In his first interview since splitting from Angelina Jolie last September, Brad Pitt revealed that he has stopped drinking and is actively trying to improve his relationship with Jolie and his children.
Pitt, 53, sat down with GQ Style for its summer issue and he didn’t hold back, opening up about his divorce and the public custody battle he has engaged in with Jolie over their six children.
Jolie, 41, filed for divorce shortly after an incident involving Pitt and their son Maddox, 15, on a private plane. While charges were never filed, the FBI did investigate child abuse allegations.
Pitt and Jolie traded barbs for months in the press before issuing a joint statement that they would move forward privately to pursue their divorce and heal the rifts caused by the negative publicity and in-fighting.
"I was really on my back and chained to a system when Child Services was called," Pitt told GQ Style. "And you know, after that, we've been able to work together to sort this out. We're both doing our best. I heard one lawyer say, 'No one wins in court — it's just a matter of who gets hurt worse.' And it seems to be true, you spend a year just focused on building a case to prove your point and why you're right and why they're wrong, and it's just an investment in vitriolic hatred."
Pitt and Jolie are parents to the aforementioned Maddox, Pax, 13, Zahara, 12, Shiloh, 10 and 8-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox.
Pitt told GQ that he is currently living in their Hollywood Hills home with his dog Jacques and is just trying to keep things on the up-and-up.
"Fortunately my partner in this agrees. It's just very, very jarring for the kids, to suddenly have their family ripped apart. If anyone can make sense of it, we have to with great care and delicacy, building everything around that… Our focus is that everyone come out stronger and better people — there is no other outcome," he said. "I see it happen to friends — I see where the one spouse literally can't tell their own part in it, and it's still competing with the other in some way and wants to destroy them, and needs vindication by destruction, and just wasting years on that hatred. I don't want to live that way."
He admitted that he has definitely been in the wrong at times, and hopes to do better in the future for his kids. "I grew up with a Father-knows-best/war mentality — the father is all-powerful, super strong — instead of really knowing the man and his own self-doubt and struggles,” he said. “And it's hit me smack in the face with our divorce: I gotta be more. I gotta be more for them. I have to show them. And I haven't been great at it."
Pitt also admitted that he resisted the divorce, and revealed that only his love for Jolie allowed him to accept it. "The first urge is to cling on," he said. "And then you've got a cliché: 'If you love someone, set them free.' Now I know what it means, by feeling it. It means to love without ownership. It means expecting nothing in return.
One thing that has helped Pitt move forward in a positive way he said, is to quit drinking.
“I was boozing too much,” he shared. “It’s just become a problem. And I’m really happy it’s been half a year now, which is bittersweet, but I’ve got my feelings in my fingertips again.”
He added, “Truthfully I could drink a Russian under the table with his own vodka. I was a professional. I was good.”