As the pair’s divorce proceedings drag on five years after they initially split, a more candid than ever Jolie is speaking out about the breakdown of their marriage in a wide-ranging interview with The Guardian published on Saturday, while promoting her forthcoming book, “Know Your Rights and Claim Them: A Guide for Youth.”
“I’m not the kind of person who makes decisions like the decisions I had to make lightly,” she told the outlet. “It took a lot for me to be in a position where I felt I had to separate from the father of my children.”
Since 2016, Pitt and Jolie have been locked in a contentious divorce, as they continue to go back and forth over custody issues regarding their five minor children: twins Knox and Vivienne, 12; Shiloh, 14; Zahara, 16; and Pax, 17.
While Jolie said she is sworn to silence and “can’t speak” about the details of her claims due to the ongoing legal situation, when asked to confirm whether she was scared for the safety of her family during her marriage, she answered, “Yes, for my family. My whole family.”
The inciting incident for the split reportedly involved an altercation between Pitt and their eldest child, Maddox, 20, who is not impacted by their custody battle as he is no longer a minor, on an international flight. The alleged incident of child abuse prompted an investigation from the Los Angeles’ Department of Children and Family Services and the FBI. Pitt, who has long denied the allegations, was later cleared of any wrongdoing.
Jolie said the ensuing divorce and custody battle left her “broken,” adding, “I mean, in some ways it’s been the last decade. There’s a lot I can’t say.”
Working on a book about the rights of children around the world put her own situation in stark relief, she said, as the court recently refused Jolie’s request to have her own children testify in the ongoing custody proceedings.
Back in May, Pitt was tentatively awarded joint physical and legal custody of the former couple’s minor children. However, Jolie’s legal team has since been successful in disqualifying the judge overseeing the case for allegedly failing to disclose past dealings with Pitt, which in turn nullified the previous ruling that granted the actor more time with his children. The “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” star has since requested that the California Supreme Court review the matter.
Despite the near-constant turmoil in her life as of late, Jolie wants to ultimately put this dark chapter in her family’s history behind them.
“I just want my family to heal,” she said. “And I want everyone to move forward ― all of us, including their dad. I want us to heal and be peaceful. We’ll always be a family.”