Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie: Timeline of a Power Couple – Rolling Stone
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Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie: Timeline of Hollywood’s Favorite Power Couple

From ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’ to a large family and global reach, a look back at the Brangelina romance over the years

As Hollywood's most popular power couple, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie transformed into an exemplar of an unconventional romance – resisting legal marriage, adopting and raising their children and weathering whatever life threw at them with ease.

On Monday, September 19th, the Academy Award-winning actress, 41, filed divorce documents, citing irreconcilable differences. The pair married in 2014 and Jolie Pitt is seeking physical custody of the their six children – Maddox, 15, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 8 – and she requested that the Fight Club actor, 52, only get joint legal custody. She is not asking for spousal support.

"This decision was made for the health of the family," attorney Robert Offer said in a statement to Reuters. "She will not be commenting and asks that the family be given its privacy at this time."

Pitt is currently starring in Allied, a World War II drama co-starring Marion Cotillard (who has been dragged into the tabloid fray). Pitt told People in a statement: "I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the well being of our kids. I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time."

Here's a look back at the Brangelina romance, as it has played on and off screen.


Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty

January 2006: Jolie Confirms Pregnancy of Pitt’s Biological Child

It's a close call on whether Brangelina was the "worst" or "best" kept Hollywood secret: Even though speculation persisted for over a year, it took until Jolie officially announced her pregnancy with first child, Shiloh, for any semblance of the truth to come out. Around the same time that People broke the story, Pitt began the process of legally acquiring custody of Jolie's adoptive children Maddox and Zahara, whose last names were being changed to Jolie-Pitt.                                 

Jolie And Pitt, Press Conference, Namibia


June 7th, 2006: Couple Hold a Press Conference Following Shiloh’s Birth

The People cover stars held a joint press conference following the birth of their daughter in Namibia, saying that they chose the region because "we love this part of the world, and also, our other daughter [Zahara Marley] was born in Africa … this is a special continent for us." Pitt also thanked the people of the country for helping them with the "truly peaceful" birth of the child.

Jolie-Pitt Foundation

Tom Stoddart/Getty

Sept 2006: Co-Found Jolie/Pitt Foundation

Jolie and Pitt announced the creation of the Jolie/Pitt Foundation. The couple christened the charity by making sizable contributions to two organizations: $1 million went to the now-defunct Global Action for Children, a NGO that supported orphans in developing countries; another $1 million — earmarked for families affected by HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty — was given to Doctors Without Borders. Over the next several years the pair expanded their philanthropic work around the world, funding projects in New Orleans, Cambodia, Ethiopia and Haiti.

Angelina Jolie Brad Pitt, Pax

James Devaney/WireImage/Getty

March 2007: Jolie and Pitt Adopt Pax

Pax, child number four, joined Jolie from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The boy, born Pham Quang Sang, was abandoned by his biological mother at birth, but he found new hope with the Jolie-Pitt clan at age 3. (Due to sanctions against unmarried couples adopting children in Vietnam, Jolie files for adoption as a single parent, then Pitt co-adopts the young boy once he gets to America.) Though he's renamed Pax, the young boy will remain in touch with his roots, as a recent Vanity Fair story states that he's learning Vietnamese. That is, in addition to child-deejaying lessons.                                    

Angelina Jolie

Sean Gallup/Getty

May 2008: Jolie Says She and Pitt Are Expecting Twins

While drumming up buzz for Kung Fu Panda at the Cannes Film Festival, Jolie stole the spotlight with a major announcement: More children are on the way! She stated that twins Vivienne and Knox would bring the total count to six. She gave birth in July at a seaside hospital in Nice, and she sold the rights to the first photos of the bouncing bundles of joy to People and Hello! magazines for a cool $14 million. If that seems exploitative, Jolie's one step ahead of you – all proceeds from the sale went to the Jolie/Pitt Foundation.

Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt

Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

August 2010: Jolie Says She’s Not Pregnant

Hailed as "Angelina the Conqueror" in a Vanity Fair cover feature, Jolie squashed the rumors that she's with child once more. "We're not opposed to it," she says. "But we want to make sure we can give everybody special time. … We want to make sure we don't build a family so big that we don't have absolutely enough time to raise them each really well." The profile paints her as a household goddess exulting in her domestic phase, fielding the challenges of motherhood while continuing to pursue her professional aspirations. Or to put it in 30 Rock terms, "having it all."

Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp

Victor R. Caivano/AP

November 2010: Jonny Depp Calls Brad Angelina’s ‘Husband’

While talking to Patti Smith for a Vanity Fair cover story, Depp compared Jolie, his costar on The Tourist, to Elizabeth Taylor, and said he was "pleased to find that she is incredibly normal, and has a wonderfully dark, perverse sense of humor." He then detailed what he saw the the actress go through during filming: "Poor thing, dogged by paparazzi, her and her husband, Brad … all their kids." It was the husband part, naturally, that everyone focused on immediately, leading many to speculate that the two had already married in secret.

Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt


October 2006: Pitt Says They Won’t Marry Until Legal for Everyone

Once their romance and launch of their family seemed settled, tabloid focus shifted to just when the pair would marry one another. In an interview with Esquire, Pitt revealed that the couple had chosen to not get married until all couples could legally wed. Even so, the pair still got married in 2014, nearly a year before same-sex marriage was declared legal in all 50 states.

Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, engaged

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

April 2012: Jolie, Pitt Confirm They Are Engaged

Representatives for Pitt and Jolie confirmed that the couple was planning, at long last, to tie the knot. "It is a promise for the future and their kids are very happy," Pitt's manager, Cynthia Pett-Dante, told People, adding, "There's no date set at this time." The ring, which Pitt designed with Jeweler Robert Procop, features 16-carats of emerald-cut diamonds. Early reports pegged its value at $1million; that figure was later revised downward to half a million dollars and finally a reported $250,000.

double mastectomy, Angelina Jolie

Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty

May 2013: Jolie Reveals Her Preventive Double Mastectomy

At age 37, Jolie chose to undergo a double mastectomy after finding out that she carried a defective BRCA1 gene which gave her an 87-percent chance of developing breast cancer. Both her mother and grandmother died of ovarian cancer while her mother also suffered from breast cancer. Her maternal aunt also died from breast cancer. "Once I knew this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and minimize the risk as much as I could," she wrote in a much-read (and debated) New York Times op-ed. "I am writing about it now because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience." In the piece she thanked Pit for being "so loving and supportive" during her procedure.                                    

Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, wedding

August 23rd, 2014: Pitt, Jolie Marry in France

Though it came before same-sex marriage was legalized across the United States, Brangelina wed after roughly a decade together. The couple had announced an engagement two years prior, and their quiet wedding took place at their Châueau Miraval estate in Correns, France. According to People, the pair only invited 20 guests. Jolie's dress featured artwork from their six children who were also involved in the ceremony, with Maddox and Pax walking their mom down the aisle, Zahara and Vivienne serving as flower girls and Shiloh and Knox being the ring-bearers.

Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, By the Sea

Universal Pictures/Everett

November 2014: Couple in Malta for ‘By the Sea’ Filming

A few months after marrying, Jolie Pitt discussed the nuptials for the first time with the press during the promotional ramp-up to the release of Unbroken, which she had directed. "We got married with our [six] children, and they were part of the ceremony," she said on Today. "It was all of us agreeing to be together and to just commit to this life together. Not because we had to … because we were absolutely sure we felt that much of a family." 

The couple then filmed By the Sea, which starred both Pitt and Jolie, and she directed. "The tricky thing is directing myself and directing Brad. It's hard, dramatic material, and we're balancing," she told DuJour magazine while taking a break from directing in Malta. "It's a heavy film, and it's not easy for us. But even as you struggle through it, you're in the trenches together and you don't expect it to be easy. We're challenging each other and that's a really good thing." Jolie also predicted she would retire from acting and dedicate herself to directing and raising her family.

Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt

Anthony Harvey/Getty

November 2015: ‘Brad and I Have Our Issues’

While promoting By the Sea, a film that was written and directed by Jolie Pitt and that starred the couple together, she spoke generally of tensions within the marriage. "Brad and I have our issues, but if the characters were even remotely close to our problems we couldn't have made the film," she told The Telegraph. "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."

Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt

Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty

March 2015: Jolie Had Her Ovaries Removed

Jolie Pitt revealed in a New York Times op-ed that she preemptively had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed after learning the risks she ran of getting ovarian cancer. "I called my husband in France, who was on a plane within hours," she wrote. "The beautiful thing about such moments in life is that there is so much clarity. You know what you live for and what matters. It is polarizing, and it is peaceful."                                    

Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt

Carl Court/AFP/Getty

June 22nd, 2016: Signals of Trouble in Brangelina Paradise Reported

Us Weekly telegraphs (in print, but not online) one of the few signs that all is not well in the Brangelina landscape. The magazine reports Pitt and Jolie are at odds over whether or not to sell their Provence estate, Chateau Miraval, where the couple wed in 2014. (It's also the vineyard where the couple grows its Miraval rose grapes.) A source tells the magazine that Jolie, who accepted a lecturing position at the London School of Economics in May, wants to unload the property as she is "ramping up her efforts in the political world." The actress is reportedly interested in an appointment to the U.K.'s House of Lords, which she can only do if she becomes a tax-paying British resident.

Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie

Anthony Harvey/Getty

September 20th, 2016: Jolie Files for Divorce

Early on Tuesday morning, Jolie filed for divorce. TMZfirst to the documents, had the details: Jolie, who retained the services of celebrity divorce lawyer Laura Wasser (her star-studded client roster lists Kim Kardashian, Heidi Klum, Gavin Rossdale), cited irreconcilable differences. She requests physical custody of the couple’s six children, but no spousal support.

A feeding frenzy of speculation followed. According to a source who spoke to Us: They disagreed about parenting styles. "They also fight over their schedules and politics still," the source said. "They have a lot of very heated political fights." (Us previously reported that Jolie held unfavorable views of Barack Obama, for whom Pitt was a major supporter and donor. Jolie's father, Jon Voight, is also an outspoken critic of the president's.) Us also reports that Jolie decided one week ago after an "incident."

Page Six reported the real cause is an alleged affair between Pitt and Marion Cotillard, his co-star in the WWII drama Allied.

The couple's lawyer told the AP simply: She did it "for the health of the family." 

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