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Angelina Jolie accuses Brad Pitt of choking and hitting their children

The A.V. Club 10/4/2022 Matt Schimkowitz
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt © Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris (Getty Images for WSJ. Magazine 2015 Innovator Awards) Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt’s Hollywood resurgence, which led to an Oscar win, a $100-million action blockbuster, and a starring role in Damien Chazel’s latest awards player, was just derailed. Earlier this year, he filed a lawsuit against former spouse Angelina Jolie over the ownership of the French winery the pair bought in the 2000s. Today, Jolie responded with a countersuit, alleging Pitt had “choked” and “struck” their children.

Per Variety, the countersuit states that Pitt “choked one of the children and struck another in the face” in 2016. These allegations were previously reported as part of an anonymous lawsuit filed by Jolie that accused Pitt of assaulting her and their children on a private plane. In addition, Jolie told the FBI that Pitt “physically and verbally assaulted” her. However, the FBI did not pursue criminal charges, “causing Jolie to anonymously file a Freedom of Information Act suit against the FBI to obtain documents related to the federal investigation against Pitt,” writes Variety.

The new suit goes into greater detail than previous reports, stating that “Pitt grabbed Jolie by the head and shook her, and then grabbed her shoulders and shook her again before pushing her into the bathroom wall.” It continues: “Pitt then punched the ceiling of the plane numerous times, prompting Jolie to leave the bathroom.” The filing continues:

When one of the children verbally defended Jolie, Pitt lunged at his own child and Jolie grabbed him from behind to stop him. Pitt lunged at his own child and Jolie grabbed him from behind to stop him. To get Jolie off his back, Pitt threw himself backwards into the airplane’s seats injuring Jolie’s back and elbow. The children rushed in and all bravely tried to protect each other. Before it was over, Pitt choked one of the children and struck another in the face. Some of the children pleaded with Pitt to stop. They were all frightened. Many were crying.

Back in June, Pitt sued Jolie for selling her stake in the winery the pair owed, Château Miraval, to a company indirectly owned by a Russian oligarch. According to the suit, Pitt accused Jolie of seeking to “inflict harm” by selling to “a hostile third-party competitor bent on taking control of Miraval.”

After the plane incident, Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt. Last October, she attempted to sell her stake in the winery. Pitt halted negotiations by forcing Jolie to sign an NDA “that would have contractually prohibited her from speaking outside of court about Pitt’s physical and emotional abuse of her and their children.”

Back in June, Pitt sued Jolie for selling her stake in the winery the pair owed, Château Miraval, to a company indirectly owned by a Russian oligarch. According to the suit, Pitt accused Jolie of seeking to “inflict harm” by selling to “a hostile third-party competitor bent on taking control of Miraval.”

The $250 million lawsuit filed by the company Jolie founded to manage her stake in the winery makes an even more damning case against Pitt. The suit alleges Pitt “made an eleventh-hour demand for onerous and irrelevant conditions, including a provision designed to prohibit Jolie from publicly speaking about the events that had led to the breakdown of their marriage.” Jezebel’s Kylie Cheung notes that Pitt’s team accused Jolie of “desperately trying to find something” and that “this is all for show.

The countersuit couldn’t come at a worse time for Pitt, who’s enjoying a Hollywood comeback so successful, he’s considering retiring. Since winning his long-coveted Oscar for Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood in 2019, he’s starred in two of this year’s biggest hits, Bullet Train and The Lost City. Later this year, he’ll star in Damien Chazelle’s star-studded, early Hollywood epic Babylon, a movie that speaks to the violent bacchanal of tinsel town.

Pitt’s also a producer on several #MeToo-inspired Oscar players, She Said, Woman Talking, and (arguably) Blonde, all of which are gunning for awards this fall—not to mention the irony that all three dramatize abuse against women ensnared in patriarchal systems by powerful men skirting accountability. Though many have accused Blonde of misogyny, She Said is explicitly about the Harvey Weinstein scandal. In 2019, Brad Pitt discussed threatening Weinstein for sexually harassing Pitt’s then-significant other, Gwenyth Paltrow.

“At that moment, I was just a boy from the Ozarks on the playground, and that’s how we confronted things,” Pitt said at the time. “I just wanted to make sure nothing was going to happen further because Paltrow was going to do two [more] films [with Weinstein]. I think the interesting thing is that we, Hollywood specifically, but the workplace, men and women’s dynamics is being recalibrated, recalibrated in a very good way that is long overdue. And I do think that’s an important story to tell.”

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