Though Angelina Jolie is often reticent when it comes to discussing her personal life in the public sphere, the Oscar-winning actress revealed a few small tidbits about what life is like for herself and her six children these days in a new interview with Vanity Fair.
It’s been more than nine months since her headline-making split from husband Brad Pitt, but, Jolie told the publication, the family is just beginning to recover from the fallout.
“We’re all just healing from the events that led to the filing,” she said cryptically, alluding to the much talked-about incident on the couple’s private plane, which led to an anonymous phone call to the FBI. “They’re not healing from divorce. They’re healing from some … from life, from things in life.”
For one, Jolie noted, she and the kids just recently moved into a sprawling 11,000-square-foot Beaux-Arts mansion in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, after living out of suitcases in a rental for nine months.
“It’s just been the hardest time, and we’re just kind of coming up for air,” she said. “[This house] is a big jump forward for us, and we’re all trying to do our best to heal our family.”
Following the September 2016 plane incident, Pitt was investigated by both the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and the FBI on allegations of verbal and physical abuse. The actor denied any wrongdoing, but agreed to weekly supervised visits after Jolie filed for divorce and requested sole physical custody of their six children: Maddox, 15, Pax, 13, Zahara, 12, Shiloh, 10, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 9. The investigation was closed after authorities found no signs of abuse.
In the Vanity Fair interview, Jolie demurred when asked whether communication between herself and her ex-husband (the pair married in 2014 after nearly ten years together) has improved, but focused instead on their joint efforts with co-parenting.
“We care for each other and care about our family, and we are both working toward the same goal,” she said. “I was very worried about my mother, growing up – a lot. I do not want my children to be worried about me. I think it’s very important to cry in the shower and not in front of them. They need to know that everything’s going to be all right even when you’re not sure it is.”
Stress from the split and ensuing legal battle likely manifested itself in a few issues that Jolie also disclosed in the interview: hypertension and Bell’s palsy. (Jolie underwent a preventive double mastectomy in 2013).
When asked about rumors that their globe-trotting lifestyle had created a strain on the family (and presumably took its toll on her relationship with Pitt), however, Jolie became defensive.
“[Our lifestyle] was not in any way a negative,” she said. “That was not the problem. That is and will remain one of the wonderful opportunities we are able to give our children … They’re six very strong-minded, thoughtful, worldly individuals. I’m very proud of them. … They’ve been very brave. They were very brave.”
In May, Pitt broke his silence over the divorce in a much-publicized mea culpa to GQ Style, in which he acknowledged that his alcoholism may have been a contributing factor to their split.
“Truthfully, I could drink a Russian under the table with his own vodka. I was a professional. I was good,” Pitt said at the time. “I was boozing too much … 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.”
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