Angelina Jolie says Brad Pitt’s abuse began ‘well before’ 2016 flight

Angelina Jolie filed a new motion against Brad Pitt on April 4, 2024, alleging that Pitt's abusive behaviour began "well before" the 2016 plane incident that precipitated their divorce. Anthony Harvey/Getty Images & James Devaney/Getty Images

The legal battle between Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt rages on, with a new motion filed Thursday that alleges Pitt had a “history of physical abuse” against Jolie before the 2016 plane incident that precipitated their divorce.

The motion was filed by Jolie’s legal team to the Los Angeles Superior Court as part of an ongoing dispute between the ex-spouses over the Miraval winery they used to own together in the south of France. Pitt lobbed the first grenade in February 2022 when he sued Jolie for selling her share of the winery to a Russian oligarch instead of to him.

He claimed that the pair agreed they would sell their stakes in Château Miraval separately “only with the other’s consent,” a claim that Jolie has denied.

Jolie filed a countersuit, claiming she sold her portion of the winery after negotiations to sell to Pitt broke down. He allegedly insisted that Jolie 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.”

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These allegations stemmed from a now-infamous 2016 flight on a private jet that the family took together. Days after the flight, Jolie filed for divorce.

Pitt allegedly “choked one of the children and struck another in the face” and “grabbed Jolie by the head and shook her,” according to the filing.

The FBI investigated the alleged plane incident in 2016 but did not bring forward any charges against Pitt. Jolie never filed charges against Pitt for the alleged abuse.

Click to play video: 'Brad Pitt under investigation for child abuse after incident on plane'
Brad Pitt under investigation for child abuse after incident on plane

In Thursday’s filing, Jolie’s team alleges that Pitt’s abusive behaviour started “well before” the 2016 flight.

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“While Pitt’s history of physical abuse of Jolie started well before the family’s September 2016 plane trip from France to Los Angeles, this flight marked the first time he turned his physical abuse on the children as well,” the new motion states. “Jolie then immediately left him.”

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The motion requests access to communications between Pitt and the FBI, the U.S. attorney’s office, the Los Angeles Police Department and the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services regarding the 2016 plane incident. In particular, Jolie’s team is seeking information about the investigation of the incident, drug and alcohol testing and a safety plan that child and family services allegedly required Pitt to follow.

Jolie’s team is also filing to acquire Pitt’s communications related to the “all-encompassing” nondisclosure agreement that tanked the Miraval sale. Her lawyers argued that Jolie and Pitt were close to reaching an agreement for Pitt to buy out Jolie’s portion of the estate before he allegedly got cold feet.

“If that sale had been completed, this lawsuit never would have happened. But at the last minute, Pitt ‘stepped back’ from his agreement to buy Jolie’s interest in Miraval, and the deal collapsed,” the motion reads, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Jolie’s legal team believes the reason Pitt backed out is because of a separate, but simultaneous, legal dispute over the custody of their children. As part of the custody battle, Jolie submitted sealed documents to the court titled “Testimony Regarding Domestic Violence” and “Testimony of Minor Children.”

These testimonies “apparently enraged Pitt.”

“When Jolie filed the evidence in the custody suit, she was careful to file it under seal so that no member of the public could see it. But Jolie’s sealed filing, which included emails, summaries of the family’s expected testimony, and other evidence, caused Pitt to fear that the information could eventually become public,” the motion reads.

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That’s when Pitt decided to hinge the purchase of Jolie’s share of the Miraval winery on her signing an expanded NDA to “contractually bind herself to that silence,” her lawyers argue.

“Mr. Pitt refused to purchase Ms. Jolie’s interest when she would not be silenced by his NDA. By refusing to buy her interest but then suing her, Mr. Pitt put directly at issue why that NDA was so important to him and what he hoped it would bury: his abuse of Ms. Jolie and their family,” Paul Murphy, Jolie’s lawyer, told CNN. “After eight months of delays, this motion asks the Court to force Mr. Pitt to finally produce that evidence.”

Pitt, however, claims that Jolie was the one who suggested an expanded “non-disparagement clause” as part of the sale, and that Pitt’s legal team were seeking a “narrower” clause “intended to protect the business,” in a 2023 filing.

Pitt was sued by the new co-owners of the Miraval winery in July 2023, who accused him of “looting” the estate and wasting company money on frivolous renovations.


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