lawyer Laura Wasser, who oversaw Johnny Depp’s divorce and has previously represented Britney Spears, Kim Kardashian and Jolie herself, during her 2003 split from Billy Bob Thornton.
Lainey Lui of laineygossip.com said that “Jolie is a masterful media operator. In a very short time, she shed her wild child image and became known as a loving mother, a UN ambassador, a serious director and humanitarian who writes op-eds for the New York Times. She doesn’t have a publicist – and for a celebrity of her stature to manage her public image all on her own, she has to be a very sophisticated person.”
TMZ’s first report stated that, “Angelina’s decision to file has to do with the way Brad was parenting the children… she was extremely upset with his methods.”
After the New York Post’s Page Six reported that a jealous Jolie had hired a private detective to investigate rumours of an on-set romance between Pitt and his Allied co-star Marion Cotillard, Jolie’s people smartly helped to shut down allegations of an affair – thus maintaining the focus on the issue of Pitt’s behaviour at home. Rumours about an affair are denied by all parties concerned at this time.
The timing of the filing also made it tough for Pitt to take control of the narrative; he was out of the country when everything went down initially. The actor was said to have been “blind-sided” by the divorce proceedings and unable to respond.
Pitt has since hired his own divorce lawyer, Lance Spiegel, who has represented the likes of Charlie Sheen, Eva Longoria and Michael Jackson. But his PR operation has been spotty, with somewhat conflicting statements filtering out through various sources over the past few days.
On its website, People quoted a source as saying the plane incident “was a parent-child argument which… escalated more than it should have.” Pro-Pitt sources told TMZ that the actor was “a loving and devoted father” and the claims of abuse were “a malicious lie.”
A MailOnline source was more conciliatory, saying: “Brad still cares for Angelina very much and respects her as the mother of his children, [but] after the rhetoric that has been put out, he is hoping to be able to turn the volume down.”
If a court ever hears any claims of child abuse (and there is no evidence of this at all), Pitt may be able to see his children only under supervision until he completes parenting and anger management courses. But, this is speculation.
Jolie has already rented a separate house in LA and holed up there with the children, while moving trucks were seen coming and going from the family’s compound in Los Feliz earlier this week.
More details of the pair’s prenuptial agreement have been revealed, and it looks like they’ll definitely be battling it out when it comes to the children, not the money. With a combined $400 million fortune between them, there’s a lot to be divided in the divorce.
However, the big stars prepared for this possibility before they tied the knot in 2014 by signing a prenuptial agreement, and it specifically lays out who gets what when it comes to money and properties, according to TMZ.
The Pitt and Jolie have 12 properties together, three of which they bought together at some point throughout their 12-year romance. Luckily, the prenuptial contract makes it clear how those will be divided up now that they’re no longer together, TMZ claims — but when it comes to custody of the kids, there’s no specifications.
Clearly, this is where a battle is likely going to come into play for Brangelina. Angelina’s asked for full physical custody of Maddox, 15, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, Vivienne and Knox, 8, in her divorce papers, and it’s been reported that Brad is planning to put up a fight so that doesn’t happen.
www.independent.co.uk and www.hollywoodlife.com