Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie sent shock waves throughout the celebrity-watching world earlier this week when the Hollywood power couple announced that their 12-year, headline-grabbing romance had come to an end.
The married couple, lovingly known as Brangelina, confirmed their breakup in separate statements after news broke Tuesday that Jolie had filed for divorce. Jolie, 41, cited “irreconcilable difference” in divorce papers, while Pitt, 52, said in a statement to People that he is “very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the wellbeing of our kids.”
The couple’s split was quickly complicated by emerging details about a confrontation on a private plane that ended with child abuse allegations against Pitt. Here’s what you need to know:
Pitt is accused of verbally and physically abusing his oldest child, 15-year-old Maddox, while the family was on a private plane last week, sources tell People. Pitt was apparently “drunk” and had been arguing with his wife aboard the flight when Maddox stepped in, the magazine reports. “There was a parent-child argument which was not handled in the right way and escalated more than it should have,” the source said.
But Pitt did not hurt his son, according to the source. “He put his hands on him, yes, because the confrontation was spiraling out of control,” the source said.
Neither Pitt nor Jolie have commented on the abuse allegations.
What happens to the kids?
Pitt and Jolie—who met in 2003 on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith—tied the knot in 2014. They now have six children together, including Maddox, 12-year-old Pax, 11-year-old Zahara, 10-year-old Shiloh, and 8-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne. Jolie is seeking physical custody of all of them but would allow visitation rights for Pitt, according to the Associated Press.
How did the custody battle get more complicated?
A source told People that the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services is investigating the allegations after the incident was anonymously reported. The department has interviewed Pitt, who is “cooperating fully,” a source told the magazine. And the FBI is “gathering facts” and evaluating whether to open an investigation into the allegations, it said in a statement to the BBC.
Why is the FBI involved?
The case falls under the FBI’s jurisdiction because the alleged incident happened on an in-air flight from France to the U.S., according to ABC News.
What happens next?
The Children and Family Services investigation is ongoing, and the FBI has yet to say whether it will pursue a probe.