Angelina Jolie is opening up her custody battle and divorce from ex-husband Brad Pitt.
In a new interview with The Guardian, Jolie spoke about fearing for the safety of her whole family while married to the actor and ultimately wanting to “to heal and be peaceful.”
"I'm not the kind of person who makes decisions like the decisions I had to make lightly,” Jolie said. “It took a lot for me to be in a position where I felt I had to separate from the father of my children.”
Jolie, 46 and Pitt, 57, became a couple in 2005, but did not marry until 2014. Jolie filed for divorce in 2016 and requested sole custody over their kids: twins Vivienne and Knox, now 13, Shiloh, now 15, Zahara, now 16, Pax, now 17, and Maddox, now 20.
Though their divorce was finalized in 2019, the two remain in a custody battle after Jolie alleged domestic violence against Pitt.
In November 2016, the FBI announced no charges would be brought against Pitt, and cleared him of any wrongdoing, following an incident months prior on the couple’s private plane in which Jolie claimed an intoxicated Pitt was abusive towards Maddox, who was 15 at the time.
Jolie filed for divorce five days after the alleged confrontation.
The Oscar-winning actor told The Guardian the last five years have taken a lot of out of her.
"I mean, in some ways, it's been the last decade,” she said. “There's a lot I can't say."
While Jolie said her legal situation makes it hard for her to address certain topics about the divorce and custody case, when pressed about whether or not she feared for her children’s safety, she answered, “Yes, for my family. My whole family."
Jolie told the outlet that though the divorce and custody battle have left her feeling “broken,” she ultimately would like her family to “heal.”
“It’s not that I want to talk about anything really, because I just want my family to heal,” she said. “And I want everyone to move forward – all of us, including their dad. I want us to heal and be peaceful. We’ll always be a family.”
Pitt was granted joint custody of the couple’s children, except Maddox, in May by a judge who previously officiated the pair’s August 2014 wedding. After Jolie challenged the ruling, a California appeals court approved her request to disqualify the judge, allowing her to retain full-time custody of the children, with Pitt granted only visitation rights in July. Pitt has sense filed a petition with the California Supreme Court to review the case.
When reached by TODAY, Pitt's team had no comment, instead pointing to a statement by his attorney Theodore J. Boutrous Jr. of Gibson Dunn.
“We are seeking review in the California Supreme Court because the temporary judge, who had been appointed and repeatedly renewed by both sides, was improperly disqualified after providing a detailed, fact-based custodial decision, following a lengthy legal process with multiple witnesses and experts,” Pitt’s lawyer said in a statement.
“The lower court’s ruling will reward parties who are losing child custody cases, and condone their gamesmanship, by allowing them to wait and see about the likely direction of the case before seeking the disqualification of the judge. Condoning the use of this type of strategic ‘lie in wait’ disqualification challenge will cause irreparable harm to both the children and families involved in this case, and other families in other cases, by unnecessarily prolonging the resolution of these disputes in an already overburdened court system. Allowing this kind of crafty litigation strategy will deprive parents of irreplaceable time with their children as judges are disqualified for minor reasons in the midst of their cases.”
“The lower court’s ruling is bad for children and bad for California’s overburdened judicial system.”
For Jolie, she seems to be attempting to come to peace with her situation, keeping some things private while also trying to be more open as well.
"I think at the end of the day, even if you and a few people you love are the only people who know the truth of your life, what you fight for, or what you sacrifice, or what you’ve suffered, you come to be at peace with that, regardless of everything going on around you," she told the outlet.
“I’m not out of it,” she later added. “It’s really hard to answer... How am I? I’m realizing that sometimes you can survive things, but not know how to feel and live in the same way. So it’s more about being open. I’m really trying to be open as a human being again.”