What caused Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to break up?

Heather Saul
Thursday 22 September 2016 10:28 BST
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(Getty Images)

Amid reports Angelina Jolie is holed up in a Los Angeles bunker planning her next move in her divorce from Brad Pitt, their split after 10 years has happened, according to the official line from lawyers for Jolie, to ensure the “health” of the family.

The couple who were so transparent in the media (Jolie once uttered the words every interviewer dreams of, but rarely hears: "ask me anything") is now surrounded by unanswered questions over what precipitated the breakdown of their relationship.

Less than 24 hours after confirming the divorce, Hollywood's ultimate power couple has been dogged by rumours of what led to the demise of Brangelina amid unsubstantiated allegations about Pitt’s relationship with his Allied co-star Marion Cotillard. There is no suggestion Cotillard had any involvement with Pitt other than professionally or in his divorce, and a source quoted by the Mail Online says Cotillard is ‘devastated’ by the reports. Cotillard did not respond to a request for comment from the Independent.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt: A timeline of their relationship

A source close to Pitt dismissed the claims as “totally untrue”, telling the Independent: “It’s disgraceful that someone would introduce a completely innocent third party into an issue that has nothing to do with them.”

Marion Cotillard
Marion Cotillard (Getty Images)

The front of their Los Angeles home is now decorated with a string of paparazzi and police have been stationed outside to ensure their safety.

In a filing obtained by TMZ, Jolie reportedly expressed concerns over the way Pitt, 52, was “parenting the children“. The actress, 41, has filed for physical custody and joint legal custody of their six children and asked for Pitt to be granted visitation rights.

TMZ, the site to break the news of their divorce, claims their split is related to parenting concerns solely, with no other factors or issues identified.

Pitt has accused Jolie of “unleashing hell", according to TMZ. Sources claimed Pitt had pleaded with Jolie to keep the divorce low-key and is now “fearful” for the children because of the paparazzi now surrounding their home.

But the source said instead of being negative, Jolie and Pitt both wanted to reach a resolution quickly for their children. “Ange is a great mother and Brad is a very committed father and they both just want what is best for kids. Unfortunately, people are introducing baseless allegations as a way of trying to ratchet up negativity when in fact the two of them want to resolve this for their children.

“The point is that from him - and both of them - he went out of his way to make sure people around him are not being negative.”

Jolie has enlisted the formidable divorce lawyer Laura Wasser, nicknamed the queen of 'disso' - dissolving marriages - who represented Johnny Depp in his acrimonious divorce from Amber Heard.

Meanwhile, Us Weekly claims an unspecified ”incident“ that took place a week ago prompted Jolie's decision to file for divorce, while a source speaking to the Mirror has suggested Pitt had ”anger problems".

Documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court show Jolie is asking to keep ”miscellaneous jewellery and other personal effects“ and “additional separate property assets, the exact nature and extent of which are not presently known.” She has not asked for spousal support.

Pitt and Jolie have not been seen together at a red carpet event since the 2015 premiere of their film, By The Sea, a tale of the demise of a marriage that is now taking on greater significance in light of recent events.

Pitt and Jolie have released statements through their representatives and lawyers but have otherwise declined to comment on the claims. As a couple, they spoke fondly of each other during interviews throughout their relationship and marriage. Speaking after undergoing her double mastectomy in 2013, Jolie said of Pitt: “He has been extraordinary. He is such a wonderful man and a wonderful father and I feel very lucky.”

In a statement to People magazine, Pitt said: “I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the well-being of our kids.

“I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time.”

Representatives for Jolie did not respond to a request for comment.

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