Next month will mark the six-year anniversary of Angelina Jolie shocking the world by filing for divorce from Brad Pitt.
But despite being declared legally single in 2019, the exes are still no closer to reaching a custody agreement for their kids – even as they reach college age.
“It appears that Angelina is determined that Brad should never get 50/50 custody,” one source familiar with the legal battle told Page Six. “And there are some who say that she won’t rest until the kids are legally adults, so Brad will never have shared custody.”
The couple have six children together: Maddox, 21, Pax, 18, Zahara, 17, Shiloh, 16, and twins Knox and Vivienne, both 14.
It’s just the latest salvo in a seemingly never-ending war.
French estate centre of bitter war
“Angelina makes a constant stream of attacks on Brad. And she deliberately sold her disputed share of their vineyard to a buyer she knew he didn’t want,” a friend of Pitt claimed.
Pitt has been seen on red carpets around the world recently for the premiere of his latest movie Bullet Train, but he apparently can’t escape the long reach of his ex-wife.
In legal papers in June, Pitt, 58, claimed that Jolie, 47, intentionally “sought to inflict harm on” him by selling her interests of the Chateau Miraval wine brand to Russian businessman Yuri Shefler, the founder of Stoli Vodka.
Pitt said they had agreed to never sell their respective shares without the other’s permission. He also asked for a trial by jury.
“It’s his baby. He’s very proud of it and he’s put all of the revenue from the business into the vineyard and Miraval studios,” said a Hollywood friend, noting that the Correns, France, vineyard estate also houses a recording studio.
“Unfortunately, Angelina sold her part, which was contrary to their agreement, to somebody they had both turned down before,” the friend added, as Pitt had previously said no to a deal with Stoli.
And then there was the recent news that lawyers for Jolie sent process servers to the SAG Awards in February, hoping to catch Pitt off-guard with a subpoena for Miraval matters at the event. (He did not attend.) Sources claim this was another example of Jolie trying to create a public scene to exacerbate the situation.
In April, Page Six reported that Jolie had allegedly unleashed “a desperate fishing expedition” by suing the FBI under the name “Jane Doe” to find more about its investigation into an alleged 2016 private-jet altercation incident involving Pitt and their son Maddox, and why FBI agents didn’t charge the actor.
An anonymous call was made to authorities, which triggered the FBI investigation, but the case was closed on November 22, 2016, with no charges of wrongdoing. Days later, Jolie filed for divorce.
Dispute over psychologist
Page Six is also told that things became tense earlier this year when Pitt’s legal team believed that Jolie’s lawyers attempted to have their court-approved child psychologist sanctioned by the California Attorney-General’s office based on her perception that the doctor had sided with Pitt, concluding that Pitt should have 50/50 custody of the kids.
Psychologist Stan Katz, who spoke to the Jolie-Pitt minor children for the custody case, is currently under a non-criminal investigation by the California Attorney-General’s office, per a filing submitted to the Superior Court of California and seen by Page Six.
Dr Katz is not believed to have had any complaints made about him in his 30-year career.
However, another insider with knowledge of the issues had stressed that Jolie had nothing to do with the investigation.
Meanwhile, one highly placed legal insider told Page Six that only one or both of the parties involved in the case could make a complaint. A friend of Pitt’s confirmed it was not him.
The filing noted that: “The Court finds the Petitioner (Jolie) has filed a notice of non-opposition and Respondent (Pitt) has taken no position.”
Dr Katz declined to comment. Page Six also contacted the AG’s office. The scope of the investigation is not known, and it’s unclear whether the investigation is still ongoing.
‘It was a technicality’
After years of back and forth, Pitt was granted joint custody of his minor children in May 2021.
Judge John Ouderkirk however, was subsequently disqualified from the case for not sufficiently disclosing business relationships with Pitt’s lawyers – so it was back to square one for the custody case.
Another source familiar with the case said: “Everything is at a standstill. Last year was a real rollercoaster. Brad was given 50/50 custody in a lengthy, detailed judicial decision. Then the appellate court vacated the decision based on something having nothing to do with the substance of the case.
“It was an internal dispute between the judges and the private judges in California, nothing to do with the custody agreement. It was a technicality. It’s unclear where things stand right now.”
Meanwhile, Pitt is not believed to be close to his and Jolie’s oldest child, son Maddox, who turned 21 on Friday.
Asked how often the actor gets to see the other children, the source familiar with the case said: “He gets to see them, but he still doesn’t have 50/50. But he’s trying to ride it out.”
Both Jolie and Pitt’s reps were unavailable for comment.
Jolie-Pitt brood grows up
The former couple have six children. Maddox currently studies biochemistry at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. Pax, 18, is believed to be continuing with his schooling, and 17-year-old Zahara is about to begin college.
Jolie announced in an Instagram post that Zahara will be attending the historically black Spelman College in Atlanta this year.
“Zahara with her Spelman sisters!” the Eternals star captioned an image of her daughter surrounded by fellow students.
Daughter Shiloh, 16, showed off her hip-hop dance moves back in June in a now-viral clip set to Doja Cat’s Vegas.
Pitt joked about it at the Bullet Train premiere: “I don’t know where she got it from. I’m Mr Two-Left-Feet here.” He also said that Zahara’s acceptance to college “brings a tear to the eye”.
It’s a new side of the Oscar winner, who also shares 14-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox with Jolie, as he has previously been so protective about his kids he rarely talked about them.
Pitt has been on the promo trail for Bullet Train, travelling to Paris, Berlin and London over the past month.
In Germany, the actor hit the red carpet wearing a skirt that he co-designed with Haans Nicolas Mott.
When asked why he wore the skirt, Pitt told Variety: “I don’t know! We’re all going to die, so let’s mess it up.”
The Hollywood friend said the answer is simple: “Brad travels regularly, but this was his first major event for a few years and he had a lot of fun with it.”
But “fun” doesn’t mean romance right now. Pitt is “not currently dating anyone,” said the Hollywood friend. “He’s gone on dates over the past couple of years, but he’s not dating anyone currently.”
Instead, Pitt is spending time on his art, architecture and hanging out with friends. He will appear in the Damien Chazelle-directed drama Babylon with Margot Robbie and Olivia Wilde, which opens on Christmas Day.
“He’s in a good place,” said the Hollywood friend. “He had a good break in Europe. He seems refreshed and relaxed.”