New details have emerged about Brad Pitt’s alleged abuse of ex-wife Angelina Jolie and two of their six children while flying home from Europe on a private jet in 2016, according to court documents filed Tuesday.
The allegations were included in a cross-complaint Jolie lodged in Los Angeles Superior Court against Pitt as part of an ongoing battle the two are fighting over the sale of her shares in a winery they once jointly owned. She said negotiations had collapsed after Pitt insisted she sign a nondisclosure agreement that “would have contractually prohibited her from speaking outside of court about Pitt’s physical and emotional abuse of her and their children,” according to the cross-complaint, which was reviewed by The Daily Beast. The filing was first reported by The New York Times.
In it, Jolie claims that Pitt became enraged over her being “too deferential” to their children, and began screaming at her in one of the aircraft’s restrooms. He then allegedly grabbed her and shook her before slamming her into the wall and punching the ceiling.
“As she exited, one of their children asked, ‘Are you ok, mommy?’” the cross-complaint alleges. “Pitt yelled back, ‘No, mommy’s not ok’ and started deriding Jolie with insults.”
When one of the kids stepped in and “verbally defended” Jolie, Pitt “lunged at his own child and Jolie grabbed him from behind to stop him,” the filing says. “To get Jolie off his back, Pitt threw himself backwards into the airplane’s seats injuring Jolie’s back and elbow. The children rushed in and all bravely tried to protect each other. Before it was over, Pitt choked one of the children and struck another in the face. Some of the children pleaded with Pitt to stop. They were all frightened. Many were crying.”
Jolie and the children sat quietly while Pitt “periodically emerged from the back of the plane to yell and swear at them,” the cross-complaint states, adding that Pitt at one point “poured beer on Jolie,” and poured red wine on the kids.
“After many tense hours, Pitt finally fell asleep,” it says.
When they landed, Pitt allegedly prevented anyone from deplaning for about 20 minutes, according to the filing.
“After a child intervened and demanded to leave, Pitt finally relented,” it states. “But once outside the plane door, Pitt again physically abused one of their children. He also grabbed and shook Jolie by the head and shoulders, causing one of the children to beg, ‘Don’t hurt her.’ He let Jolie go, but then called her a ‘bitch,’ before adding, ‘Fuck you, fuck you all.’ Jolie and the children then left and made it to a hotel. Five days later—on September 19, 2016—Jolie filed for divorce.”
The FBI opened a case into the matter, but closed it the following month without bringing charges.
“In response to allegations made following a flight within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States which landed in Los Angeles carrying Mr. Brad Pitt and his children, the FBI has conducted a review of the circumstances and will not pursue further investigation,” the bureau announced at the time.
The cross-complaint filed by Jolie is part of an ongoing civil suit related to her sale last year of her half of the chateau to a Stoli subsidiary without first getting sign-off from Pitt. The filing says Jolie initially “hoped that the investment would prove fruitful, both by providing a loving home for their six children and by growing the accompanying winery into a successful family business that would provide long-term financial security for their children and their own future families.”
They partnered with a successful winemaker, who the pair expected would turn their chateau into “a vintner of world-class Rosé wine,” the filing explains.
“Jolie hoped and expected that as the business grew profitable, the profits would repay their initial investment, and the winery would serve as a long-term asset for their family,” it says.
But Jolie says Pitt took control over the project and, despite wanting a more collaborative approach, she acquiesced—“although she sometimes questioned why, for example, the chateau needed a fifth pool at the cost of one million euros, or why the same staircase needed to be rebuilt four times.”
“If Jolie ever questioned such expenditures, Pitt defended them as critical to his vision for the chateau,” the cross-complaint says.
Jolie says in the filing that by 2019, she “was growing increasingly uncomfortable with continuing to participate in an alcohol-related business, given the impact of Pitt’s acknowledged problem of alcohol abuse on their family.” She decided to sell, and when a potential deal with Pitt fell through, she looked elsewhere.
In her countersuit, Jolie emphasizes that she has never before publicly explained why she and Pitt divorced, why she and her children left Chateau Miraval, and why she sold her stake in the property. “[S]he has gone to great lengths to try to shield their children from reliving the pain Pitt inflicted on the family that day,” it says.
The turning point came, according to Jolie, “when Pitt filed this lawsuit seeking to reassert control over Jolie’s financial life and compel her to rejoin her ex-husband as a frozen-out business partner, Pitt forced Jolie to publicly defend herself on these issues for the first time.”
Jolie’s cross-complaint “seems designed to make it very difficult for Brad to move forward with the business,” Los Angeles divorce lawyer Chris Melcher told The Daily Beast on Tuesday.
Melcher, who is not involved with the Jolie-Pitt case but has represented numerous divorcing celebrities, also questioned why any legitimate buyer would purchase Jolie’s share of the winemaking operation knowing full well the other 50-percent owner hadn’t agreed to the deal.
“They’re not just buying half a chateau, they’re buying a lawsuit with Brad Pitt,” Melcher said.