Ange’s change of heart
Wearing a plunging, vintage-style dress and a slick of red lipstick, dark tresses flowing and skin shimmering as if she’d never had a bad night’s sleep in her life, Angelina Jolie looked like she didn’t have a care in the world at a charity event in London last week.
Her breezy demeanour was a surprise to many at the glitzy gala. After months of struggling to put on a brave face as her bitter custody battle with Brad Pitt dragged on, the Oscar winner was finally due for a showdown in court with her estranged husband in a matter of days.
But the reason for her cool, calm and collected smile was simple – Angelina, 43, and Brad, 54, have postponed their trial in the hope they can still come to a private agreement over the custody of their six children.
The once-smitten couple were all set to face off in a Los Angeles courtroom on December 4, with both sides prepared to spill each other’s darkest secrets in an effort to get what they wanted. In Angelina’s case, that meant full custody of Maddox, 17, Pax, 14, Zahara, 13, Shiloh, 12, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 10, while her ex Brad simply wanted shared custody of their brood.
The fact the warring former lovebirds have agreed to put aside more time to settle their differences is good news for the FightClub actor.
“It’s likely Angelina will back down and agree to give Brad a substantial amount of time,” an insider familiar with the case tells Woman’s Day. “They’ve pulled themselves back from the brink and it can only mean that she is at last willing to compromise.”
And indeed, a source close to the superstars – who split in 2016 after Brad and Maddox allegedly got into an altercation aboard a private plane – tells us it was a last-minute appeal from the actor that secured the couple extra time to work things out behind closed doors.
Under California law, each child would have been required to take the stand and Brad implored his estranged wife not to put the kids through the ordeal. Our source says, “He reached out, hoping to persuade Angie that the hearing would cause lasting psychological damage to their children and it worked. He loves his children more than anything.”
A second insider adds, “Now they’re doing everything in their power to avoid this trial. They know that if they don’t, it’s going to turn into a media circus – not to mention what it will do to the kids. It’s not going to be an easy battle to settle, but at least they’re talking to each other, being civil and willing to cooperate. It seems they’ve narrowly avoided a public showdown for now.”
Meanwhile, a friend of Brad’s spills that the star has been so buoyed by the postponement, he is now hoping Angelina and the children will join him for Christmas.
The actor has outfitted his LA pad with slides, a skate ramp, a tree house and swings in preparation for the day he can once again be a hands-on dad. “He’s suggested to Angie that she come over with the kids on December 25 for some family time,” says the pal.
“It’s a real olive branch. He wants to cook them a big festive holiday dinner with all the trimmings and have piles of presents under the tree for everyone to open. Brad’s desperate for them to bury the hatchet and the kids are very keen on the idea, but Angie isn’t sure.”
We’re told the couple, who never signed a prenuptial agreement, have given themselves an extra six months to come to an agreement over custody. They will then move on to negotiating their financial settlement. But if they fail to come to an arrangement regarding the kids, it will be back to court for what will likely be the most explosive divorce hearing in Hollywood history.
Our source reveals Angelina’s brother James Haven could be among g those to give evidence and his testimony could, in fact, could hinder her chances of obtaining full physical custody. James, 45, used to work for his sister as her head nanny, but she reportedly fired him last year and there are whispers he’s now willing to spill about how Angelina tried to sabotage age Brad by leaking the details tails of their split.
Meanwhile, , if Maddox takes the stand, d, “he’s expected to talk lk about why he doesn’t ’t want to spend any time me with his dad”, says our source. “It’ll likely be incredibly painful for Brad.” ad.”
As Brangelina’s na’s divorce grinds on, in an era of amicable splits s and “conscious uncoupling”, coupling”, many in Hollywood wood are asking how things hings ever got this bad. And a thought should d also be spared for the couple’s private judge, John Ouderkirk, who ho will sign off on the e final custody agreement ment – he just happens ns to be the same official fficial who conducted ed their intimate wedding ding ceremony in France in 2014!
She’s all smiles! The Maleficent star looked stress-free and stylish in London last week as she mingled with guests, including Sophie, Countess of Wessex (below right). b t b c n sB h p h c f
Ange and the kids (from left, Shiloh, Knox and Vivienne) were spotted taking the dog for a sunny stroll last week. Brad, who was seen last week at an event in China, hopes to spend the holiday with his children.