Even as the guessing game is on as to what caused the split of Hollywood’s power couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt — his marijuana and alcohol use, a possible affair with French actress Marion Cottilard or the irreconcilable differences that Jolie stated — members of the film fraternity and their fans across the globe have expressed shock, sadness and sarcasm.
They had been in a relationship for long, but wed in August 2014.
According to Hollywood news website TMZ, Jolie cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split, and legal documents reveal she’s demanding physical custody of their six children, with visitation rights for Pitt.
“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 magazine.
If another TMZ report, quoting a source close to Pitt, is to be believed, he will fight hard for joint physical custody of the children.
Multiple sources are conjecturing different reasons for their split, but Jolie’s father and actor Jon Voight is sure “something very serious must have happened” that made Jolie take this step.
Ever since the split news broke, hashtags #Brangelina, #Brangelexit, #Brangelinacheat and #BrangelinaBreakup started trending on Twitter. Their star friends, including George Clooney, have reacted.
“That’s a sad story and unfortunate for a family,” said Clooney.
On Twitter, one user rued: “I feel like my parents have split up Brangelina. Another “genuinely sad” user wrote: “They seemed more than happy, and so accepting and inclusive with their kids. Sad day. Brangelina.”
The couple met on the set of their spy thriller “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” in 2003, while Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston. He broke up with Aniston in 2005.
Later, Jolie revealed that it was Pitt’s relationship with her son Maddox, who had “out of the blue called him dad”, that encouraged their togetherness.
In July 2005, Jolie finalised the adoption of her second child, Zahara, from Ethiopia – as a single parent, and six months later, she revealed she was expecting her first child with Pitt, who also adopted Maddox and Zahara. Shiloh joined the expanding brood.
Less than one year later, the couple announced yet another bundle of joy — they adopted son Pax, then 3, from Vietnam.
The duo also took their children — Pax and Zahara — for a boat ride during their brief and highly publicised stay in the Indian city Mumbai in 2006, while Jolie was in India to shoot for Michael Winterbottom’s “A Mighty Heart”.
In February 2008, the couple confirmed that they were expecting a baby once again — and they happened to be twins. The family welcomed Knox and Vivienne in August 2008 in Nice, France. It was after welcoming their fifth and sixth children, the couple became slightly more public about their relationship.
In 2008, Pitt said that they had no plans to get married until “it’s legal for everyone else. However, in 2011, he revealed that their children were pressuring them to make things official. Still, Jolie maintained they weren’t in a rush to tie the knot.
Their bond strengthened when Jolie went through a preventative double mastectomy after genetic tests showed that she had a high risk of developing breast cancer.
After spending years of knowing and loving each other and raising a family, they finally walked the aisle in an intimate ceremony on August 23, 2014. The fact that the children were an important part of their lives was visible when part of Jolie’s wedding dress was scribbled with the kids’ artwork.
In December, the couple released “By the Sea”. Though the movie followed the disintegration of a marriage, Jolie revealed that they were stronger than ever.
The Pitt family was last seen together in public in July, when they stopped into a Jamba Juice store in Los Angeles with Shiloh.