LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Brad Pitt allegedly hit one of his children in the face and choked another during a fight with Angelina Jolie on a private plane, according to court papers filed on Tuesday in the United States (US) by his ex-wife.
The former couple, once one of Hollywood’s highest profile pairings, have been embroiled in a lengthy dispute over their marriage, custody of their six children and shared assets, including a French winery.
In papers lodged in a Los Angeles court and widely quoted in US media, Jolie describes a lengthy eruption by Pitt as the couple flew with the children from California to France in September 2016.
“Pitt choked one of the children and struck another in the face,” the papers said, according to The New York Times, adding that he also “grabbed Jolie by the head and shook her”.
At one stage in the fight “he poured alcohol on Jolie; at another, he poured alcohol on the children.”
The confrontation began in the plane’s bathroom when Pitt said Jolie was “too deferential” to the children.
“Pitt grabbed Jolie by the head and shook her, and then grabbed her shoulders and shook her again before pushing her into the bathroom wall,” the suit said, according to Variety.
“When one of the children verbally defended Jolie, Pitt lunged at his own child and Jolie grabbed him from behind to stop him,” it added.
“The children rushed in and all bravely tried to protect each other. Before it was over, Pitt choked one of the children and struck another in the face. Some of the children pleaded with Pitt to stop. They were all frightened. Many were crying.”
The Fight Club actor, who has for decades been one of cinema’s most bankable stars, was investigated over the claims by federal authorities, who have jurisdiction over US-origin air travel. No charges were ever brought.
Jolie filed for divorce a few days after the flight.
In the ensuing years, the A-listers have clashed over custody of the children – three biological and three adopted – and more recently over the ownership of a luxury French property they bought together.