Ever since news broke about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's divorce, headlines haven't stopped coming in about the couple. And on Thursday morning, reports surfaced that Pitt is being investigated for child abuse. New information continues to roll in about Pitt and the allegations, so this article will be continually updated.
Bustle has reached out to Pitt's rep for comment, but has not yet received a response. Although Pitt has not commented yet himself, "a source close to the actor" said Pitt denied the accusations. The source told The Independent:
"He takes the matter very seriously and says he did not commit any abuse of his children. It’s unfortunate that people involved are continuing to present him in the worst possible light. I think the most important thing is the fact that he is co-operating and that he takes it seriously, he recognizes it is a serious matter and he is willing to do whatever will be best for his family."
On Thursday afternoon, TMZ reported that Pitt is being investigated by the FBI. Sources close to the site claim that an anonymous witness called the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services after Pitt allegedly was "wasted on a private jet" and became verbally and physically abusive toward his and Jolie's children. Because the alleged incident happened while the jet was in the air — during a flight from France to the U.S. — TMZ reported that it is the FBI's jurisdiction. Before passing the info on to the FBI, the L.A. DCFS allegedly contacted the LAPD, which notified its Abused Child Unit. However, the LAPD ACU reportedly closed the case and passed it on to the FBI, according to TMZ.
Prior to this latest update, the LAPD denied investigating Pitt for child abuse. Sgt. Barry Montgomery released the following statement to The Hollywood Reporter:
"We have no criminal investigation that we are actively pursuing. To my knowledge, [Pitt talking to police] never happened. And right now, that is where our office is. We are not investigating any case, nor do we have any allegations against Mr. Pitt. We understand how rumors get spun up and hopefully we can put a few of them to rest. We have no investigation involving Mr. Pitt."
Meanwhile, the L.A. DCFS's Public Information Officer told Us Weekly, "We’re prohibited by law from disclosing case specific information or even identifying any involvement with any client."
The FBI could not be reached for comment at this time, but Bustle will update this story when and if we get in touch. Bustle has also reached out to the LAPD regarding the claims, but has not yet received a response.
Update, Sept. 22, 2:26 p.m.: The Daily Mail reports that a police car was seen at Jolie and Pitt's house on Thursday morning.
Update, Sept. 22, 3:07 p.m.: E! News reports that a source told the site, "This comes down to the kind of disagreements that sometimes occur between teenage boys and their father. This is where the situation has spiraled from. And Angelina as a mother can be very protective ... there is no abuse. They both love the kids more than anything else in the world. Maddox and Pax are very protective of their mother and they are both growing up and developing their own personalities. And while sometimes there is screaming and yelling and they can all get boisterous, there is no huge problems here. Brad's relationship with the older boys is great, but from time to time they have their differences, which is very normal for fathers with teenage boys." Jolie and Pitt's eldest sons are 15 and 12 years old. The source's full statement can be read on E!'s site.
Update, Sept. 22, 3:39 p.m.: A source claiming to be close to Pitt claimed to People that he is cooperative when it comes to the reported investigation, and that "he did not commit any abuse of his children."
Update, Sept. 22, 4:33 p.m.: CNN reports that Pitt "recently" spoke to L.A. authorities regarding the alleged incident.
Update, Sept. 22, 8:41 p.m.: According to EW a source "close to Pitt" has commented on the situation, alleging the actor "was drunk, and there was an argument between him and Angelina," before one of their older children allegedly “then got caught in the middle, literally. He stepped in front of Brad. There was a parent-child argument which was not handled in the right way and escalated more than it should have." The source continued, then, claiming, "he is emphatic that it did not reach the level of physical abuse, that no one was physically harmed. He did not hit his child in the face in any way. He did not do that; he is emphatic about that. He put his hands on him, yes, because the confrontation was nose to nose and was spiraling out of control." Additionally, the source claimed that allegations against Pitt are "a combination of exaggerations and lies," and that Pitt allegedly "absolutely remembers that evening and has been interviewed at length to that effect."
Update, Sept. 22, 10:02 p.m.: According to Us Weekly, anonymous sources claim that the alleged incident on the private plane was "caught on camera." These sources went on to claim that the actor could allegedly be seen "looking drunk" and "yelling" after the family jet stopped for fuel at International Falls Airport in Minnesota. Another source claimed that, "Brad is seen yelling a lot during it, but nothing physical." Meanwhile, a third source alleged that, "He got drunk and was fighting with Angie... Maddox stepped in to defend Angie and got in Brad's face... the abuse suggestions are inaccurate.”
Update, Sept. 23, 9:20 a.m.: The FBI released the following statement to Bustle: “In response to your inquiry regarding allegations within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States; specifically, an aircraft carrying Mr. Brad Pitt and his children, the FBI is continuing to gather facts and will evaluate whether an investigation at the federal level will be pursued.”
Update, Sept. 23, 11:07 a.m.: According to a source who spoke with USA Today, Pitt has reportedly hired lawyer Lance Spiegel, who has previously worked on family law issues with high-profile clients such as Michael Jackson, Charlie Sheen, and Eva Longoria.