BY ABBEY WHITE | HollywoodReporter.Com
Jolie says that despite fearing for her “whole family,” in regards to her allegations of domestic abuse against Pitt, she still wants them all to “heal” and “move forward — all of us.”
Angelina Jolie is addressing allegations of abuse she’s made against Brad Pitt amid their custody battle and is speaking out about his decision to work with the convicted rapist and former movie producer Harvey Weinstein following an encounter in the ’90s she now says was “beyond a pass.”
In a Guardian interview about her new book Know Your Rights and Claim Them, which Jolie teamed with Amnesty International to publish, the actress touches on a number of issues including her work with displaced peoples in Syria, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan and divorce from Pitt, which she says, left her “broken.”
But Jolie said part of her decision to work on the book came after an experience in the U.S. she had with her own children, before pivoting to talking more explicitly about her custody battle with Pitt, acknowledging that she is “still in my own legal situation” and “can’t speak about that.”
“I’m not the kind of person who makes decisions like the decisions I had to make lightly. It took a lot for me to be in a position where I felt I had to separate from the father of my children,” Jolie, at one point, says.
Stating she is sworn to silence when it comes to the custody case, the actress eventually “nods” [to the Guardian reporter over Zoom] confirming that several statements she’s made are alluding to her divorce and her allegations of domestic abuse before sharing that she feared for the safety of her children. “Yes, for my family. My whole family,” Jolie responded.
While she reportedly goes back and forth on whether she’s comfortable talking about this, Jolie ultimately says she wants her family to heal and for everyone to move forward, Pitt included. “It’s not that I want to talk about anything really, because I just want my family to heal. And I want everyone to move forward – all of us, including their dad. I want us to heal and be peaceful. We’ll always be a family.”
During the wide-ranging interview, Jolie also talks about the experience of working with Weinstein and the sexual harassment she faced, going into more detail than her original statements made in an October 2017 New York Times report, in which the actress alleged that during the release of Playing by Heart in the late ’90s, the disgraced former Hollywood producer “made unwanted advances on her in a hotel room, which she rejected.”
“I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did,” Jolie then-said in an emailed statement to the Times.
In her Guardian interview, she said women often downplay assaults if they escape them. “If you get yourself out of the room, you think he attempted but didn’t, right? The truth is that the attempt and the experience of the attempt is an assault,” she stated.
She went on to clarify that Weinstein’s “advances” went “beyond a pass” and was a situation she had to physically escape. It was also something that Pitt knew about, Jolie says. “I stayed away and warned people about him. I remember telling Jonny [Lee Miller], my first husband, who was great about it, to spread the word to other guys — don’t let girls go alone with him. I was asked to do The Aviator, but I said no because he was involved. I never associated or worked with him again. It was hard for me when Brad did.”
As the article notes, Pitt — who is currently a producer on She Said, the film about New York Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor and their landmark 2017 exposé — starred in Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 film that was distributed and co-financed by the Weinstein Company. According to Jolie, he also approached the producer, against her wishes, to work on the thriller Killing Them Softly, which was distributed by the Weinstein Company. In a September 2019 interview with CNN, he spoke about confronting Weinstein after the producer made advances towards Pitt’s then-girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow.
As for how Jolie and Pitt — who finalized their divorce in 2019 — worked out the actor working with Weinstein, Jolie said, “We fought about it. Of course it hurt.”
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out Pitt’s reps for comment.
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