Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt will be busy splitting $400m fortune
Jolie has reportedly requested custody of their six children
A copy of papers filed at Los Angeles Superior Court by Angelina Jolie shows her petition for divorce from her husband Brad Pitt. Photograph: Piya Sinha Roy/Reuters
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2012. Photograph: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
The gossipy (but reliable) website TMZ revealed that Jolie has already filed the documents, citing irreconcilable differences.
Her lawyer, Robert Offer, later confirmed the story. “This decision was made for the health of the family,” Offer said. “She will not be commenting and asks that the family be given its privacy at this time.”
Jolie will not be seeking spousal support, but she has reportedly requested custody of their six children. Thus ends the only contemporary romantic partnership that could rival that between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton for celebrity wattage.
“I am very saddened by this but what matters most now is the wellbeing of our kids,” Pitt told People magazine. “I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time.”
The couple first became close on the set of Doug Liman’s Mr and Mrs Smith in 2004. Jolie has, however, always insisted the romance did not begin until Pitt separated from his wife Jennifer Aniston some time later.
“To be intimate with a married man, when my own father cheated on my mother, is not something I could forgive,” she said. Jolie (41) is the daughter of movie star Jon Voight and the late American actor Marcheline Bertrand.
In keeping with a fashion that had already given us Bennifer (Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez), the couple were hastily dubbed “Brangelina” and installed as the most essential occupiers of any awards season red carpet.
In 2006, they established the Jolie-Pitt Foundation to assist in a variety of humanitarian causes. It is believed they have put as much as $8.5 million into the foundation. Jolie has worked particularly assiduously as an ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and in defence of women’s rights and against sexual violence. In honour of her work, the London School of Economics made her a visiting professor this year.
In 2013, Jolie, whose mother died of breast cancer at the age of 56, had a double mastectomy to lower her risk of contracting the same disease. The following year, she and Pitt, having announced their engagement in 2012, were married discreetly at their estate in France. The relationship was declared sound.
Star powerBy the Sea
Pitt, now 52, was married to Aniston for five years. Jolie has previously been married to Jonny Lee Miller and Billy Bob Thornton. Neither of those actors had anything like the star power of Brad Pitt. Few of his recent films have been enormous hits, but, like his wife, he exudes an old-fashioned whirlwind of charisma that draws attention from every angle.
Pitt will next be seen opposite Marion Cotillard in the wartime thriller Allied. Jolie is directing an adaptation of Loung Ung’s First They Killed My Father, a memoir of the Pol Pot regime, for Netflix.
They will also be busy dividing up a combined fortune estimated to be in the region of $400 million.