As the bombshell news that Angelina Jolie was divorcing Brad Pitt exploded across the internet, it was immediately followed by questions about what motivated the successful actress and mom of six to dump her equally successful actor husband, who had been portrayed as a devoted dad. Amid the sometimes contradictory reports of what motivated Jolie to file for divorce, sources told TMZ that Angelina linked her decision to her estranged husband’s alleged substance abuse combined with anger issues that she felt endangered their children.
The insiders revealed that because Pitt was “smoking weed, drinking alcohol,” and had an ongoing “anger problem,” Jolie felt she needed to end their marriage to protect their six kids. However, although Brad was known to have enjoyed alcohol and smoked weed in the past, he had said he had cleaned up his act when he became a dad, a claim that Angelina does not support, according to TMZ’s sources.
Hollywood Life noted that although Pitt admitted to a history of drug abuse, he had clarified that he had focused on changing himself to improve his life. Among the claims of what caused Jolie to file for divorce are allegations that he was “wasted” and was verbally abusive to one of his children during a fight, according to Hollywood Life.
Talking with Esquire in June of 2013, the actor was candid about his past.
“For a long time I thought I did too much damage – drug damage.”
He described himself as a “bit of a drifter,” contending that he “grew up in something of a vacuum.” However, he also emphasized that he made a decision to change.
“I spent years f**king off,” he confessed. “But then I got burnt out and felt that I was wasting my opportunity. It was a conscious change. This was about a decade ago.”
His co-stars have dished about his use of alcohol. One of his co-stars, Samm Levine, recalled in 2010 that Brad was a “fine drinking buddy” along with Quentin.
“I would die of alcohol poisoning on day two if I had to keep up with those guys!” added Levine.
As for whether alcohol has continued to play a role in Pitt’s life, in 2015 French actor Richard Bohringer recalled what it was like to work with Angelina and her husband on the movie By the Sea.
“They are curious, these American stars. Brad Pitt, he lives on whiskey.”
The actor’s alleged alcohol use as well as the anger problem claims also came into play in a complaint filed with Los Angeles child services prior to Angelina’s filing for divorce and custody of the children, reported Page Six, which cited a source revealing that although Pitt told the child abuse investigators that he did yell at his son Maddox during a plane flight, he never hit his son.
The complaint alleged that the actor “hit his children in a drunken rage,” but he was “stunned” by the allegations, added the insider. Sources emphasized that he had never been physically abusive either to the children or Jolie.
“Angelina and Brad got into an argument while on the plane, and their [15-year-old] son, Maddox, stepped in and got caught in the middle,” clarified one of the sources.
“Brad may have been drinking, and admits that he yelled at his son, but he insists he did not hit him or attempt to harm him.”
In addition, sources told Us Weekly that the fight involving Jolie and at least one of their children on the plane was filmed, showing Pitt “looking drunk” and “yelling.” But the verbal abuse allegations were not followed by physical abuse, said one of those sources.
“He got drunk and was fighting with [Angelina],” revealed one of the insiders. “Maddox stepped in to defend [Jolie] and got in Brad’s face.”
Radar Online noted that the battle at this point includes random alcohol and drug testing for Brad.
“No matter what happened, there was nothing positive in it for him,” analyzed celebrity divorce lawyer Raoul Felder. “The charges that have been made against him may or may not be based in fact.”
[Featured Image by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images]