Brad Pitt’s divorce with Angelina Jolie just got a lot darker. An FBI probe into Pitt’s family life has expanded the investigation to include his interactions with the entire family. How will this affect Pitt’s battle for custody?
According to Hollywood Life, the Department of Child and Family Services is now looking into Pitt’s altercations with Jolie. Several witnesses claim to have seen these so-called “interactions” between the estranged couple, although the details of the incidents remain unknown.
Even worse, some sources indicate that the children are scared whenever Pitt is around. The World War Z star has already met with his kids on several different occasions following the divorce. The oldest son, Maddox, reportedly has the biggest issue with Pitt and has only attended one meeting with the actor. In the one meeting that Maddox attended, he reportedly left early because he didn’t want to see Pitt.
Just prior to the divorce announcement, witnesses claim that Pitt got physically and verbally abusive with Maddox during a private plane ride back to Los Angeles. The plane incident sparked the initial investigation by the DCFS, and the Mirror reports that the scope of the investigation has now broadened to include all the family members. The FBI was apparently brought in because some of the incidents occurred during flights, which is where they hold jurisdiction.
Jolie announced her divorce from Pitt a month ago after being together for over 12 years. The couple, who officially tied the knot two years ago, have six kids together; Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, and twins Vivienne and Knox.
Despite all the bad press surrounding Pitt, TMZ reports that he chose not to file a legal response within a month of Jolie’s divorce filing. Not only did Pitt want to avoid a lengthy and damaging legal battle in court, but he also thought a legal response would send the wrong message to the kids.
Pitt was supposed to file a response to Jolie’s petition last week but failed to do so. Although the actor didn’t file legal papers, he wants to pursue joint custody of the children and doesn’t want Jolie to keep full physical custody. The Tomb Raider star, of course, already requested that she be granted full physical custody, so there’s no telling if or when the two will finally reach an agreement.
Because Pitt failed to respond to the petition, Jolie could ask the court for judgment by default that would award her physical custody. However, sources indicate that she will not seek physical custody in this manner because she wants the family to heal. Jolie believes that the well-being of her children is the most important thing at the moment and gaining physical custody would only make the situation worse. Of course, Pitt has another reason for not filing a response in the time allotted.
If the actor waits until the investigation into his alleged child abuse is over, then a favorable outcome of the investigation could play into his favor. After all, if the investigation proves him innocent of abuse, then Brad Pitt would have a stronger bid for joint custody. That being said, the fact that the investigation has now expanded to include the rest of the family is not a good sign for Pitt. If the authorities discover that Pitt had been abusive in the past, then it might be a long time before he gets to see the kids without tight supervision.
Meanwhile, considering how everything has played out so far, there is a good possibility that Pitt and Jolie will settle their divorce outside of the courtroom. If that is the case, then we might never know what truly happened behind the scenes.
Whatever unfolds, Hollywood Life reports that Jolie isn’t trying to paint Pitt as the bad guy. Pitt has taken a lot of heat over the divorce this past month, leaving many fans wondering if Jolie is launching a smear campaign to damage his public image. Despite the bad rap, nothing could be further from the truth.
“[Angelina] is not trying to poison the kids against Brad,” an inside source explained. “She wants them to have a relationship with him once their health and safety is assured.”
For his part, Pitt continues to deny any and all claims of child abuse, both physical and verbal. While witnesses claim Pitt was shouting at Maddox at the airport and that he “put his hand” on the boy, sources close to the actor are adamant that it never escalated to the point of abuse. Unfortunately, the authorities have not released their findings of their investigation.
Until more information is released, it looks like Pitt and Jolie’s custody drama is going to continue longer than originally expected. Hopefully, the DCFS and the FBI will wrap up their investigation soon, and the family can get on with their lives without further controversy.
Tell us! Whose side are you on — Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie? Let us know in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]