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Angelina Jolie's lawyers claim Brad Pitt's 'physical abuse' started before the 2016 plane incident

The couple, who were declared legally single in 2019, share six children


Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie attend a private reception as costumes and props from Disney's "Maleficent" are exhibited in support of Great Ormond Street Hospital at Kensington Palace in 2014 i
Faye James
Senior Editor
5 April 2024
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In a recent court filing, Angelina Jolie's legal team has brought forward allegations against her ex-husband Brad Pitt, claiming he was abusive towards her before a 2016 plane incident that led Angelina to file for divorce

This development is part of the ongoing legal dispute over the former couple's shared French winery, Château Miraval.

On April 4, as part of their contentious battle over the winery, Angelina's attorneys filed a motion aiming to disclose communications that allegedly reveal Brad's refusal to allow Angelina to sell her share of the winery unless she consented to a significantly restrictive and broad non-disclosure agreement (NDA). 

"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. Jolie then immediately left him," the filing by Angelina's legal team states.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie attend the Inglourious Basterds Premiere held at the Palais Des Festivals during the 62nd International Cannes Film Festival in 2009 © Getty
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were declared legally single in 2016

The filing suggests that the lawsuit concerning the winery stemmed from Brad's reluctance to buy Angelina's share under her terms. 

The document insinuates that Brad's resistance was motivated by a fear that sealed documents from their prolonged custody dispute might become public without the imposition of an NDA.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie fight on in custody battle

"Pitt wanted Jolie to contractually bind herself to silence," about any alleged personal misconduct, "whether related to Miraval or not," her lawyers argue, indicating Brad's apprehension about the potential disclosure of certain information.

In contrast, a June 2023 response from Brad's legal team contends that it was Angelina who proposed a more extensive non-disparagement clause, with Brad's representatives offering a narrower version designed to safeguard the business operations. 

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie arrive at the 84th Annual Academy Awards in 2012© Getty
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie arrive at the 84th Annual Academy Awards in 2012

"This commitment shall however not limit the ability, for any Party, to make any claims, filings or testimony in any legal proceedings,” Brad's filing clarified, aiming to distinguish between protecting the business and allowing personal legal disputes to be aired.

The discord over the NDA surfaced prominently in the legal back-and-forth last year. "Mr. Pitt refused to purchase Ms. Jolie’s interest when she would not be silenced by his NDA. 

angelina jolie at premiere with five children© Getty
Brad and Angelina share six children together

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," stated Paul Murphy, Jolie's attorney.

Brad’s 2022 lawsuit against Angelina and her former company Nouvel, for selling her half of the winery without his approval, adds another layer to their multifaceted legal entanglements. 

Brad alleges Angelina's sale to Tenute del Mondo compromised the winery's reputation, a business he claims to have meticulously cultivated.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Joile arrive for the  'Changeling' Premiere at the Palais des Festivals in 2008© Getty
Brad Pitt and Angelina Joile arrive for the 'Changeling' Premiere at the Palais des Festivals in 2008

As allegations from the 2016 plane incident were reintroduced in the winery case, Brad who was investigated but not charged following the incident, has seen his and Angelina's private disputes continue to unfold publicly. 

Angelina, prioritizing the family's healing over legal action, has not pressed charges, believing in a path to recovery through Brad's acknowledgment and responsibility.

The couple, who were declared legally single in 2019, share six children Maddox, 22, Pax, 20, Zahara, 19, Shiloh, 17, and 15-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox.

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