By: Bridie Beamish
On Oct. 4, actor Angelina Jollie unveiled new abuse allegations against her ex-husband, Brad Pitt. After a legal battle emerged between stars Jolie and Pitt over their shared ownership of a French vineyard, Jolie claimed that Pitt got abusive with her and their kids on a private plane ride back in 2016. In the court filing, Jolie’s lawyers declared that disputes over the sale of her share of the winery to Pitt began after he demanded that Jolie sign a “nondisclosure agreement that would have contractually prohibited her from speaking outside of court about Pitt’s physical and emotional abuse of her and their children.”
The filing describes the alleged domestic violence from 2016 when Pitt, Jolie, and their six children flew back to California from their winery in France. Jolie asserts that Pitt was hostile before the flight, and when she asked him what was wrong, he lashed out at her for being too deferential to their children. According to the filing, he later pulled her into the bathroom, shook her by the head, and slammed her against the wall.
Allegedly, when their kids, between the ages of eight and fifteen at the time, began to ask if Jolie was ok, Pitt lunged at two of them, choking one and hitting another in the face. The filing declares that Jolie grabbed Pitt from behind to stop him and protect the kids, to which Pitt responded by lunging backward into the airplane seats, injuring Jolie’s back and elbow. He also allegedly poured alcohol on Jolie and their children.
After investigating the incident, federal authorities decided not to charge Pitt with a crime. The report made by federal prosecutors and investigators states that “It was agreed by all parties that criminal charges in this case would not be pursued due to several factors.” Just days after the flight, Jolie filed for a divorce, which cited abuse claims, to end their 12-year relationship.
However, these details of Pitt’s alleged violence only came out during the more recent ownership dispute. Jolie’s lawyers wrote in the cross complaint, “when Pitt filed this lawsuit seeking to reassert control over Jolie’s financial life and compel her to rejoin her ex-husband as a frozen-out business partner, Pitt forced Jolie to publicly defend herself on these issues for the first time.”
Pitt sued Jolie on the argument that they had agreed not to sign away their share of the vineyard without consulting each other and that by selling her part, she was deliberately trying to undermine and hurt Pitt. On the other hand, Jolie declared that Pitt backed out of their tentative deal last year after she refused to sign his non-disparagement clause, leaving her to make her own sale. Jolie claims that she grew increasingly uncomfortable with being in the alcohol business after seeing the effects it had on her family and that there was neither a verbal nor a written agreement resembling the one Pitt describes.
(Sources: BBC, New York Times, NPR)