FBI report reveals Angelina Jolie’s version of 2016 altercation with Brad Pitt
The details of Angelina Jolie’s report to the FBI about Brad Pitt’s alleged behavior toward her and their kids on a private plane flight home from Europe on Sept. 14, 2016, have come to light thanks to a lawsuit Jolie brought against the federal law enforcement agency.
Jolie’s FBI lawsuit was revealed earlier this year when a judge decided to allow a woman — presumably Jolie — to file a Freedom of Information/Privacy Act lawsuit using a pseudonym. The woman was also seeking to keep the case “entirely sealed,” according to a March 2022 federal court document posted online by Politico’s Josh Gerstein, who quietly broke the news in April. The judge did not allow the case to be sealed, and details now available in that case make it clear that Jolie is the plaintiff.
Interest in the 2016 incident was piqued this week after the publication Puck reported earlier this week that Jolie had amended the FBI lawsuit to include the fact that an agent investigating the incident had presented a statement of probable cause to the chief of the criminal division of the U.S. attorney’s office in L.A.
Pitt was never charged in connection with the incident, either by the U.S. attorney’s office or the L.A. County Department of Child and Family Services, which investigated the incident — and its allegation of child abuse — before the FBI got involved.
Still, the allegations Jolie made to the FBI about her then-husband’s behavior do not show Pitt in a flattering light. Far from it.
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“Both parties have had this information for nearly six years, so to file an anonymous FOIA request for information you already have, and that’s been used in previous legal proceedings, serves no purpose other than to inflict pain,” a source close to Pitt noted Thursday.
It’s unclear why Jolie would seek to file an FOIA lawsuit under a pseudonym if she already had the information in 2017. The couple have been locked in a custody battle since she filed for divorce in September 2016.
According to the FBI report, the “Maleficent” actor, who was interviewed in her Malibu home in October 2016, told FBI agents that the flight back to the U.S. had gotten off to a bad start after Pitt and their child Maddox had some sort of disagreement when the family took separate cars to get from the terminal to the plane.
Once they boarded, she said, she tried to talk to Pitt, who told her that their son “looks like a f— Columbine kid.”
About 90 minutes into the flight, Jolie said, Pitt asked her to come to the back of the plane to talk to him. He had been drinking, she said. They went into the restroom area at the back of the plane, where the kids couldn’t see them, and Pitt allegedly began yelling at her and “grabbed her by the head, shaking her, followed by grabbing her at the shoulders and shaking her.”
He allegedly “pushed her into the bathroom wall and was saying things like, ‘You’re f— up this family,’” and “punched the ceiling of the plane approximately four times,” according to the report. After one of their kids asked if “mommy” was OK, Jolie said, Pitt “yelled, ‘No, mommy’s not ok. She’s ruining this family. She’s crazy.’”
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At that point, one of the children allegedly yelled, “‘It’s not her, it’s you, you p—.’” (The former couple have six children together, adopted and biological, ranging in ages from 14 to 21. Jolie recently escorted eldest daughter Zahara Jolie-Pitt, 17, to school at Spelman College in Georgia.)
The heavily redacted report then describes a larger altercation that appears to have involved more than one child. After Jolie grabbed a child to keep him from attacking Pitt, she wound up injuring her back and said her elbow got hurt. Pitt allegedly went to get a drink, and kept on drinking while Jolie and some of the kids tried to sleep in one bed. Other kids were alone in separate beds.
Pitt allegedly continued ranting and at one point spilled wine all over a chair on the plane, causing what Jolie said was $25,000 worth of damage. She said he later poured beer on Jolie and on the blanket that was covering her and the kids.
Pitt “would start up a new rant every 30 minutes and pace through the plane yelling at everyone,” according to Jolie. She said the ranting “felt constant.” Upon arrival in the U.S., Jolie suggested that she and the kids go get a hotel room and get some sleep and proceed to California the next day, but Pitt told them nobody was getting off the plane, according to the report.
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He allegedly yelled at them, “F— you. I’m f— leaving you” and got off the plane, apparently to smoke a cigarette. Jolie told the agents she and the kids were “shell shocked.”
After Pitt returned and the family embarked on the second leg of the flight, the ranting started up again, Jolie said. This time he allegedly berated her for breaking up the family. "[T]his did not feel like a drunken rant, but it felt angry, pointed, and specific,” the report said.
Jolie told agents that as they were about to land, she told the kids to get their things, then told Pitt that they were going to a hotel to get some sleep. Pitt allegedly yelled that she wasn’t taking his kids and jumped out of the bed he was in and pushed her.
“They began fighting and the altercation continued to the back door of the plane,” the report says. Pitt allegedly pushed Jolie down and told the kids they weren’t getting off the plane. Jolie estimated that they were there another 20 minutes.
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After they got off the plane but were not yet in the car, Pitt grabbed Jolie’s arm “and turned her toward him. Then he grabbed her by the head and the shoulders and shook her,” the report says. A child interjected, “Don’t hurt her.”
Jolie described her injuries to the agents as a rug-burn type wound on her right hand, a bruise on her right elbow and an injury to her back.
A representative for Pitt did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment.
Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt on Sept. 20, 2016. Three days later, The Times reported that Los Angeles County’s DCFS was investigating an alleged in-flight physical altercation between Pitt and son Maddox Jolie-Pitt, then 15. No punching or hitting was reported.
A Pitt source would later tell Page Six, “Brad may have been drinking, and admits that he yelled at his son, but he insists he did not hit him or attempt to harm him. It was a confrontation that got out of hand.”
Investigations by the FBI and the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services into allegations about Brad Pitt’s behavior with one of his children involve an altercation on a plane that officials still are trying to sort out, a law enforcement source said Friday.
The FBI was not involved at that point but was expected to join the investigation because the incident happened on an aircraft. The agency decided in November 2016 to close its probe without filing any charges against Pitt.
Pitt got sober soon after the airplane incident and told GQ in May 2017 that “truthfully I could drink a Russian under the table with his own vodka. I was a professional. I was good.” He added that now he was drinking “cranberry juice and fizzy water” and had also started therapy.
While Pitt and Jolie were declared legally unwed in April 2019, their divorce battle has continued, with Pitt recently suing his ex-wife for allegedly selling her half of their winery without his permission, a condition they had previously agreed on.
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