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LOS ANGELES, Sept 21, (RTRS): Actress Angelina Jolie has filed for a divorce from actor Brad Pitt, her husband of two years and romantic partner since 2005, her attorney said on Tuesday, signaling the end of one of Hollywood’s most glamorous and powerful couples.
“This decision was made for the health of the family. She will not be commenting, and asks that the family be given its privacy at this time,” attorney Robert Offer said in a statement.
The Oscar-winning actress filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, citing irreconcilable differences, court documents showed. Jolie sought full physical custody of their six children ages 8 to 15 with visitation rights for Pitt but did not seek spousal support. Jolie cited their separation date as Sept. 15.
“I am very saddened by this but what matters most now is the well-being of our kids,” Pitt told People magazine. “I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time.”
Jolie and Pitt, known collectively as “Brangelina,” were one of the entertainment world’s most visible couples, due to their good looks, successful films and activism. They married in 2014 after a decade together.
Their relationship was steady fodder for tabloids with reports focusing on what role Jolie played in the breakup of Pitt’s marriage to actress Jennifer Aniston and, more recently, possible trouble in the marriage.
Media commentators reacted with surprise and sadness to the news. “Today shall go down as the day love died,” Vogue magazine said in an online report on the couple’s split.
Social media buzzed with #brangelina mentioned roughly 720 times per minute on Twitter, more than triple mentions for the United Nations General Assembly, according to analytics firm Zoomph.
Jolie, 41, who won a best-supporting actress Oscar for “Girl, Interrupted” in 2000, was previously married to actors Jonny Lee Miller and Billy Bob Thornton.
Pitt, 52, was married to Aniston in 2003 when he and Jolie filmed “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” the story of assassins unknowingly assigned to kill each other. There were reports of an affair, but Jolie told Vogue they were only “very, very good friends” until Pitt and Aniston split in 2005.
Before their August 2014 wedding at their French estate, Jolie and Pitt had said they would not wed until same-sex couples were allowed to marry.
Jolie has been estranged from her father, actor Jon Voight, but he told “Inside Edition” he was concerned about the divorce filing. “It’s very sad,” he said. “Something very serious must have happened for Angelina to make a decision like this.”
Peter Walzer, a California attorney who represented actress Katie Holmes in her divorce from superstar Tom Cruise, said in a phone interview it was unusual Jolie sought sole physical custody of the children and it was equivalent to saying Pitt was not competent to be a parent. “It’s an insult,” Walzer said.
Jolie had an offbeat reputation early in her career but has taken on humanitarian causes and was named a special envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
She traveled to Afghanistan, Sudan, Tanzania, Iraq and Jordan to call attention to the plight of refugees and the underprivileged.
The couple started a foundation to finance reconstruction of homes in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Together they started the Jolie-Pitt Foundation in 2006 to help charities worldwide.
Their children include sons adopted from Cambodia and Vietnam and a daughter adopted from Ethiopia, as well as three biological children.
To encourage other women, Jolie spoke out publicly about elective surgeries in 2013 and 2015 to remove her breasts, ovaries and fallopian tubes as a preventive measure due to a family history of cancer.
For Angelina Jolie Pitt and Brad Pitt, it started with drinks and dancing in the rain in Bogota and ended on the French seaside with pills and tears.
Hollywood’s most storied modern couple only appeared together twice in the movies. The first time, in 2005’s “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” they fell in love. A decade later, “By the Sea” would come just a year before their relationship would come to an end with Jolie Pitt filing for divorce. Both times they played a childless husband and wife whose passion had turned to resentment.
Their real life together was full of public declarations and displays of love, children, philanthropy, humanitarian work and glamour. In the movies, though, their surface beauty was only a mask for the rot and boredom underneath. Still, even through tears and gunfire, they always smoldered.
“You can absolutely madly love the same person you want to kill,” Jolie Pitt said in 2015, seated on a silk-sheeted bed next to Pitt on the set of “By the Sea,” filmed on their technical honeymoon, but it could have easily been about either. In “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” they are actually trying to kill each other after all.
It was a strange story to fall in love to, but not uncommon in the entertainment business, even if Pitt was married at the time to Jennifer Aniston. Jolie had already been married twice, to Billy Bob Thornton and Jonny Lee Miller.
“We just became kind of a pair. And it took until, really, the end of the shoot for us, I think, to realize that it might mean something more than we’d earlier allowed ourselves to believe,” Jolie Pitt told Vogue in 2006.
Monday’s divorce filing comes after 12 years together and two in marriage. The couple wed in August 2014, privately at their French chateau in the Provence hamlet of Correns with their children serving as ring bearers and throwing flower petals.
“What matters most now is the wellbeing of our kids,” Pitt said, requesting space for the children.
The gossipy, tabloid origins would always at least partially define “Brangelina.” But after the media upheaval, Jolie Pitt and Pitt eventually settled into their own unique kind of globe-trotting domesticity. They were seldom-seen Hollywood royalty, their image predicated more on parenting than partying.
Both expanded creatively, too, but mostly separately, Jolie Pitt as a burgeoning and ambitious director of both war epics like “Unbroken,” and languid melodramas like “By the Sea,” and Pitt as a producer of socially relevant films through his Plan B production company, including the Academy Award-winning “12 Years a Slave,” last year’s “The Big Short” and the recently debuted festival hit “Moonlight.”
“By the Sea,” which Jolie Pitt wrote while grieving for her mother, who died in 2007, was sold nonetheless as the big on screen reunion of the couple who changed tabloid culture and our expectations of what exactly is possible on a movie set just 10 years earlier. But it fizzled with critics and audiences, making a mere $538,000 at the box office domestically. The “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” spark that enveloped its own stars and titillated audiences to the tune of $186.3 million domestically had given way to something infinitely more real.
“When we first worked together it was very different because we didn’t really know each other and we were young and, it was really a fun film, so we thought, maybe ‘By the Sea’ was going to be that kind of fun, but realized very quickly that it wasn’t,” Jolie Pitt told The Telegraph in 2015. “Then we joked that this is what happens after 10 years of marriage.”
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