Pitt 'saddened' over Jolie divorce action
Actor Brad Pitt has said he is “very saddened” after his wife Angelina Jolie filed for divorce after 12 years together.
Robert Offer, Jolie’s lawyer, said in a statement that the decision had been made “for the health of the family”.
He added: “She will not be commenting and asks that the family be given privacy at this time.”
Jolie, 41, cited irreconcilable differences with Pitt, listing their date of separation as 15 September.
The nature of the differences has not been revealed but TMZ reports there was conflict over Pitt’s parenting, with a source saying Jolie was “extremely upset with his methods”.
Reacting to Jolie’s decision to end their marriage, Pitt said: “I am very saddened by this but what matters most now is the well-being of our kids.
“I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time.”
The couple have six children – Maddox, 15, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, and eight-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne.
Jolie is seeking custody of all of them with visitation rights for Pitt and she does not want spousal support.
The pair, known as Brangelina, married in a private ceremony in France in 2014 but they had been together since 2004.
They first met on the set of the film Mr And Mrs Smith, while Pitt was still married to Friends star Jennifer Aniston.
Jolie had been married twice before – to actors Jonny Lee Miller and Billy Bob Thornton.
She is being represented in these proceedings by divorce lawyer Laura Wasser, who helped her divorce Thornton and who is also representing Johnny Depp in his divorce from Amber Heard.
If a couple with millions of dollars, six kids and a brand of overpriced rose wine can’t make it, we should all just give up now #brangelina
— Joanna Hausmann (@Joannahausmann) September 20, 2016
One of Pitt’s friends, George Clooney, looked taken aback as he was given the news by a reporter.
“This is the first I’ve heard of it,” the 55-year-old actor told CNN. “I didn’t know that. Wow.”
Speaking during an event at the United Nations, Clooney added: “I feel very sorry, then.
“That’s a sad story and unfortunate for a family. It’s an unfortunate story about a family. I feel very sorry to hear that.”
Madame Tussauds said it had split the couple’s waxworks after hearing the news, placing them “at a respectful distance from each other”.
The models were unveiled in 2013, to coincide with Pitt’s 50th birthday.
“Angelina is keeping Nicole Kidman company and Brad Pitt is with his several time co-star Morgan Freeman,” a spokesman said.
Online, some lamented the break up, others considered Aniston’s response, and one person even blamed the news for an earthquake in California moments after the split was announced.
#brangelina was mentioned roughly 720 times per minute on Twitter, more than triple the mentions for the United Nations General Assembly, according to analytics firm Zoomph.
#brangelina was the last straw, 2016 is cancelled. see you all tomorrow morning for January 1st 2017
— möll (@onceuponidina) September 20, 2016
As well as their film careers, Pitt and Jolie are both known for charitable work: they set up the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation 10 years ago to assist in humanitarian crises around the world, launching it with a $ 1m donation to Medicins Sans Frontiers.
Jolie represented the UN High Commission for Refugees as a goodwill ambassador between 2001 and 2012, becoming a special envoy in April 2012.
She has also been a well-known symbol in the battle against cancer, having undergone a double mastectomy and removal of her ovaries and fallopian tubes to prevent an aggressive form of the disease that killed her mother, aunt and grandmother.
Pitt started the Make It Right Foundation after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, donating $ 5m (£3.8m) to help rebuild New Orleans after the disaster.
The 52-year-old is currently focusing on opening a luxury resort in Croatia.