Angelina Jolie Says She and Her Kids Have ‘a Lot of Healing to Do’ in Rare Allusion to Brad Pitt Split

Jolie told Vogue she doesn't “feel like I’ve been myself for a decade."

Angelina Jolie Says She and Her Kids Have ‘a Lot of Healing to Do’ in Rare Allusion to Brad Pitt Split
Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Jolie-Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, Maddox Jolie-Pitt and Knox Jolie-Pitt at the The Eternals UK premiere in 2021. Photo:Karwai Tang/WireImage (Getty Images)

Angelina Jolie is officially wading into the fashion world with her collaborative design collective Atelier Jolie, which she talks about at length in a new interview with Vogue published Wednesday. In said interview, Jolie, while alluding to the turmoil that steered her to embrace fashion as an outlet for healing, seemingly offered a rare glimpse into the impact that her separation from Brad Pitt in 2016 had on her and their six kids—unsurprisingly, without naming him.

“I want a woman to feel safe enough that she can be soft,” she told Vogue, referencing the allure of a shift dress and other feminine pieces. “After I went through something where I was hurt, I had a therapist ask if I would try wearing a flowing garment. … I assumed that pants and boots projected a ‘tougher’ look, a stronger me. But was I strong enough to be soft? At the time, no.” The actor told the magazine she doesn’t “feel like I’ve been myself for a decade… which I don’t want to get into,” and references a shift in her life and her kids’ lives when she and Pitt announced their separation in 2016.

“We had a lot of healing to do. We’re still finding our footing,” Jolie said of her family. Her fashion endeavors, she continued, “[have] also been therapeutic for me… I’m hoping to change many aspects of my life.”

Jolie was clear that she didn’t want to dissect the ugliness of the last decade, but it’s reasonable to assume she’s at least in part referencing the events that led to the breakdown of her marriage seven years ago. Per an FBI report that was made public last summer, Pitt allegedly physically assaulted Jolie on a private plane during a drunken episode in 2016—just days before the couple announced their separation. (He was investigated and cleared by the FBI.) In the years since, Jolie has alluded to fearing for her children’s safety and surviving domestic violence, though, understandably, without naming who harmed her.

In the midst of all of this, the only other insights we’ve received into Jolie and Pitt’s separation—and its aftermath—have been through an ongoing legal dispute between the two over their once-shared French winery, Chateau Miraval. Last year, Pitt filed a lawsuit alleging Jolie secretly sold the stakes she owned in Miraval to a Russian oligarch instead of selling them to Pitt. In response to Pitt’s suit, Jolie’s former company, Nouvel, accused Pitt of purposefully squandering the money she’d invested in Miraval. Nouvel also made the particularly dark allegation that Jolie only sold her stakes to the Russian businessman after Pitt tried to force her to sign an agreement to not talk about “the events that had led to the breakdown of their marriage.” By July, Jolie and Pitt reached an agreement to settle the dispute in mediation instead of going to court.

The two have also been embroiled in a years-long custody battle over their kids (three of whom are still underage), who have rarely been seen with Pitt in the last seven years. Vogue’s profile of Jolie this week, however, is woven with frequent references to day-to-day life with the kids, including partnering with daughter Zahara to create Atelier Jolie, plans to go apartment-hunting with son Pax after the interview, and vintage shopping with all of her kids.

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