Angelina Jolie shocked the world when she quietly filed for divorce from Brad Pitt in fall 2016, citing irreconcilable differences. In the months that followed, news came out of a Sept. 2016 incident on a private plane in which Pitt allegedly became violent and in which son Maddox was also involved, who still has no relationship with Pitt to date. While the level of investigation surrounding this incident was never entirely clear, Jolie has now filed new documents nearly five years later claiming she has “proof” of Pitt’s alleged domestic violence, and further claiming that their children would be able to provide proof as well.
According to Us Weekly, newly filed court documents claim that Jolie and her children can offer “proof and authority in support” of claims of domestic violence against Pitt. It appears that Maddox Jolie-Pitt has already given testimony, and their other children may follow.
In the wake of Jolie filing these documents, I urge in the media to to pause before making the suggestion that Jolie is unnecessarily drawing out their separation, the same complaints that arose when she filed a request to replace their presiding judge over a conflict of interest this summer. Domestic violence, being assaulted by a loved one, is a trauma, and one Jolie has gone out of her way to address in recent years, even if being careful not to refer to herself.
“We don’t take domestic or gender-based violence seriously enough anywhere,” she told Harper’s Bazaar this past December. “It’s on all of us. People often don’t want to see abuse, even when it is right in front of them, because it’s easier not to…You can’t assume all friends and family will always want to believe and support you. Often it will be strangers who help.”
While Jolie’s status as a famous, beloved actress may act as a kind of protection if she finds herself in a dangerous situation, there’s no doubt that Pitt’s own reputation offers him the same protection, and may have prevented the public from taking these claims seriously at the time they were first made. But Jolie and Pitt’s trial is not in the court of public opinion, and it’s ultimately the testimony from this family that will and should have the greatest impact on the judge’s final ruling. If Jolie decides she wants to share further details publicly, we have no doubt she’ll find an outlet through which to do so.
Pitt’s team did not reply to SheKnows’ multiple requests for comment.
Before you go, click here for all the celebrity splits and divorces we never saw coming.
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