The legal battle started four-and-a-half years ago and has lasted more than twice as long as their marriage.
Documents filed this week by Miss Jolie, 45, indicate that not only will she again accuse Pitt, 57, of domestic violence when their custody case comes to court this year, but that she intends to prove this with video recordings and testimony from their six children.
What’s not in dispute is that the fallout has strained Pitt’s relationship with his children. Tellingly, his eldest adopted son, Maddox, 19, is said to no longer use Pitt as his last name, and wants to legally change it.
It is far from the only legal bombshell for Pitt to contend with.
Miss Jolie’s latest memorandum was filed to court ‘under seal’, meaning it is private and cannot be viewed by the public. However, its title gives a lot away: ‘Offer of Proof and authority in support thereof re: Testimony regarding domestic violence.’
The alleged violence is thought to relate to an incident aboard a private plane taking the family from Paris to Minnesota overnight on September 14, 2016 – and is said to have prompted their split.
Documents filed this week by Angelina Jolie, 45, indicate that not only will she again accuse Brad Pitt, 57, of domestic violence
Five days later, Miss Jolie announced they were separating and she was seeking a divorce ‘for the health of the family’.
She asked for full custody of their six children: adopted sons Maddox and 17-year-old Pax, adopted daughter Zahara, 16, and the couple’s three children together, Shiloh, 14, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 12.
Pitt demanded a 50/50 split and the issue is finally due to go to court in Los Angeles this year.
At the outset, Miss Jolie’s manager Geyer Kosinski hinted at domestic violence when he remarked: ‘Angelina will always do what is in the best interest to protect her children.’
Behind the scenes, her team of friends told me that she had felt compelled to act after an ‘incident’ on the plane.
The role of Maddox, then 15, was widely raised. One source said that Pitt ‘attacked’ Maddox. Others said that Pitt and Miss Jolie argued and Maddox jumped in to defend her verbally. Pitt then supposedly ‘lunged’ at the boy.
Sources were quoted describing a ‘parent-child argument which was not handled in the right way’.
One said: ‘Brad is emphatic that it did not reach the level of physical abuse, that no one was physically harmed.
‘He did not hit his child in the face in any way. He did not do that; he is emphatic about that. He put his hands on him, yes, because the confrontation was spiralling out of control.’
The FBI and the Department of Children and Family Services investigated but neither found Pitt was a danger to the children.
At the time, it was reported by US Weekly magazine that Miss Jolie had video of the incident on the plane, possibly taken by a third party such as a bodyguard, which showed Pitt ‘looking drunk’ and ‘yelling.’
Behind the scenes, Angelina’s team of friends told ALISON BOSHOFF that she had felt compelled to act after an ‘incident’. The role of Maddox (pictured centre), then 15, was widely raised. One source said that Pitt ‘attacked’ Maddox. Others said that Pitt and Miss Jolie argued and Maddox jumped in to defend her verbally. Pitt then supposedly ‘lunged’ at the boy
American family law expert Evie P Jeang said this week of the filing: ‘If Angelina has more documentation to prove domestic violence towards her or the children, she can submit it as a supplemental offer to prove in trial.
‘She can say these are the documentations in addition to what she already presented. This could mean it’s a more recent instance of domestic violence, or further documentation related to what was presented before.’
A friend of Pitt told me: ‘He is a flawed human being, like we all are, but a very good father and a nice guy.’
Another source said: ‘Over the past four-and-a-half years there have been a number of claims made by Angelina that have been reviewed and not substantiated.
‘The children have been used by Angelina to hurt Brad before and this is more of that behaviour. This leaking of documents by her fourth or fifth set of lawyers has been done to hurt Brad.’
Miss Jolie’s lawyers also filed a memo to the court of ‘proof and support’ under seal: ‘RE: Testimony of minor children.’
This would cover the five younger children, and if granted allow them to give evidence to the custody hearing.
Only Maddox, who is studying for a biochemistry degree in Korea, is an adult.
He alone is understood to have declined all contact with Pitt since the split in 2016.
It seems unlikely that Miss Jolie will succeed in getting this past the judge because crucially both parents have to agree if minor children give evidence.
Pitt has already indicated he wants to keep the children out of the spotlight as far as possible.
In December 2016 his legal team accused Miss Jolie of releasing sensitive details to the media through public court filings. He claimed that she ‘appears to be determined to ignore even agreed upon standards relating to the children’s best interest’.
Miss Jolie’s team has also filed an under seal memo ‘of intent to offer video recording of the deposition of Ross Foster at trial’.
Mr Foster is a bodyguard who worked for the couple and he is also on Pitt’s list of witnesses.
The romance between Hollywood’s hottest actors started in 2004 when they co-starred in Mr And Mrs Smith (pictured)
However what Miss Jolie is saying here is that she has a video tape of a statement by him which she thinks will assist her case in gaining full custody of the children.
She is also saying that she intends to offer ‘video recording of the deposition of respondent’ – who is Pitt.
This is presumably because she believes that Pitt damns himself during it. The circumstances during which this deposition was taken are not known but it seems possible this may be the footage shot on the private jet during that altercation.
How the romance between Hollywood’s hottest actors, which started in 2004 when they co-starred in Mr And Mrs Smith, broke down so quickly and with such animosity can be traced back to the time the couple ‘put each other through hell’ during the filming of By The Sea, a film about a marriage in crisis.
This was made in Malta directly after they wed in 2014.
When it was released, Miss Jolie said: ‘Making the movie, we knew we were beating each other up.
‘We knew we were giving each other tough days. But we agreed to see how far we could push each other.’
The actress added: ‘To be clear: We have fights and problems like any other couple. We have days when we drive each other absolutely mad and want space, but the problems in the movie aren’t our specific problems.’
Directly after filming wrapped, they were pictured arguing on the terrace of their hotel suite in Sydney, Australia.
Tension between the pair only increased. In 2017 they released a statement saying they were seeking mediation via a private judge.
Pitt gave a tearful interview to GQ magazine in which he said that he had been drinking too much, and not listening enough, and now just wanted peace.
Miss Jolie bought a £19million house around the corner from his home and there were reports that after court-appointed therapy they were ready to agree on custody.
Pitt was said to have quietly completed a ‘VIP rehab’ and be attending both Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.
But it didn’t last. In 2018 Miss Jolie accused Pitt of not paying her ‘meaningful support’ since the split.
He countered that he had loaned her nearly £6million plus almost £1million for bills.
Her lawyer then announced that the couple had reached a custody agreement – but they hadn’t. All that had been agreed was to ratify a rolling arrangement.
Moves were then made to split the divorce into two parts and attain single status even though issues of custody, access and finance remain unsettled. This happened in April 2019.
Initially, Pitt was allowed to see the children only for supervised visits.
Then shared custody was agreed and Miss Jolie was warned by a judge to stop snooping on cellphone contact between father and children.
Currently, attempts are made to co-parent amicably using an app to help co-ordinate the children’s schedules.