American actress Angelina Jolie has disclosed in public for the first time why she divorced her former husband, actor Brad Pitt.
Jolie, 45, married Pitt, 56, in 2014 after they had been together for nine years. They met on the set of Mr & Mrs Smith (2005), where Pitt was reported to have had an affair with Jolie while he was married to actress Jennifer Aniston.
Pitt and Aniston divorced in 2005.
Jolie shocked the celebrity world in 2016 when she filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. The divorce was finalised last year.
They have three children by birth – Shiloh, Vivienne and Knox – and three by adoption – Maddox, Pax and Zahara.
In an exclusive interview with Vogue India, Jolie said: “I separated for the well-being of my family. It was the right decision. I continue to focus on their healing.”
The star of box-office hits, including fantasy film Maleficent (2014) and action thriller Wanted (2008), added: “Some have taken advantage of my silence and the children see lies about themselves in the media, but I remind them that they know their own truth and their own minds. In fact, they are six very brave, very strong young people.”
Pitt has not commented much about the separation in public. However, his drinking reportedly caused the split, and an argument on a private jet over his habit was the final straw for Jolie.
He did not address the rumours in an interview with The New York Times in 2019, but said: “I had taken things as far as I could take it, so I removed my drinking privileges. I had family stuff going on. We’ll leave it at that.”
The A-list actor said he went for sessions with Alcoholics Anonymous after the split in 2016, and has been committed to his sobriety since then.
Jolie also talked about her adopted children in the interview, describing them as coming from “a beautiful mystery of a world”.
“Honour them. Learn from them. It’s the most amazing journey to share. They are not entering your world, you are entering each other’s worlds,” she said, adding that she felt very blessed to have been allowed to be their mother.
The next few months will see the actress working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on the global crisis and the BBC World Service on a media literacy initiative for young people.