While promoting her new film, First They Killed My Father, in Cambodia, the 41-year-old actress and director was asked about the headline-making incident that led to her filing for divorce from Pitt, 53, last September.
“Your film is about family and loss. I understand this is a very sensitive issue,” BBC reporter Yalda Hakim began. “We know that an incident occurred which led to your separation. We also know you haven’t said anything about this, but would you like to say something?”
Jolie sighed deeply before she responded. “I don’t want to say very much about [the incident] except to say that it was a very difficult time and we are a family. And we’ll always be a family,” she said, getting teary-eyed and emotional. “And we’ll get through this time and hopefully be a stronger family for it.”
In October, Pitt was hit with allegations of child abuse allegedly stemming from an incident aboard a September flight. According to court documents filed by Jolie, the Oscar-winning actor got into an altercation with his 15-year-old son, Maddox. An FBI investigation turned up no evidence of such an incident, and the case was closed in November.
“My family, we’ve all been through a difficult time,” Jolie said when asked about how she’s been dealing with the stress of the split. “My focus is my children, our children, and it is — and my focus is finding this way through. And as I said, we are and forever will be a family. And so that is how I’m coping. I’m coping with finding a way through to make sure this somehow makes us stronger and closer.”
In September, shortly after the couple announced their decision to split, sources confirmed to Us that Pitt planned to fight for joint physical and legal custody of their six children. The Inglorious Basterds actor did get to see his kids for a Christmas gift exchange, but an agreement has yet to be reached.
On Saturday, February 18, Jolie brought all six kids — Maddox, 15, Pax, 13, Zahara, 12, Shiloh, 10, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 8 — with her to meet the king of Cambodia in Siem Reap.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference after meeting with King Norodom Sihamoni, the Maleficent actress likened Cambodia to “a second home” and noted that “Maddox is happy to be back in his country.” (She adopted her eldest son in 2002.)
Asked where she would like to see herself in five years’ time during the BBC interview, Jolie’s expression brightened. “At that stage do I have all teenagers?” she said with a laugh. “At that stage I hope just standing.”
“In five years’ time I would like to be traveling around the world visiting my children, hoping that they’re just happy and doing interesting things in, I imagine, many different parts of the world, and I’ll be supporting them,” she continued. “And everything I do, I hope is that I represent something, and I represent the right things to my children and I give them the right sense of what they’re capable of, and the world as it should be seen, not through the prism of Hollywood or through a certain kind of life but really take them into the world where they have a really good sense of the come-round of people.”
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