We haven’t heard much from Brad Pitt since the shocking announcement that he and Angelina Jolie were separating after 12 years together.
Jolie filed for divorce in September 2016, citing irreconcilable differences, five days after a reported altercation between Pitt and one of the couple’s children during a private flight to Los Angeles. In an interview with GQ Style published today, Pitt talked about the couple’s separation for the first time.
Pitt explained that he’s in therapy and has given up alcohol entirely. Alcohol was allegedly involved in the incident on the couple’s plane: The Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services, along with the FBI, launched an investigation after Pitt was apparently “verbally abusive” and “physical” with the couple’s oldest child Maddox. Pitt was cleared of any wrongdoing but stopped drinking after the incident.
“I mean I stopped everything except boozing when I started my family,” he said. “But even this last year, you know—things I wasn’t dealing with. I was boozing too much. It’s just become a problem. And I’m really happy it’s been half a year now, which is bittersweet, but I’ve got my feelings in my fingertips again.”
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Pitt also talked about how the divorce has been “jarring” for the couple’s children. He and Jolie are working out a custody arrangement for 15-year-old Maddox, 13-year-old Pax, 12-year-old Zahara, 10-year-old Shiloh and 8-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox. The pair released a statement in January explaining that they have agreed to seal all court documents relating to their divorce, for their children’s sake, but Pitt still worries about media coverage of the divorce and custody agreement affecting his kids. When asked how it feels to have some of his worst moments publicized, Pitt’s immediate response was about his kids.
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“It is a drag to have certain things drug out in public and misconstrued. I worry about it more for my kids, being subjected to it, and their friends getting ideas from it,” he said. “And of course it’s not done with any kind of delicacy or insight—it’s done to sell. And so you know the most sensational sells, and that’s what they’ll be subjected to, and that pains me.”
Luckily, Pitt said he and Jolie are united in making sure their custody battle is not bitter or publicly drawn-out.
“I was really on my back and chained to a system when Child Services was called,” he explained. “And you know, after that, we’ve been able to work together to sort this out. We’re both doing our best. I heard one lawyer say, ‘No one wins in court—it’s just a matter of who gets hurt worse.’ And it seems to be true, 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.”
As for what he and Jolie are telling their children during this difficult time, Pitt says the message is pretty simple. “[Our] focus is that everyone comes out stronger and better people—there is no other outcome.”