In September last year, the celebrity powerhouse that was ‘Brangelina’ came to an end.
Things quickly spiralled. Everyone from George Clooney to the Dalai Lama were asked their thoughts on the split. Pitt’s ex Jennifer Aniston was assumed to be revelling in her apparent revenge for the infamous Team Jen/Team Ange scandal which captivated most of 2005.
She wasn’t by the way. She most likely didn’t care, given that 12 years had passed. Plus let’s remember, one woman’s pain does not equate to another woman’s joy. It plays into a concerning narrative about how we still portray women in these situations.
Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
For the most part, Jolie and Pitt – who share six children together – stayed relatively quiet on the matter, besides their initial statements. That was until the eight-month grace period had passed and Pitt took ownership of his narrative in an interview with GQ. and Jolie – like Jennifer Garner and Aniston, before her – has now had her turn by taking part in a Vanity Fair interview.
Jolie and Pitt in 2014
Amid all the noise, here’s a run-down of what both parties have actually said about their divorce.
September 20, 2016:
The Jolie-Pitts announce their divorce. Jolie first, through her lawyer, who issues the following statement to the press:
“Angelina Jolie Pitt has filed for dissolution of the marriage. 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.”
The statement appears peculiar coming from a couple who had seemed so besotted with each other, ever praising one another in interviews and regularly working together. The statement is one-sided, not united, signalling that it is Jolie who is ultimately ending their marriage.
Jolie and Pitt at a screening in 2015Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
Pitt soon responds with his own statement, asking for privacy for the sake of their children: “I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the wellbeing of our kids.”
September 21, 2016:
Just a day after the world reels from their shock announcement, Jolie decides to release a second statement.
“Angelina will always do what’s in the best interest of taking care of her family,” her manager tells E! News. “She appreciates everyone’s understanding of their need for privacy at this time.”
September 27, 2016:
The first sighting of a Brangelina party is expected at a screening for The Voyage of Time – a documentary narrated by Pitt. However, the Troy actor decides against attending and issues the following statement.
“I’m very grateful to be part of such a fascinating and educational project, but I’m currently focused on my family situation and don’t want to distract attention away from this extraordinary film, which I encourage everyone to see.”
November 10, 2016:
The divorce takes a turn when it is revealed the FBI and Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services are investigating Pitt over an alleged altercation with one of their children. Both organisations soon cleared him of any wrongdoing and Jolie speaks about the situation for the first time since her initial statement.
Jolie and Pitt in happier timesAdvertisement – Continue Reading Below
“The job of the DCFS is to make sure the children are in a safe and secure situation,” a spokesperson on behalf of Jolie says. “As we said earlier this week, childcare professionals encouraged a legal agreement accepted and signed by both sides that was in the best interest of the children.
“Angelina said from the beginning that she felt she had to take action for the health of the family and is relieved that after their eight-week involvement, the DCFS is now satisfied the safeguards are put in place that will allow the children to heal.”
January 10, 2017:
A new year and a new start, apparently, when Pitt and Jolie speak out in their first joint statement since announcing their divorce. The estranged couple announce all court documents relating to their divorce will be sealed from the public to protect their children.
“The parents are committed to act as a united front to effectuate recovery and reunification,” the statement continues, according to CNN.
February 20, 2017:
Jolie gives an emotional interview from Cambodia, where she is premiering her new film, and is asked directly about her family situation.
Angelia Jolie in Cambodia in Feb, 2017
“It was a very difficult time,” she tells The BBC.“Many people find themselves in this situation. My whole family have all been through a difficult time. My focus is my children, our children.
“We are forever will be a family and so that is how I am coping. I am coping with finding a way through to make sure that this somehow makes us stronger and closer.”
May 3, 2017:
Pitt gives his version of events to GQ in a ground-breaking interview. He ranges from talking directly about the divorce to going to therapy to his drinking.
“It’s hit me smack in the face with our divorce: I gotta be more. I gotta be more for them [my children]. I have to show them. And I haven’t been great at it,” he says honestly.
Jolie, Pitt and their children in 2011
He also insinuates that he and Jolie have reached a more peaceful place: “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.”
He also tells the writer to check out “Angie’s film”, First They Killed My Father, which is the only time he mentions her by name.
May 16, 2017:
Pitt goes a bit further by reassuring his fans he is doing okay in the wake of his public divorce.
Pitt at the Japan premiere of War Machine in May, 2017
“I’m not suicidal or something,” he tells the Associated Press.“There’s still much beauty in the world and a lot of love. And a lot of love to be given. It’s all right. It’s just life… kids are everything. Kids are your life. They’re taking all the focus as they should anyway.”
July 26, 2017:
Jolie’s Vanity Fair cover story is released. Although she appears reluctant to fully go into what caused their divorce, she does speak about how “things became difficult”.
“Things got bad… I didn’t want to use that word… Things became difficult,” she says. She denies that their travelling, large family lifestyle had anything to do with the divorce, too.
“[Our lifestyle] was not in any way negative. That was not the problem. That is and will remain one of the wonderful opportunities we are able to give our children.”
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in 2014
She goes on to also indicate she and Pitt have reached a more positive place as former partners and co-parents.
“We care for each other and care about our family and we are both working towards the same goal… I do not want my children to be worried about me. I think it’s very important to cry in the shower and not in front of them. They need to know that everything’s going to be all right even when you’re not sure it is.”
Follow Redbook on Facebook.