Here’s what’s happening in the Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt FBI lawsuit
It has been revealed that former partners Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are the subjects of a previously anonymous FBI lawsuit as new information relating to an incident that allegedly caused their divorce in 2016 comes to light.
Celebrity power couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt had the public in the palm of their hands since the pair first met on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith back in 2004. From their humanitarian efforts and many adoptions making headlines to the much-too-talked about Jennifer Anniston love triangle, the couple lived out their life together in the limelight until their split in 2016.
One September 20, 2016, Angelina Jolie filed for divorce. In a statement released at the time, it was said that the “decision was made for the health of the family” and that the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider star would not be commenting further.
Naturally, much speculation ensued, and it wasn’t until the following year that she spoke out for the first time publicly. “It’s just been the hardest time, and we’re just kind of coming up for air,” she told Vanity Fair. “We’re all trying to do our best to heal our family.”
“Things got bad,” said Jolie. “I didn’t want to use that word… Things became ‘difficult’ … “[The kids] were very brave. In times they needed to be,” said Jolie. “We’re all just healing from the events that led to the filing … They’re not healing from divorce. They’re healing from some… from life, from things in life.”
Years later, in a 2021 profile on The Guardian, Jolie alluded to an alleged altercation between her, her children, and her then-husband. She said that she was “sworn to silence” about her “legal situation” and her domestic-abuse allegations against Pitt. “I’m not the kind of person who makes decisions like the decisions I had to make lightly,” she said. “It took a lot for me to be in a position where I felt like I had to separate from the father of my children.”
In September of 2016, Brad Pitt was under investigation for allegations of physical abuse following an altercation with his then-wife, Jolie, and their then 15-year-old son Maddox on the family’s private plane. In the days that followed the alleged incident, Jolie filed for divorce and sought sole custody, which she has retained since.
The FBI closed their inquiry, with a spokesperson saying at the time that the bureau had “conducted a review of the circumstances” and would not pursue further investigation.
In April of this year, an anonymous Jane Doe filed a lawsuit against the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act, requesting information related to allegations of physical and verbal assault by her “then-husband” against her and their minor children on a private plane “several years ago.” In an article published by Puck this week, Jolie has been confirmed as the plaintiff in this lawsuit.
The actress has amended her initial complaint, and is seeking the withheld information from the initial inquiry in an effort to ensure that her children receive qualified care and counselling.
At the time of the initial investigation, a source close to Pitt told People that there was “a parent-child argument which was not handled in the right way” and that it had “escalated more than it should have.” They went on to say that Pitt “did not hit his child in the face in any way.”
According to Rolling Stone, a redacted FBI record from 2016 has shed further light on the alleged incident, including an interview with Jolie in which it was said that he “grabbed her by the head” and “pushed her into the bathroom wall.”
The documents also detail one of the couple’s children calling Pitt a “prick”, which prompted the actor to lunge at the child. Jolie then jumped in, grabbing Pitt around the neck “like in a choke hold”. When she was thrown off, she sustained injuries to her elbow and back. It is said that the fact that both parties sustained injuries factored into the FBI’s decision not to charge Pitt.
Attorney Amanda Kramer, who filed the original lawsuit, told Entertainment Weekly that “victims and survivors should be able to access federal agency records of crimes they experienced or reported, as is common at the state level, so they can advocate for health and trauma care and legal protections for their children and themselves.”