Brad Pitt has broken his silence about his split from Angelina Jolie. The 53-year-old actor spoke candidly about the end of their marriage and the current state of their “ripped apart” family in GQ Style’s new cover story. Find out more in the video above, and detailed below.
Back in September, Jolie, 41, filed for divorce following an alleged incident involving their son Maddox, 15, on a private plane. The FBI launched an investigation into child abuse allegations against him but ultimately cleared him of any wrongdoing.
“I was really on my back and chained to a system when Child Services was called,” Pitt told GQ Style. “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.”
In addition to Maddox, Pitt and Jolie are parents of Pax, 13, Zahara, 12, Shiloh, 10 and 8-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox. Pitt says that he currently lives in his kids’ “childhood home” in Hollywood Hills, California, with his bulldog, Jacques, and that he refuses to make the breakup ugly. (Shortly after the split, he stayed on a friend’s floor in a Santa Monica bungalow.)
“Fortunately my partner in this agrees. It’s just very, very jarring for the kids, to suddenly have their family ripped apart. If anyone can make sense of it, we have to with great care and delicacy, building everything around that… Our focus is that everyone come out stronger and better people — there is no other outcome,” he said. “I see it happen to friends — I see where the one spouse literally can’t tell their own part in it, and it’s still competing with the other in some way and wants to destroy them, and needs vindication by destruction, and just wasting years on that hatred. I don’t want to live that way.”
Although Pitt admits it’s been a “weird” time, he said that family is always first. “Kids are so delicate. They absorb everything. They need to have their hand held and things explained. They need to be listened to. When I get in that busy work mode, I’m not hearing. I want to be better at that,” he said. “I grew up with a Father-knows-best/war mentality — the father is all-powerful, super strong — instead of really knowing the man and his own self-doubt and struggles. And it’s hit me smack in the face with our divorce: I gotta be more. I gotta be more for them. I have to show them. And I haven’t been great at it.”
For Pitt, the divorce has been like a death and a process for everyone. “The first urge is to cling on,” he said. “And then you’ve got a cliché: ‘If you love someone, set them free.’ Now I know what it means, by feeling it. It means to love without ownership. It means expecting nothing in return. But it sounds good written. It sounds good when Sting sings it. It doesn’t mean f–k — all to me until, you know — until you live it.”