Brad Pitt Opens Up About Angelina Jolie Divorce In Heartbreaking First Interview

by Mary Kate Hoban
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It's been nearly eight months since Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Brad Pitt, but it still feels raw.

It feels raw in that bizarre way that the dissolution of a Hollywood marriage can somehow signal the death of love to a bunch of people who never even knew the couple.

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After months of accusations, leaked documents and a temporary custody arrangement, Angelina Jolie spoke out about the divorce for the first time in a taped interview for BBC in February.

In the video, the 41-year-old shared,

Many, many people find themselves in this situation. My whole family — we've all been through a difficult time. My focus is my children, our children. And my focus is finding this way through. As I said, we are and forever will be a family. That is how I'm coping, I'm coping with finding a way through to make sure that this somehow makes us stronger and closer.

Now, it's Brad Pitt's turn to open up, which he did in an incredibly heartbreaking and emotionally revealing feature for the Summer issue of GQ Style.

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After admitting he recently started therapy ("I love it, I love it. I went through two therapists to get to the right one"), he talked about other lifestyle changes he's made and what he feels he needs to continue working on in this new phase of his life.

Speaking on his drug and alcohol usage -- which were rumored to play a role in the divorce -- Pitt said,

I mean I stopped everything except boozing when I started my family. But even this last year, you know -- things I wasn't dealing with. 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. I think that's part of the human challenge: You either deny them all of your life or you answer them and evolve.

When asked if he misses the alcohol, he replied,

I mean, we have a winery. I enjoy wine very, very much, but I just ran it to the ground. I had to step away for a minute. And truthfully I could drink a Russian under the table with his own vodka. I was a professional. I was good.

The 53-year-old actor said he "[doesn't] want to live that way anymore" and now sticks to cranberry juice and fizzy water.

Currently back to living in his house in the Hollywood Hills (which he refers to as his kids' "childhood home"), Pitt revealed he didn't want to be there initially after the split. He said,

It was too sad to be here at first, so I went and stayed on a friend's floor, a little bungalow in Santa Monica. I crashed over here a little bit, my friend [David] Fincher lives right here.

These days, the father of six has taken up sculpting, working out of a friend's studio.

Reflecting on his own story, Pitt shared,

I'm 53 and I'm just getting into it. These are things I thought I was managing very well. I remember literally having this thought a year, a year and a half ago, someone was going through some scandal. Something crossed my path that was a big scandal -- and I went, 'Thank God I'm never going to have to be a part of one of those again.' I live my life, I have my family, I do my thing, I don't do anything illegal, I don't cross anyone's path. What's the David Foster Wallace quote? Truth will set you free, but not until it's done with you first.

Pitt and Jolie were together for over 10 years, although they didn't marry until 2014.

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Admitting the split was like a death, Pitt said,

I'm just in the middle of this thing now and I'm not at the beginning of it or at the end of it, just where this chapter is right now, just smack-dab in the middle. It's fucking in the middle of it and, you know, I just don't want to dodge any of it. I just want to stand there, shirt open, and take my hits and see, and see.

He continued,

The first urge is to cling on... 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. But it sounds good written. It sounds good when Sting sings it. It doesn't mean fuck-all to me until, you know... until you live it.

Pitt and Jolie are working on the details of the custody arrangement now, but things have definitely improved since the initial decision. He said,

I was really on my back and chained to a system when Child Services was called. 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. I just refuse. And fortunately my partner in this agrees. It's just very, very jarring for the kids, to suddenly have their family ripped apart.

It was rumored Pitt's relationship with 15-year-old Maddox, his oldest, was strained in the weeks following an alleged incident on the private jet.

While he didn't mention any specifics, Pitt did say his relationship with his children was a priority now.

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When asked how he makes sense of the past year and everything that's happened, Pitt answered,

Family first. People on their deathbeds don't talk about what they obtained or were awarded. They talk about their loved ones or their regrets -- that seems to be the menu. I say that as someone who's let the work take me away. Kids are so delicate. They absorb everything. They need to have their hand held and things explained. They need to be listened to. When I get in that busy work mode, I'm not hearing. I want to be better at that.

The entire interview appears in the Summer 2017 issue of GQ Style.

Citations: Brad Pitt Talks Divorce, Quitting Drinking, and Becoming a Better Man (GQ Style)