How Angelina Jolie Told Brad Pitt She Wanted a Divorce – and Why He ‘Begged’ Her to Wait


After 12 years and six kids together, Angelina Jolie files for divorce from Brad Pitt just after their two-year wedding anniversary. Subscribe now for the real story behind the split, only in PEOPLE.

Angelina Jolie broke the news to Brad Pitt that she wanted to end their two-year marriage and 12-year romance just days before filing for divorce.

“She sat down, talked to Brad and offered to file [for divorce] together,” a source close to the actress tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story. “She said, ‘This is what I’d like to do.’ She explained everything. Angelina did what she felt she needed to do.”

Though Pitt, 52, was aware that their marriage was in trouble, he was still “wrecked” when Jolie told him of her plans two days before she filed divorce papers, marking irreconcilable differences as the reason for their split, says a source in his circle.


“He was appealing to her to do this quietly – not to save the marriage but to consider the well-being of the children – and it was ignored,” contends the Pitt source. “He is just wrecked by this.”

On Thursday, PEOPLE confirmed that Pitt is under investigation for child abuse by the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services following a September 14 incident on a private plane in which he allegedly got “verbally abusive” and “physical” with one of the couple’s kids in front of Jolie and at least some of their other children. In her divorce filing, Jolie listed the couple’s date of separation as the following day, September 15.

Pitt, who had been in counseling “to try to figure out how to make things better” for their six kids “begged [Jolie] to press pause” and slow down the proceedings, says the Pitt source – not so that they could reconcile, but so they could move forward in a way that would both protect and prepare the kids for the massive upheaval that was to come.

FLASHBACK: Brad and Angelina at the 2012 Golden Globes

“He was willing to do anything, change any habit, change any lifestyle, to do what had to be done to make this work,” adds the source. “And by 'make this work,’ that means doing what has to be done to make even a split one that is amicable and in the best interests of the children.”

The former couple disagree about custody plans. Jolie, 41, asked for physical custody of the couple’s kids and is requesting that Pitt be granted visitation rights, while Pitt wants shared custody, sources have said.