Brad previously admitted that alcohol had “become an issue” before Angelina filed for divorce.
In 2016, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s relationship came under serious scrutiny after she filed for divorce after two years of marriage.
Angelina, who has six children with Brad, cited “irreconcilable differences” in their divorce papers, but they went through a highly publicized and exceptionally complicated separation as they clashed over their shared assets and custody.
At the center of the custody battle was an alleged altercation between Brad and his eldest son Maddox, who was 15 at the time, on the family’s private plane. Maddox reportedly testified against Brad in court amid his parents’ dispute.
Brad was investigated by the FBI after the allegations, where the actor reportedly told authorities that although he had yelled at his son, he did not attempt to physically harm him, Angelina or any of their children.
He was eventually cleared of the charges, but in October 2021, Angelina told the Guardian she felt “broken” amid the “horrible” ongoing custody battle and said she feared for the safety of “the whole family” during her marriage.
“I’m not the type of person who makes decisions like the ones I had to take lightly,” she told the publication. “It took a long time for me to be in a position where I felt like I had to separate myself from the father of my children.”
In 2017, Brad admitted that his struggle with alcohol was a factor in their relationship’s breakdown, telling British GQ: something. Something. And you realize a lot of those are pacifiers. And I’m running from feelings. I’m really, really happy to be done with all of this.”
“I mean, I stopped everything except drinking when I started my family,” Brad added. “But even last year, you know, things I wasn’t dealing with. I was drinking too much. It ended up becoming a problem.”
Discussing the extent of his alcohol consumption, Brad said he “could drink a Russian under the table with his own vodka” and that he was a “pro” when it came to drinking, but decided to stop because he “don’t want to live like this anymore.”
Brad also spoke candidly about Child Services’ investigation of him, saying, “I was really on my back and chained to a system when Child Services was called. And you know, after that, we were able to work together to sort it out. We are both doing our best.”
And the star opened up about his ongoing commitment to being sober in a new interview with GQ, where he said he spent 18 months as a member of a “really private and selective” Alcoholics Anonymous group that made him feel “safe.”
Brad also said that privacy was an important factor for him as he knows other people who were secretly recorded by members of his AA groups during their most vulnerable moments.
“I had a really nice group of men here who were very private and selective, so it was safe,” he explained. “Because I had seen other people’s stuff that was recorded while they were venting, and that’s just atrocious to me.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Brad said he believes he spent years with undiagnosed “low-grade depression” but finally discovered “joy.”
“I think joy was a more recent discovery, later in life,” he told the publication. “I was always moving with the currents, drifting this way and that. I think I spent years with low-grade depression, and it wasn’t until I came to terms with it, trying to embrace all sides of myself – the beautiful and the ugly – that I was able to capture these moments of joy.”
Although Brad and Angelina now appear to be on better terms regarding the custody of their children, they have been at loggerheads over another legal dispute in recent months.
In early June, Brad accused his ex-wife of intentionally harming him and tarnishing the reputation of their shared wine company after she allegedly sold her stock to a “stranger with poisonous associations and intentions”.
The former couple bought a majority stake in French wine company Château Miraval for €25 million in 2008, with each of them owning 50% of the stake.
Sources previously told Page Six that Brad and Angelina agreed to ask each other for permission if they wanted to sell their shares, but Angelina reportedly tried to submit to a sale without consulting Brad in September.
In legal paperwork, Brad accused Angelina of not giving him the option to buy it or refuse to sell it, and it was later reported that Angelina had been approved to sell her shares to a third party.
Brad filed another legal complaint this month, alleging that Angelina acted illegally by selling her stakes to a Luxembourg-based liquor manufacturer controlled by a Russian oligarch, Yuri Shefler, without her knowledge.
Brad’s lawyers argued that Angelina’s choice of person to sell to was her way of forcing Brad into doing business with “a stranger with poisonous associations and intentions” that would jeopardize the company’s reputation.
Brad is seeking a jury trial to make the sale of Angelina “null and void” and is also seeking an undeclared amount of damages.
Meanwhile, it has recently been speculated that Angelina may be trying to litigate the FBI’s decision to exonerate Brad of child abuse allegations under the Freedom of Information Act.
In April, Entertainment Tonight obtained legal documents from an anonymous woman seeking information about the FBI investigation that directly matched the description of the 2016 incident between Brad and Maddox.
“Several years ago, while the applicant, her then-husband and their children, who were all minors at the time, were traveling on private aircraft, the husband allegedly physically and verbally assaulted the applicant and the children,” the documents read.
The lawsuit adds that the complaint is part of the woman’s effort to “better understand the FBI investigation and obtain the information necessary for her children to receive medical care and trauma counseling.”