In the wake of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s split — which was reportedly fueled in part by disagreement over differing parenting styles — Us Weekly has taken a look back at what the world-famous pair have said about their contrasting philosophies.
Despite alarming rumors that Pitt is being investigated for child abuse, it’s no secret that the Fight Club hunk, 52, and the Academy Award–winning actress, 41, have taken different approaches when it comes to raising their six children, Maddox, 15, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 8.
During a November 2015 interview with The Telegraph, Pitt revealed that he often feels like he is forced to play the bad cop at home with his sons. “I am [the disciplinarian] with the boys,” he told the publication, adding that he has a soft spot in his heart for his daughters: “Girls do no wrong, so I don’t have to be.”
The admittedly stern father continued at the time: “I feel like my job is to show ’em around, help them find what they want to do with their life, put as many things in front of them, and pull them back when they get out of line, so they know who they are.”
By contrast, Jolie explained that the bad cop role was once reserved for her prior to the July 12, 2008, birth of Knox and Vivienne. “I used to be the tougher parent,” she told Britain’s OK! Magazine in March 2012. “But since the birth of the twins, Brad’s had to play bad cop more often.”
During her chat with the U.K. outlet, the Maleficent star also shared that she has a tighter bond with the Jolie-Pitt daughters: “It also depends on which of the children we’re talking about … I think I’m a little closer to the girls, maybe, but he’s always making them laugh.”
As fans will likely recall, Pitt — who Jolie has described as a “great, loving father” — played an abusive dad in 2011’s The Tree of Life. While promoting the film at the Cannes Film Festival, the Oklahoma native memorably joked about employing the same violent parenting MO as his vituperative character.
“I beat my kids regularly, and it seems to do the trick,” he sarcastically told reporters during a press conference. “And I deprive them of meals.”
Kidding aside, Pitt said that he was worried about taking on the role, because of how it might affect his children’s perception of him.
“I was a little hesitant about playing the oppressive father. I think about everything I do now — [which] my kids are going to see when they grow up — and how are they going to feel,” he added during the press conference. “But they know me as a dad and know I’m not like that. I hope they’ll just think of me as a pretty damn good actor.”
During a March 2014 interview with The Mirror, Jolie gushed about her hubby’s relationship with their brood. “He loves being a father, and that’s one thing I’m most proud of about him. With a large family, you need that support,” the Changeling actress said. “Brad is a wonderful teacher and guide, for the boys in particular. He likes to plan things and proceed in a very deliberate and methodical way. He is much cooler and calmer … I can be more impulsive and outspoken.”
Though she once suggested that the opposition in their parenting worked in the couple’s favor, a source told Us on Tuesday that their contradictory methods ultimately led to some of their biggest, most contentious fights.
“[Jolie] did try to make it work, but her kids come first, and she couldn’t let them see Mommy and Daddy like this,” the insider told Us. “The fighting got worse, and they disagreed a lot about parenting and a lot of things.”
Contrary to confusing reports, Pitt is not being investigated by the LAPD for child abuse following his recent split from Jolie, the Los Angeles Police Department told Us on Thursday, September 22.
An earlier report from TMZ claimed that the LAPD and L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services were looking into an incident in which the World War Z star allegedly became “verbally abusive and physical” with his children, citing a specific incident on his and Jolie’s private jet last week.
“LAPD is not handling any report or allegations into child abuse for Mr. Brad Pitt,” the LAPD told Us in a statement on Thursday.
According to the Public Information Officer for the LAPD, “We don’t have anything on Brad Pitt right now. We have confirmed with the detectives, and according to our detectives there are no active investigations regarding Brad Pitt.”
As previously reported, Jolie — who married Pitt in August 2014 — filed for divorce on Monday, September 19, citing irreconcilable differences. She is requesting sole physical custody of their six children. The divorce filings indicate that she requested that Pitt receive joint legal custody. She is not asking for spousal support.
Jolie’s rep issued a statement to Us on Tuesday regarding her decision to pull the plug on her two-year marriage. “Angelina Jolie Pitt has filed for dissolution of the marriage,” the statement read. “This decision was made for the health of the family. She will not be commenting at this time and asks that the family be given their privacy during this difficult time.”
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