Angelina Jolie said on Tuesday that her three eldest kids with estranged husband Brad Pitt had wanted to testify against him as part of their bitter custody battle in Los Angeles Superior Court, according to The Los Angeles Times. Jolie was asked by Judge Jon M. LeBlanc, the presiding judge in the case, about the three teenage boys, who were one year, three months and four years older than their sister. He said the boys also wanted to be allowed to live with their mother temporarily, and that they could travel outside the state if they were allowed by the judge. Jolie told the judge that she did not want to have her older children travel, since she was receiving death threats from some members of the public following her divorce from Pitt. As for the younger children, who are five and eight years old, LeBlanc said they were “very resistant,” but suggested that their younger sister could travel with them if she was permitted to. All three of the Jolie-Pitt children live with their mother in the Los Angeles area.
The court hearing took place amid reports that Jolie’s ability to care for her children as long as she wanted has come into question in her custody battle with Pitt. According to TMZ, Jolie was given permission to request counseling for her children and later for all of her minor children after they were said to be seen kissing in photographs published in In Touch magazine last week. Pitt allegedly called for counseling for the children during the proceedings, according to TMZ, citing the documents filed in court.
According to TMZ, the arbitrator overseeing the settlement between the former couple decided that Pitt should not receive access to the children for at least two weeks, which can be extended if the two sides agree. In a motion filed on Monday, the couple’s attorneys also requested to keep the custody arrangement in place through the summer and to turn over custody in one of the houses to Pitt if necessary. Pitt had appeared at the hearing and was present when LeBlanc informed the court that Jolie had made a filing asking the court to keep custody with her for an additional eight weeks. Pitt filed a motion to block Jolie’s motion and for the judge to expedite the court proceedings, as well as the case, after Jolie filed her motion just one day after she did so.
Jolie also claimed on Tuesday that her husband’s camp had sent multiple messages to her and her staff including that they would circulate private photos of their children “in an attempt to gain leverage in the proceedings.” In a hearing earlier in the day, LeBlanc had also sided with the Pitt camp, setting a 30-day moratorium on publicizing photos of the couple’s older children and requiring that private services were used for documents regarding their parents’ divorce and custody, according to the L.A. Times. Pitt had claimed that Jolie was trying to smear his name by using them to attack his reputation. A lawyer for Jolie, however, insisted that Jolie’s actions were the result of the extra effort she had undertaken to protect the children.
Jolie and Pitt have been in talks about how to resolve their divorce, according to the L.A. Times, with both sides warning the judge on Tuesday that if there was no swift resolution, they would likely opt to make their case in court. Jolie cited an “insurmountable gulf” in her ability to continue to care for her children if the agreement were to be violated by Pitt, who she said was erratic and was not capable of taking care of his own children. Pitt’s camp has called those allegations a desperate attempt by Jolie to divorce him with custody. The former couple initially reached a custody agreement in 2018, but the terms of that agreement were later contested by both Jolie and Pitt. During that time, Jolie had temporary guardianship of the two older children.