Lawyer: Pitt will keep responses to abuse account in court
This combination photo shows Angelina Jolie at a premiere in Los Angeles on Sept. 30, 2019, left, and Brad Pitt at a special screening on Sept. 18, 2019. A new court filing from Angelina Jolie alleges that on a 2016 flight, Brad Pitt grabbed her by the head and shook her then choked one of their children and struck another when they tried to defend her. The descriptions of abuse on the private flight came in a countersuit Jolie filed Thursday in the couple’s dispute over a winery they co-owned. (AP Photo/File)
Andrew Dalton, The Associated Press
Published Thursday, October 6, 2022 7:05PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 6, 2022 7:05PM EDT
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Brad Pitt's lawyer said Thursday that he will continue to respond in court to allegations from ex-wife Angelina Jolie that he abused her and choked one of their children on a flight in 2016, saying he has taken responsibility for his actual actions but not aspects of her story that are not true.
“Brad has owned everything he's responsible for from day one - unlike the other side - but he's not going to own anything he didn't do,” Pitt's lawyer, Anne Kiley, said in a statement. “He has been on the receiving end of every type of personal attack and misrepresentation.”
The statement came in response to a public court filing from Jolie on Tuesday that said he grabbed her by the head and shook her, then choked one of their six children and struck another when they tried to defend her. The filing came in a legal fight over a French winery the two co-owned.
Kiley's did not specify which parts of Jolie's account Pitt denies, and which he takes responsibility for, and representatives had no further comment when asked.
The FBI and the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services investigated the allegations, but decided to take no action against Pitt. They were also aired in testimony at the couple's divorce trial, after which a judge found Jolie and Pitt should have 50-50 custody, though that result was nullified when the judge was disqualified by an appeals court.
“Thankfully, the various public authorities the other side has tried to use against him over the past six years have made their own independent decisions,” Kiley's statement said. “Brad will continue to respond in court as he has consistently done.”
Jolie representatives had no immediate on-the-record comment.
Neither Pitt nor Jolie has spoken publicly about what happened on the flight, though she has publicly advocated for strengthening domestic laws and has revisited the abuse allegations through legal moves such as Tuesday's cross-complaint to a lawsuit Pitt filed over the home and winery in France, which they were leaving for Los Angeles on a private flight when the incidents occurred.
“Pitt lunged at his own child and Jolie grabbed him from behind to stop him. To get Jolie off his back, Pitt threw himself backwards into the airplane's seats injuring Jolie's back and elbow,” Jolie's court filing said. “The children rushed in and all bravely tried to protect each other. Before it was over, Pitt choked one of the children and struck another in the face.”
The FBI investigation began in the days that followed, and a report that included many of the same details as Jolie's latest court filing was made public in heavily redacted form earlier this year.
The FBI said at the time that it had reviewed the circumstances and would not investigate further, and federal prosecutors said they opted not to pursue criminal charges.
The 58-year-old Oscar-winning actor Pitt and the 47-year-old Oscar-winning actor and director Jolie were among Hollywood's most prominent couples for 12 years.
They had been romantic partners for a decade when they married in 2014. Jolie filed for divorce soon after the 2016 flight, and a judge declared the two single in 2019, but the divorce case has not been finalized with custody and financial issues still in dispute.