Angelina Jolie is renowned in Hollywood for getting everything she wants.
Except in affairs of the heart. For Jolie is increasingly being outsmarted by her ex-husband Brad Pitt when it comes to the terms of her divorce.
The couple have just agreed to seal all court documents citing the interests of their six children. They released their first statement about the divorce last night.
But while the exact terms of their divorce are not known, it seems that Pitt has comprehensively won the divorce war with Jolie.
Pitt has fought for the divorce to proceed privately, having requested joint custody. A month ago he was denied an emergency hearing in which he asked a judge to seal the court documents to protect the privacy of his children in order to “avoid subjecting them to the negative impact of the intense media coverage and worldwide public scrutiny.”
Jolie bitterly opposed Pitt’s request on the grounds that he was trying to “shield himself, rather than the minor children, from public view.” Now she has bitten the bullet after Pitt filed additional court documents stating Jolie “was determined to ignore even agreed upon standards relating to the children’s best interest” and slamming Jolie for having “no self-regulating mechanism”.
Pitt has also been vindicated by being cleared of any allegations of child abuse by both the FBI and the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services.
Jolie and Pitt have now reached an informal compromise in which she retains physical custody and he has supervised visits—a very different arrangement to the one originally envisaged by Jolie.
If last weekend’s Golden Globes is anything to go by, Hollywood is backing Team Brad. Making his first major public appearance since the split was revealed in September, Pitt was greeted with a rapturous reception by the showbiz audience which many are attributing to sympathy for his recent treatment at the hands of Jolie.
Angelina’s very public bid to humiliate her ex-husband, accusing him of child abuse and having the FBI investigate his conduct—a common ploy used against fathers in divorce cases—has backfired. Her ambition of achieving sole custody, rare in California, lies in tatters.
Earlier on in their proceedings, Jolie’s lawyers accused Pitt of being “terrified that the public will learn the truth.” But for Jolie right now, the truth must hurt.