Kes Kids Angelina Jolie
WORLD EXCLUSIVE Brad Pitt scores a huge victory in his brutal divorce and custody battle with
It was the longest Brad Pitt had ever gone without seeing his kids. Almost three weeks after LA’S Department of Children and Family Services launched an investigation following an anonymous call claiming Brad was physically abusive to his kids on a Sept. 14 private flight, he finally reunited with Maddox, 15, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 8.
“It was a very emotional meeting,” a source with knowledge of the investigation exclusively tells In Touch. The kids (one source says all the children were not there) were driven to a neutral location and Brad arrived via underground garage. What followed was a tearful 90-minute meeting in a room under the watchful eye of a DCFS monitor. “Once the kids came in, Brad lit up. He had tears in his eyes and tried to hold it together because he didn’t want them to get upset because he was crying.”
Soon, they were playing, drawing pictures and, of course, talking. “Brad told them this situation with the social workers absolutely wasn’t their fault and that no one was in trouble,” adds the source. “The visit was gut-wrenching: Vivienne and Zahara both started crying, asking when they could go home [to Brad’s compound in LA’S Los Feliz neighborhood]. He said it would be soon.”
And he meant it. In Touch has exclusively learned that the DCFS investigation, which was launched just days before Angelina Jolie fi led for divorce and demanded sole physical custody of the kids, is likely to wrap up before the end of October. And when that happens, Brad will be fighting back against Angie in family court. He will go for sole physical custody, a Brad and Angelina insider tells In Touch, “because Angelina has refused to agree to joint physical custody.”
While Angelina’s been packing her legal team with well-known litigators, Brad’s quietly been hiring high-powered experts whose names haven’t been made public yet — “but they’re better than her people,” promises a source familiar with the situation.
He’s ready to fight and to win. He’s already taken a second drug and alcohol test, In Touch has exclusively learned. (The results were not yet back at press time, but Brad is confident they will be negative.) “Now he waits,” says a Brad insider. “While Angie’s camp has continued to spread lies about him and make him sound like a monster and an unfit parent, he’s refused to go dirty on her in the media. But in front of a judge, it will be another story. Brad has compiled a complete dossier on Angelina of the serious mental health issues she has dealt with over the years. He is saving all of the pertinent and necessary information for the battle in court, where it matters.”
If it’s seemed ugly so far, forget it — it’s only going to get worse, because Brad’s file contains bombshell material. “Brad’s taking the kids,” adds the Brad insider, “and it’s Angelina’s worst nightmare.”
Brad is devoted to those children. During that emotional first reunion, he spoke to Maddox. (As In Touch previously reported, Brad, 52, had been accused of getting physical with his eldest child during an explosive argument on the family’s flight from France to America that triggered the DCFS case.) “But Maddox just wasn’t that receptive to Brad and was very aloof during the visit,” says the source with knowledge of the investigation. Later, as the DCFS monitor quietly sat observing, Brad sat down with the younger
into chaos because of the divorce. He wants nothing more than to coparent the kids with Angie,” says the Brad insider. “He offered his LA home as a base for Angelina whenever she’s in LA, with or without the kids. Since there are several houses on the property, she could stay in one house and never even see Brad.” But she refused. “Her camp isn’t receptive to any of these proposals because she’s insisting on having sole physical custody.”
Angelina, 41, is also now demanding a piece of Brad’s $240 million fortune. The couple have an ironclad prenup, but “Angelina knows Brad’s worth a lot more than she is, and she’s making a play for his money,” says the Brad insider. (She’s estimated to be worth $160 million.) “Brad is willing to cut her a check beyond what the prenup dictates, if that will get her to sign off on joint custody. But again, she refuses.”
Angelina is full of rage. “She’s convinced Brad had an affair with [ his Allied co-star] Marion [Cotillard] and that he’s the father of Marion’s unborn baby. She’s devastated and can’t cope,” says an Angelina insider. The French actress, 41, has publicly denied it, and before Angelina blindsided him with divorce papers and a statement that implied he was an unfit father, Brad made it clear to her he did not cheat with Marion. “But no matter what he says, she just won’t believe him,” says the Brad insider. “Angie knows that the only way she can punish Brad is by using the kids in her bitter battle with him. She’s also doing this because she wants to continue to be able to take them anywhere she wants without his permission. But it’s a very sick game she’s playing, and she could end up losing everything.” Angie’s team, however, continues to insist she’s doing what’s best for the “health” of the family but has refused to explain why giving Brad joint custody is unhealthy.
But Angelina’s health — her mental health — is now the issue. Brad won’t hesitate to bring up her mental health problems in court. As In Touch has previously reported, he will subpoena her psychiatric records. In a 2001 Larry King interview, Angelina opened up about suffering from depression. “I ended up going crazy,” she revealed of a difficult time during her relationship with ex-husband Billy Bob Thornton that saw her checking herself into UCLA Medical Center where she was told, “You’re having a nervous breakdown.” She was placed on a 72-hour hold so as “not to hurt myself or others,” she said.
That same year, Angelina admitted she’d planned to kill herself or hire a hit man to do it for her. She wanted to use a knife and sleeping pills to end her life. “I didn’t know if I could pull the final thing across my
wrists,” she told Rolling Stone, and realized she may not have enough pills for an overdose. “This is going to sound so insane, but there was a time when I realized I was going to have to hire somebody to kill me.” She even met with a man she was told could get it done, but “he made me think about it for a month. And by a month, other things changed in my life and I was surviving again.”
Brad can destroy Angelina in court with the file he’s compiled on her. Another source says she’s got plenty of ammunition of her own. “She didn’t make the decision to try to get physical custody over one incident,” the source says. “And it wasn’t a small incident. If it was, she would’ve worked through it. What happened with Brad is of a serious nature. You don’t throw 12 years together out for nothing.”
But Angelina’s reputation has already taken a huge hit in the public eye. “The longer this goes on, the worse she looks, especially as we’re seeing that the abuse allegations don’t seem to be true,” says branding expert David Johnson, CEO of Strategic Vision LLC. “It looks like this was all calculated and manipulative on her part to try to destroy Brad, a preemptive strike.” Brad’s strat- egy, meanwhile, is only helping him. “Brad looks like the nice guy because he’s not attacking her, not going after her. And people in Hollywood are rallying around him.” (See sidebar.)
The former Hollywood golden couple’s battle could go on for years, but it’s the kids who will suffer the most. And it’s already started. As the DCFS investigation and divorce news made headlines, Angelina kept the kids secluded inside a $95,000-a-month rental home in Malibu. Then just two weeks later, she moved them into another rented mansion, this one owned by Denise Richards (see sidebar). “Angelina thinks she’s protecting the children. However, whenever there’s a divorce, it is always best to normalize their experiences,” explains child psychologist Mark Goldstein, who doesn’t treat the family. “Keeping them inside results in increased anxi- ety, making them feel responsible for their mother’s emotional well-being. It may also make the children feel more different than they may already feel, given their celebrity status.” Their brief visits with Brad during the DCFS investigation also add to the confusion. “They don’t fully understand why they can’t just be with their daddy,” explains psychologist Julie Armstrong, who also doesn’t treat the family. “And when a child doesn’t understand, then the anxiety rises.”
Brad is determined to put an end to that. “He’s furious that Angie has taken the kids away from him for absolutely no reason,” says the Brad insider. The other source, however, says Angelina didn’t undertake her decision lightly. “She’s justified going for sole custody and will prove it.” But Brad won’t stand idly by. “He’ll go after Angelina and expose her psychological demons, show how she puts the children in dangerous situations when she visits war-torn countries and more,” says the Brad and Angelina insider. “He’ll be proven as the furthest thing from the villain she’s tried to paint him to be. He’s ready for her. He can and will refute all her claims in family court. He won’t let her take those children from him.” ￭
‘‘ The DCFS investigation is backfiring on Angelina big-time. She had hoped it would reveal Brad to be a horrible dad, but it hasn’t”
— A BRAD INSIDER