Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s bitter multimillion-dollar divorce battle has been rumbling on longer than they were man and wife.
A drawn-out courtroom war was certainly not anticipated from one of Hollywood’s most woke couples yet the bitter feud between the former co-stars is so toxic that a resolution is some way off.
The latest twist in the ongoing saga, which heightened the sheer intensity of their feud, was the revelation that Brad and Angelina’s six children Maddox, 19, Pax, 16, Zahara, 15, Shiloh, 14, and 12-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox were absent from his mother’s recent 80th birthday bash at the Fight Club star’s Santa Barbara beach house in California.
But this is nothing new for grandparents Jane and William, as according to sources close to the family they haven’t seen their grandchildren for more than four years.
RELATED: Angelina reveals real reason she and Brad split
Before the A-list couple’s marriage broke down in September 2016, one year and 11 months after they tied the knot, having previously dated for nearly a decade, the grandchildren were regulars at their property in Springfield, Missouri.
An insider told The Sun: “When they were together, Brad and Angelina would take the kids to visit their grandparents.
“The kids would run riot. The Pitts have a huge backyard and they would go sledding in winter and have campfires in the summer.”
The bash, dubbed “Grammy’s 80th birthday banger”, was attended by her other son Doug Pitt and daughter-in-law Lisa, and daughter Julie Neal and son-in-law Robert, along with grandchildren Sydney, Reagan and Landon Pitt, and Josie, Rylie, Caden and Cruz Neal.
Jane’s other grandchildren “barely know” Brad’s children and the relationship between Angelina, 45, and her mother-in-law has always been fraught.
Angelina wanted judge booted off the case
RELATED: Angelina takes a swipe at Brad in interview
An insider said: “Jane and Angie never really saw eye-to-eye.
“Jane is a Christian conservative who once slammed gay marriage, while Angelina is a liberal who has dated women, so it was never a recipe for a friendship.
“But no one ever thought it would turn out like this.”
Sources say a rift between Angelina and her mother-in-law began after Jane wrote a letter to her local newspaper to voice her opinion against gay marriage.
It is unlikely Jane and William’s relationship with their grandchildren will improve until the divorce case is finally resolved.
But that is some way off.
The coronavirus hasn’t helped, but neither has Angelina, who has reportedly delayed the child custody settlement by trying to get the judge presiding over the case booted off.
She is said to have raised concerns over John W. Ouderkirk’s lack of transparency concerning previous cases he was hired for involving Brad’s lawyer Anne C. Kiley.
Angelina believes Ouderkirk’s close connection with Kiley may hand Brad an advantage.
But Brad can’t see why Angelina has such a problem with the judge, after all, she was responsible for introducing him to her ex-husband and he went on to marry them.
Brad believes her move is just “delaying the inevitable”.
In his own court docs opposing Angelina’s stance, the papers said it was “an abrupt cry of judicial bias [that] reeks of bad faith and desperation”. Angelina’s attempted power play is the latest in a long line of disagreements between the warring couple and it brings into sharp focus why they can’t come to an amicable conclusion.
Earlier this year they disagreed over their children’s education.
Brad, 56, has long battled for their kids to have “traditional schooling” in a bid to increase life skills and social awareness.
For the majority of the academic lives they have been homeschooled, as the pair were always on the move, and Angelina has expressed concerns about them going to a regular school.
She said in 2017: “It bothered me how little I was taught in school.
“I do worry about my children’s education. I homeschool partially because they are from around the world.
“I didn’t want them to have the same education I had when it came to Vietnam or Cambodia.”
Brad and Angelina, who met on the set of the movie Mr & Mrs Smith in 2005, were declared divorced in April last year but resolutions to the custody of their children, child support and other financial matters have yet to be finalised.
The six children have been spending the majority of their time with Angelina during lockdown at her $36 million home in California, which is just minutes from Brad’s mansion.
Brad has spent the past four years re-evaluating his lifestyle to heal an image tainted for the first time in his career. A factor behind his split from Angelina was an altercation on a private plane with eldest son Maddox where he reportedly came to the defence of his mother. It was claimed Brad had been drinking.
‘AA was a safe space with little judgment’
The incident led to an investigation by children’s services, with Angelina being awarded temporary full custody, meaning Brad was allowed supervised visits only. He was later cleared. The Snatch star confirmed in April this year that his boozing had become a problem, revealing he visited Alcohol Anonymous groups to beat his demons. He said: “I had taken things as far as I could take it, so I removed my drinking privileges.
“You had all these men sitting around being open and honest in a way I have never heard.
“It was this safe space where there was little judgment, and therefore little judgment of yourself. It was actually really freeing just to expose the ugly sides of yourself.
“There’s great value in that.”
It clearly worked, with fans of the superstar recognising a clear return to form, and not only in his looks and general wellbeing.
He won a SAG award in January for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Quentin Tarantino flick Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and joked during his acceptance speech that he would add his gong “to my Tinder profile”.
It was the Golden Globes ceremony in the immediate aftermath where Brad and ex-wife Jennifer Aniston, 51 sparked talk they might rekindle their relationship, having been married between 2000 and 2005.
A cosy meeting on the red carpet and footage of Brad gazing at the former Friends star picking up an award while watching on a video screen backstage sent the rumour mill into overdrive.
But sources close to Brad were quick to play down hopes of a romance, much to the frustration of fans desperate to see them get back together.
Yet after all his good work, Angelina predictably wasn’t quite so keen to join the Brad love in.
In June, during a rare interview, she brought Brad back down to earth by admitting she “separated for the wellbeing of my family,” adding: “It was the right decision. I continue to focus on their healing.”
This is one real life Hollywood blockbuster where the ending can’t come quick enough.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and is republished here with permission.