Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt opens up about divorce and custody fight with Angelina Jolie for the first time

The Hollywood couple shocked the world when they announced their split in September

Sharnaz Shahid

It's almost coming up to a year since Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie shocked the world with the announcement of their split. And in a new interview with GQ Style magazine, the Allied actor has reflected on his second divorce and the former couple's custody battle for the very first time. Describing the journey as "self-inflicted," Brad told GQ Style's Michael Paterniti: "If you love someone, set them free. Now I know what it means, by feeling it. It means to love without ownership. It means expecting nothing in return. It doesn't mean [expletive] all to me until, you know. Until you live it."

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Brad Pitt has talked about his divorce and custody battle with Angelina Jolie

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Brad, 53, and Angelina, 41, announced their separation in September. The Hollywood stars, who were married for two years and together for 12 after becoming close during the filming of Mr and Mrs Smith in 2005, are parents to six children - Maddox, 15, Pax, 13, Zahara, 12, Shiloh, 10, and eight-year-old twins, Vivienne and Knox. Blaming himself, Brad confessed it was his "heavy drinking" that played a pivotal role in the breakdown of his marriage.

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"If you love someone, set them free," he said

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"I mean I stopped everything except boozing when I started my family," he shared. "But even this last year, you know - things I wasn’t dealing with. I was boozing too much. It's just become a problem. And I'm really happy it's been half a year now, which is bittersweet, but I've got my feelings in my fingertips again. I think that’s part of the human challenge: You either deny them all of your life or you answer them and evolve."

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The Hollywood stars are parents to six children

Although the acclaimed star is trying to avoid the limelight, Brad explained how he feared for his kids to deal with the attention of the divorce. "I worry about it more for my kids, being subjected to it, and their friends getting ideas from it," he said. "And of course it's not done with any kind of delicacy or insight – it's done to sell. And so you know the most sensational sells, and that's what they'll be subjected to, and that pains me. I worry more in my current situation about the slideshow my kids have. I want to make sure it's well-balanced."

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Earlier this year, Angelina and Brad agreed to resolve their divorce and custody dispute in private. They said in a joint statement at the time: "The parties and their counsel have signed agreements to preserve the privacy rights of their children and family by keeping all court documents confidential and engaging a private judge to make any necessary legal decisions and to facilitate the expeditious resolution of any remaining issues. The parents are committed to act as a united front to effectuate recovery and reunification."

The summer issue of GQ Style will be available to buy nationwide on May 16.