New witness statements show Brad Pitt may be the villain of the story


Brad’s image is now the Pitts. 

What happened on that infamous plane ride — the one that led to Angelina Jolie’s shock divorce filing in September 2016 — has finally gone public. And as it turns out, most of us had the story wrong. 

Jolie’s not the bad guy here. Brad Pitt, perhaps the most universally beloved movie star of the last three decades, is the one to blame. 

Newly released FBI witness documents reveal Jolie reported Pitt as so drunk and aggressive that his six minor children were too scared “to even go to the bathroom” during the long flight from France to LA, “as they would . . . have to pass [Pitt] to get into the restroom.” 

Since the FBI file became public on Wednesday, Pitt hasn’t denied anything Jolie’s alleged therein. His people have only said that Jolie, with the release of these docs, is trying “to inflict the most amount of pain on her ex” — a narrative Pitt’s been peddling for the past six years. 

Reveal wasn’t by Jolie 

But Jolie isn’t the one who released these FBI docs. It was a Politico reporter who came across them back in April, after stumbling across a Freedom of Information Act request filed by an anonymous Jane Doe against the FBI. 

One of the bruises Jolie allegedly suffered during the flight.
One of the bruises Jolie allegedly suffered during the flight.
Oldest son Maddox reportedly spoke about removing Pitt as his last name.
Following their divorce, Jolie gained full custody of the couple’s six children.

Doe — who, yes, is Jolie — had her lawyer request that the FOIA itself be sealed, to protect her children, but a judge ruled against it. Had it been up to Jolie, these docs would never have come to light. 

So, to be clear: Angelina Jolie did not leak these documents — which include two damning photos of injuries she sustained during that flight — in a deliberate attempt to hurt Brad Pitt. 

It’s time to reconsider who and what we thought we knew, and why we choose to believe the people we do. We most recently saw it with Amber Heard and Johnny Depp — the more beloved figure, the male movie star, taken at his word, while the woman, more complicated, less likable, is maligned, mocked and sometimes worse. 

Ever since Pitt and Jolie split, he’s been portrayed as the hapless good guy. Jolie’s been the villain going scorched earth, the wronged woman gone totally, outer-limits, take-no-prisoners insane. 

It was an easy characterization to sell. Jolie, after all, is one who infamously wore a vial of blood, who made out with her brother on the red carpet, who spoke of once hiring a hit man to take her out. 

Then there’s Pitt, the nice wholesome boy from the Midwest who just happened to become a global megastar. 

But remember: Brad Pitt was such a nice guy that he had no problem demonizing Jennifer Aniston after he left her for Jolie. Aniston, who never really hit him back, who never said a bad word about him, and who let Pitt use her halo effect when he was campaigning for an Oscar in 2019. Aniston, whom Pitt left humiliated in the press — the plain sitcom star who couldn’t stand a chance against the glamazon-sexpot-adoptive-mother-UN-worker-movie-star Jolie. 

Pitt left Anniston for Jolie.
Pitt demonized Jennifer Aniston after leaving her for Jolie.

Nope, that wasn’t enough. Pitt had to double, triple, quadruple down. He called Aniston boring. He blamed her for his issues with pot. He led the public to believe she was a vain, selfish career woman denying him the babies he so longed for. 

As Pitt told Parade magazine in 2011, “I was intent on trying to find a movie about an interesting life, but I wasn’t living an interesting life myself. I think that my marriage [to actress Jennifer Aniston] had something to do with it. Trying to pretend the marriage was something that it wasn’t.” 

Pitt’s also the same guy who wouldn’t — until Thursday, ahem — fix all those houses he built for Katrina victims — you know, the ones clogged with mold or otherwise in major disrepair. 

Yet people still loved him, and love him they will. You can see it already online, people blaming Jolie for this leak, defending Pitt’s actions as surely a one-time thing, an aberrance, and really, not that bad. 

His actions are that bad. 

Pitt, Jolie says in her witness statement, compared one of their children to “a f—ing Columbine kid,” assaulted her in the bathroom and punched the plane’s ceiling multiple times as two of their children cried outside the bathroom door. 

Jolie was branded as a villain following the pair's divorce.
Jolie’s complicated public image made many trust Pitt over her.
Samir Hussein/WireImage

‘Crazy’ talk a la Heard 

As anyone who has ever lived through domestic violence can attest, this is harrowing stuff. There’s nothing to minimize or excuse here. 

When Jolie emerged from the bathroom, she says her children asked if she was OK. Pitt, Jolie says, pushed her as she bent down to hug them, yelling, “No, mommy’s not OK. She’s ruining this family. She’s crazy.” 

Crazy. Nothing like that word to dismiss or demonize a troublesome woman. Just ask Amber Heard. 

There’s good reason to believe Jolie. All six of their children were witnesses, as were on-board staff. It’s safe to assume they all saw Pitt lunge at son Maddox, as Jolie says here, that they saw Pitt fling Jolie like a rag doll when she attempted to intervene, and that they heard Pitt call her a bitch. That they all saw and heard Pitt stalk up and down the aisle, exploding every half hour or so as he drank and terrorized the children. 

Affable Brad Pitt, who got a standing ovation at the Golden Globes a few months later — Hollywood showing all their support, the media following suit, as did tabloids and Twitter, everyone blindly believing there was no way, no possible way, Pitt could have done anything like this. 

Maybe next time we won’t be so quick to choose sides. Maybe next time we won’t be so quick to demonize the women in these scenarios. 

And maybe we’re beginning to wonder if, over the past six years, Brad Pitt hasn’t given us the best performance of his life.


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