In the tactical world of Hollywood divorce, first mover advantage is a potent weapon.
Just as Amber Heard was able to get out on the front foot in the court of public opinion in her divorce with Johnny Depp, accusing him of violent and erratic behavior, so has Angelina Jolie been able to take an early lead on Brad Pitt, alleging through targeted media briefings that the actor had anger issues, exacerbated by his alleged habit of smoking marijuana and drinking.
Wednesday’s newspapers are filled with allegations that Brad is a “bad dad,” repeating Jolie’s claims that she is filing for divorce for “the health of her family” and circulating unfounded stories that reported she learned through a private eye that Pitt was cheating on her with actress Marion Cotillard, with whom he is working on a new film.
The actress filed papers Monday citing “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the split and asked for sole physical custody of the couple’s six children—Maddox, 15; Pax, 12; Zahara, 11; Shiloh, 10; and twins Vivienne and Knox, 8.
It seems, however, that Brad is prepared to take on Angelina in what looks set to be a bruising fight for joint physical custody of their children.
TMZ is today reporting that sources “connected with Brad” say there’s “no chance” that Pitt is simply going to roll over and allow Angie full custody with limited visitation rights for himself.
The actress is not looking for any financial support, but a full-scale custody battle has the potential to make the Pitt-Jolie divorce one of the most bitter Hollywood splits in a generation.
TMZ’s Brad sources are, of course, “quick to add Angelina’s a ‘great mother’ and doesn’t want to hurt her in the divorce.”
Unsurprisingly, TMZ’s Brad sources insist that the Jolie camp’s allegation that Brad’s behavior might put his kids in danger is completely untrue.
This will not be the first divorce for either Brad or Angelina.
Angelina was previously married to actors Jonny Lee Miller and Billy Bob Thornton and Brad left Jennifer Aniston for Angelina.
Aniston was humiliated when Brad and Angelina engaged in a perfectly styled game of “Happy Families” on the cover of W Magazine just months after he left her. Over dozens and dozens of inside pages shot in an ironic Americana style by Steven Klein, the make-believe continued: Brad and Angelina saying grace at the dinner table with five kids (it turns out this was a slight underestimate), Brad and Angelina making cocktails, Brad and Angelina filling the paddling pool on the scorched grass of the front lawn.
The supposed peg was that the two were the co-stars of the spy rom-com Mr. and Mrs. Smith, however many interpreted it as a gratuitous swipe at Aniston.
According to Us Weekly, Aniston commented Tuesday after the split was revealed: “That’s karma for you!”
Last year, Jen married the actor and writer Justin Theroux.