Angelina Jolie has filed for divorce from Brad Pitt, her attorney has said.
“This decision was made for the health of the family. She will not be commenting, and asks that the family be given its privacy at this time,” Robert Offer said in a statement on Tuesday.
According to the website TMZ.com, which first reported the story, the actor and director cited irreconcilable differences as the cause for the split. The couple have been together since 2005 and married in 2014.
Jolie has reportedly asked for physical custody of their six children, with Pitt allowed visitation rights. She is not asking for spousal support. The date of separation is listed as 15 September.
In a statement to People magazine, Pitt said: “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.”
They originally met on the set of the action comedy Mr and Mrs Smith and were also seen on screen together in 2015’s By the Sea, a drama about an ailing marriage, written and directed by Jolie. While Mr and Mrs Smith was warmly received by critics and a commercial hit, making $478m worldwide, By the Sea was less of a success. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw called it “indulgent” and it made $3.3m at the box office.
Despite the film’s focus on relationship problems, Jolie was quick to deny it was a reflection of their marriage.
“Brad and I have our issues, but if the characters were even remotely close to our problems we couldn’t have made the film,” she told the Telegraph. “To be clear: we have fights and problems like any other couple. We have days when we drive each other absolutely mad and want space, but the problems in the movie aren’t our specific problems.”
Jolie was previously married to the actor Jonny Lee Miller after meeting on the set of Hackers in 1996 and Billy Bob Thornton after the pair made Pushing Tin in 1999.
The actor vehemently denied that she began an affair with Pitt when they worked together as he was still married to Jennifer Aniston. “To be intimate with a married man, when my own father cheated on my mother, is not something I could forgive,” she said. “I could not look at myself in the morning if I did that. I wouldn’t be attracted to a man who would cheat on his wife.”
Rumours of a split have been circulating since 2010, when they successfully sued the News of the World after false allegations that they were separating.
Pitt will next be seen in Allied, a thriller about the second world war, alongside Marion Cotillard while Jolie is working on Netflix documentary First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers. [Benjamin Lee]