This is Brad Pitt laid bare.
Eight months after Angelina Jolie filed for divorce, ending their two-year marriage and 12-year partnership, Pitt gave his first in-depth interview to GQ Style, in which he owned up to his own shortcomings and revealed what he's now doing to become a better father to their six children.
"You know, I just started therapy," said Pitt, whose entire family sought individual and group counseling after the split. "I love it. I love it. I went through two therapists to get the right one."
Last September, while aboard a private plane en route to L.A., there was a reported altercation between Pitt and his 15-year-old son, Maddox Jolie-Pitt. An anonymous phone call was made to the police, leading to an FBI investigation (which was later closed with no charges). Jolie filed for divorce five days later, which resulted in months of back-and-forth fights in the courts.
"I was really on my back and chained to a system when Child Services was called," Pitt told GQ, publicly addressing the ordeal for the first time. "After that, we've been able to work together to sort this out. We're both doing our best. I heard one lawyer say, 'No one wins in court--it's just a matter of who gets hurt worse.' And it seems to be true. You spend a year just focused on building a case to prove your point and why you're right and why they're wrong, and it's just an investment in vitriolic hatred. I just refuse. And fortunately my partner in this agrees. It's just very, very jarring for the kids, to suddenly have their family ripped apart."
Pitt says relations are better today than they were last fall.
Part of that, Pitt said, is because he and Jolie agreed to handle their divorce "with great care and delicacy" out of consideration for their children. "There's a lot to tell them because there's understanding the future, there's understanding the immediate moment and why we're at this point, and then it brings up a lot of issues from the past that we haven't talked about. So, our focus is that everyone comes out stronger and better people--there is no other outcome."
Pitt said he would use substances to avoid facing his issues. "I can't remember a day since I got out of college when I wasn't boozing or had a spliff, or something. Something. And you realize that a lot of it is, um--cigarettes, you know, pacifiers. And I'm running from feelings. I'm really, really happy to be done with all of that. I mean I stopped everything except boozing when I started my family. But even this last year, you know--things I wasn't dealing with. I was boozing too much. It's just become a problem," Brad admitted.
It wasn't hard to stop smoking pot, but alcohol was tougher. "I mean, we have a winery. I enjoy wine very, very much, but I just ran it to the ground. I had to step away for a minute. And truthfully I could drink a Russian under the table with his own vodka. I was a professional. I was good," said the actor, who ultimately decided that he didn't "want to live that way anymore."