Hollywood nearly stopped dead in its tracks when Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie announced their divorce in 2016. The former golden couple made headlines on a daily basis at the beginning of their relationship, after dating rumors began circulating in 2004, while Pitt was still married to Aniston.
Brangelina confirmed they were expecting their first child, Shiloh, in January 2006. They adopted their son Pax from Vietnam in 2007, after Pitt legally adopted Jolie’s two adopted children Maddox and Zahara. Their twins Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline were born in 2008, cementing them as a family of eight.
The couple became engaged in 2012 and wed in France in August 2014. However, just two years later in August 2016, Jolie filed for divorce.
While Jennifer Aniston dealt with her divorce from Pitt by making a movie mirroring their relationship breakdown, Pitt made the decision to prioritize his health in the days following Brangelina’s demise.
Brad Pitt’s Mental Health Struggle
Brad Pitt has openly talked about his mental health struggles throughout his career. The Independent reports that the actor revealed in an interview with GQ that he spent years struggling with low-grade depression.
“I always felt very alone in my life,” he told the publication. “Alone growing up as a kid, alone even out here, and it’s really not till recently that I have had a greater embrace of my friends and family.”
The actor admitted that the discovery of “joy” came later in life for him. And he didn’t fully experience joy until he came to terms with the other sides of himself:
“I think joy’s been a newer discovery, later in life. I was always moving with the currents, drifting in a way, and onto the next,” he said.
“I think I spent years with a low-grade depression, and it’s not until coming to terms with that, trying to embrace all sides of self—the beauty and the ugly—that I’ve been able to catch those moments of joy.”
How Did Brad Pitt Deal With His Split From Angelina Jolie?
Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Brad Pitt in 2016. What later became one of the messiest divorces in Hollywood at the time prompted Pitt to focus on his health and mental health after not prioritizing them for so long.
Immediately after Jolie filed for divorce, Pitt stopped drinking alcohol in an effort to get sober and take care of his mental health—something he had openly struggled with—and began attending Alcoholics Anonymous for a year and a half.
“I had a really cool men’s group here that was really private and selective, so it was safe,” he says. “Because I’d seen things of other people who had been recorded while they were spilling their guts, and that’s just atrocious to me.”
The COVID-19 pandemic also prompted Pitt to start taking more care of his health. He gave up smoking during the pandemic after realizing that the health change of cutting back on cigarettes, which he made following his divorce, wasn’t going to work for him.
“I don’t have that ability to do just one or two a day,” he explained to GQ. “It’s not in my makeup. I’m all in. And I’m going to drive into the ground. I’ve lost my privileges.”
Why Did Brad Pitt And Angelina Jolie Split Up?
Since first getting together in 2005, after meeting on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Brad Pitt and Angelina became Hollywood’s it-couple.
Though they’ve never shared the intimate details behind what went wrong, fans and the press have made a few guesses.
According to Nicki Swift, there may have been several reasons why Brangelina broke up. One of them is reportedly that their lifestyles are incredibly different, with Jolie prioritizing things outside of Hollywood and Pitt focusing on being the “golden boy” of Tinseltown.
It’s also been speculated that Jolie didn’t get along with Pitt’s friends, including Edward Norton, and didn’t have many friends of her own outside the marriage. Pitt was also the subject of cheating rumors during their marriage.
The former couple was also reported to have different parenting styles, which caused tensions as they tried to raise their six kids. Pitt was believed to be stricter, while Jolie had a more relaxed approach.
Finally, there were reports of an incident between Pitt and Maddox on a private plane, where Maddox tried to intervene as Pitt and Jolie were arguing, leading Pitt to “lunge” toward his son.
Whatever the reason why Brangelina eventually parted ways, fans hope they are both in better places and are relieved that Pitt is prioritizing his mental health.