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.
Brad Pitt did not strike his child during a heated mid-flight argument with Angelina Jolie last week, according to a source close to the actor.
Pitt is accused of being “verbally abusive” and getting “physical” with one of his children on the family’s private plane last Wednesday, a source previously told PEOPLE.
The L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services is investigating the 52-year-old after the alleged incident was reported to them anonymously. The case has also been referred to the FBI.
Now a source close to the actor is speaking out exclusively to PEOPLE about Pitt’s side of the story.
Pitt “was drunk, and there was an argument between him and Angelina,” says the source. One of the couple’s older children “then got caught in the middle, literally. He stepped in front of Brad. There was a parent-child argument which was not handled in the right way and escalated more than it should have.”
The source says Pitt did not hurt his son. “He is emphatic that it did not reach the level of physical abuse, that no one was physically harmed. He did not hit his child in the face in any way. He did not do that; he is emphatic about that. He put his hands on him, yes, because the confrontation was nose to nose and was spiraling out of control.”
Any accusations beyond that are “a combination of exaggerations and lies,” the Pitt source contends, blaming sources close to Jolie. “They have taken the overall smallest kernel of truth – that a fight in which Brad was somewhat inebriated got out of hand and reached a regrettable peak, and that as a result DCFS is looking into it – and they are manipulating it to best suit their attempts to gain custody.”
For more on Jolie and Pitt’s divorce, watch People Cover Story: Brad & Angelina on the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to people.com/PEN or download the free app on your Smart TV, mobile and Web devices.
The Pitt source adds that the star “was not black-out drunk” and that “he absolutely remembers that evening and has been interviewed at length to that effect.”
In the petition for divorce Jolie filed on Monday, the actress requested sole physical custody of the couple’s six children – Maddox, 15, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 8.
As for the ongoing DCFS investigation, a source close to Pitt told PEOPLE, “He takes the matter very seriously and says he did not commit any abuse of his children. It’s unfortunate that people involved are continuing to present him in the worst possible light.”
FLASHBACK: Brad and Angelina at the 2012 Golden Globes
The actor has not seen his children in several days, another source close to the family says, noting that “Angelina and Brad have not been in contact at all” since she filed for divorce.
“I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the well being of our kids I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time,” Pitt said in a statement to PEOPLE following the divorce filing.
In a separate statement, an attorney for Jolie said, “This decision was made for the health of the family. She will not be commenting at this time, and asks that the family be given their privacy during this difficult time.”