Angelina Jolie shocked the world when she filed for divorce from Brad Pitt in September 2016, and the months following have seen the pair go through an intense custody battle that has since become amicable.
Speaking about the split for the first time, Pitt opened up to GQ Style about how he and his children have been coping with the transition, as well as how he feels about Jolie moving forward.
Pitt and Jolie share six children — 15-year-old Maddox, 13-year-old Pax, 12-year-old Zahara, 10-year-old Shiloh and 8-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox — of which, Jolie currently has physical custody of.
Since the split in 2016, Pitt has been living at his home in Hollywood Hills, California, and shared he and his ex are working on a visitation plan for their kids.
"Our focus is that everyone comes out stronger and better people — there is no other outcome," he said.prevnext
Prior to the filing, Pitt was involved in an altercation with son Maddox that triggered a phone call to authorities and an FBI investigation. Pitt was cleared of all child abuse allegations in November.
"I was really on my back and chained to a system when Child Services was called," Pitt said. "And you know, after that, we've [he and Jolie] been able to work together to sort this out. We're both doing our best. I heard one lawyer say, 'No one wins in court — it's just a matter of who gets hurt worse.' And it seems to be true, you spend a year just focused on building a case to prove your point and why you're right and why they're wrong, and it's just an investment in vitriolic hatred."prevnext
Pitt added that he and Jolie are committed to keeping things civil.
"I just refuse," he said of giving in to negative emotions in court. "And fortunately my partner in this agrees. It's just very, very jarring for the kids, to suddenly have their family ripped apart. If anyone can make sense of it, we have to with great care and delicacy, building everything around that."
He continued, "I see it happen to friends -- I see where the one spouse literally can't tell their own part in it, and it's still competing with the other in some way and wants to destroy them, and needs vindication by destruction, and just wasting years on that hatred. I don't want to live that way."prevnext
The actor shared that the most important thing to him is his children and that he wants to be "more" for them.
"I come from a place where, you know, it's strength if we get a bruise or cut or ailment [and] we don't discuss it," he explained. "We just deal with it. We just go on. The downside of that is it's the same with our emotions. I'm personally very retarded when it comes to taking inventory of my emotions. I'm much better at covering up."
"I grew up with a Father-knows best/war mentality — the father is all-powerful, super-strong — instead of really knowing the man and his own self-doubt and struggles," he continued. "And it's hit me smack in the face with our divorce. I gotta be more. I gotta be more for them. I have to show them. And I haven't been great at it."