New reports surrounding claims that Brad Pitt allegedly verbally abused and that he was "getting physical" with his children during an alleged incident continue to come in. Amid many updates about the situation, on Thursday, TMZ reported that the child abuse allegations against Pitt were referred to the FBI. The FBI could not be reached for comment at this time, but we will update when and if we get in touch.
Update: 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.”
Earlier: TMZ first reported that Pitt was being investigated by the LAPD after he allegedly became physical with his children and also verbally abusive towards them on a private plane last week. However, after TMZ's report, the LAPD denied reports that they were investigating Pitt for child abuse, according to The Independent. Bustle has reached out to Pitt's rep and the LAPD regarding the claims, but has yet to receive a response.
Per TMZ, since the alleged incident happened in the air, during a flight from France to the U.S., the LAPD does not have jurisdiction. That means the FBI has jurisdiction, causing the LAPD's Abused Child Unit to refer the matter to the FBI.
People also reported that despite the LAPD not looking into the alleged incident, the L.A. Department of Child and Family Services is. Bustle has reached out to the L.A. DCFS, but has not yet received a response. The L.A. DCFS 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 Independent reports that "a source close to the actor" told the site, "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."