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Brad Pitt skips movie premiere to focus on 'family situation'

Brad Pitt skipped his first public appearance after

Brad Pitt skipped his first public appearance after his split with Angelina Jolie, saying in a statement Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, he would not attend the premiere of Terrence Malick's new documentary that night as scheduled. Here, Pitt attends the premiere of "The Big Short" in New York City on Nov. 23, 2015. Photo Credit: AP / Evan Agostini

Brad Pitt skipped the premiere of his new film Wednesday in order to concentrate on family issues.

The actor — whose wife, actress Angelina Jolie, filed for divorce earlier this month — canceled his scheduled appearance at the Los Angeles premiere of Terrence Malick’s documentary “Voyage of Life.” Pitt and Cate Blanchett, respectively, narrate a 45- and a 90-minute version of the movie.

“I’m very grateful to be a part of such a fascinating and educational project, but I’m currently focused on my family situation and don’t want to distract attention away from this extraordinary film, which I encourage everyone to see,” Pitt, who is as also one of the film’s producers, said in a statement.

Sophokles Tasioulis, another “Voyage of Time” producer, told People at the premiere, “I can understand Brad in many ways. Right now he’s in a very difficult situation personally,” adding, “We want people to come here for the movie, not for what is going on behind the scenes and Brad’s personal life. I think it was a good decision by him and we all respect his privacy.”

Meanwhile, People magazine and TMZ.com Thursday each said it had confirmed a report by the gossip magazine In Touch Weekly claiming that Pitt, 52, had voluntarily taken a urine drug test administered by the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services during the weekend of Sept. 17. A representative for the DCFS, which does not comment on whether it has opened a case, told People that in general it is “very standard” to drug-test parents during abuse investigations.

The FBI told The Associated Press that it is still evaluating whether to investigate Pitt over alleged abusive behavior toward one of his and Jolie’s six children. The family was on a private jet en route from France to Los Angeles on Sept. 14 when a purportedly inebriated Pitt screamed at and became physical with the eldest, son Maddox, 15.

Los Angeles police have said Pitt is not under investigation by the department.

People also reported that crisis manager Judy Smith, — who inspired Kerry Washington’s character on ABC’s “Scandal” — is “consulting” with Jolie’s legal team as she continues to work out divorce details with Pitt.

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