According to unconfirmed and conflicting reports, film star Brad Pitt may be under investigation for alleged verbal and physical abuse of one or more of his and Angelina Jolie’s children. Jolie filed for divorce Monday from her longtime companion and husband of two years.
TMZ.com and People magazine each said Thursday that Pitt, 52, was being investigated by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. Both outlets, citing anonymous sources, said the couple and their six children were on a private jet on Sept. 14 when a purportedly inebriated Pitt screamed at and became physical with his offspring.
Pitt and Jolie have sons Maddox, 15, and Pax, 12; daughters Zahara, 11, and Shiloh, 10; and twins Knox, a son, and Vivienne, a daughter, 8.
People magazine later said the case had been referred to the FBI, which would have jurisdiction since the alleged incident occurred while the family was airborne.
Children and Family Services spokeswoman Amara Suarez told The Hollywood Reporter, “We have very strict confidentially laws that don’t allow us to confirm or deny the subjects of our investigations.”
The Los Angeles Police Department, to which child-abuse allegations routinely are referred, refuted early reports that it was investigating any claims involving Pitt. LAPD Sgt. Barry Montgomery told 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, Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard, with whom Pitt stars in the upcoming World War II drama “Allied,” dismissed reports that an affair with her had precipitated Jolie’s divorce filing.
“I am not used to commenting on things like this nor taking them seriously but as this situation is spiraling and affecting people I love, I have to speak up,” Cotillard, who turns 41 next Friday, posted on Instagram. “Firstly, many years ago, I met the man of my life, father of our son and of the baby we are expecting. He is my love, my best friend, the only one that I need,” she wrote, referring to longtime partner Guillaume Canet.
“Secondly,” she continued, “to those who have indicated that I am devastated, I am very well thank you. This crafted conversation isn’t distressing. And to all the media and the haters who are quick to pass judgment, I sincerely wish you a swift recovery. Finally, I do very much wish that Angelina and Brad, both whom I deeply respect, will find peace in this very tumultuous moment.”