Celebrity

Brad Pitt Opens up About the Brangelina Divorce for the First Time

After months of self-reflection, the 53-year-old dad of six spilled to GQ Style about drinking, divorce and loneliness

Brad Pitt comes off as a sort-of-basic L.A. dad in his cover story profile with GQ Style, talking at length about his new sculpting obsession and reminiscing about his stoner days passed. Apparently he’s listening to a lot of Frank Ocean (same), and also Marvin Gaye’s Here, My Dear (Gaye’s touchstone album about divorce). On a more serious note, he also dishes about his divorce from Angelina Jolie for the first time, discussing loneliness, their desire to keep the split out of court and, of course, the effect it’s having on their kids. Here’s what we learned:

He’s stopped drinking and started going to therapy

“I can’t remember a day since I got out of college when I wasn’t boozing or had a spliff, or something. Something. And you realize that a lot of it is, um—cigarettes, you know, pacifiers. And I’m running from feelings. I’m really, really happy to be done with all of that. I mean I stopped everything except boozing when I started my family. 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.”

“I just started therapy. I love it, I love it. I went through two therapists to get to the right one.”

He had a hard time returning to their former family home  

“It was too sad to be here [in his kids’ childhood home] at first, so I went and stayed on a friend’s floor, a little bungalow in Santa Monica. I crashed over here a little bit, my friend [David] Fincher lives right here. He’s always going to have an open door for me, and I was doing a lot of stuff on the Westside, so I stayed at my friend’s house on the floor for a month and a half—until I was out there one morning, 5:30, and this surveillance van pulls up. They don’t know that I’m up behind a wall, and they pull up—and it’s a long story—but it was something more than TMZ, because they got into my friend’s computer. The stuff they can do these days…. So I got a little paranoid being there. I decided I had to pick up and come here.”

“This house was always chaotic and crazy, voices and bangs coming from everywhere, and then, as you see, there are days like this: very…very solemn.”

He genuinely thought he was done with scandal in his life a year ago

“I remember literally having this thought a year, a year and a half ago, someone was going through some scandal. Something crossed my path that was a big scandal—and I went, “Thank God I’m never going to have to be a part of one of those again.” I live my life, I have my family, I do my thing, I don’t do anything illegal, I don’t cross anyone’s path. What’s the David Foster Wallace quote? Truth will set you free, but not until it’s done with you first.”

His strategy moving forward is “family first”

“Family first. People on their deathbeds don’t talk about what they obtained or were awarded. They talk about their loved ones or their regrets—that seems to be the menu. I say that as someone who’s let the work take me away. Kids are so delicate. They absorb everything. They need to have their hand held and things explained. They need to be listened to. When I get in that busy work mode, I’m not hearing. I want to be better at that.”

He and Jolie are working out a visitation schedule now, and are avoiding court as much as possible

“I was really on my back and chained to a system when Child Services was called. And you know, after that, we’ve been able to work together to sort this out. We’re both doing our best. I heard one lawyer say, “No one wins in court—it’s just a matter of who gets hurt worse.” And it seems to be true, you spend a year just focused on building a case to prove your point and why you’re right and why they’re wrong, and it’s just an investment in vitriolic hatred. I just refuse. And fortunately my partner in this agrees. It’s just very, very jarring for the kids, to suddenly have their family ripped apart.”

They’re also figuring out how to explain what’s going on to the kids

“[T]here’s a lot to tell them because there’s understanding the future, there’s understanding the immediate moment and why we’re at this point, and then it brings up a lot of issues from the past that we haven’t talked about. So our focus is that everyone comes out stronger and better people—there is no other outcome.”

Related:
A Divorce Lawyer Decodes Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s Joint Statement
Brangelina: An Epic Romance and Sudden Split, By The Numbers
Elaine Lui Answers Every Question You Have About The Brangelina Split

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