Angelina Jolie has filed for divorce from Brad Pitt, USA TODAY has confirmed.
The couple married in 2014 and has been together since 2004.
“This decision was made for the health of the family,” Robert Offer, an attorney for Jolie tells USA TODAY in a statement. “She will not be commenting at this time, and asks that the family be given their privacy during this difficult time.”
Jolie, 41, and Pitt, 52, have six children together: Maddox, 15, and Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, and Vivienne, 8, Shiloh, 10 and Knox, 8.
Pitt soon released his own statement. “I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the well-being of our kids,” he told People. “I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time.”
For 12 years the couple has captivated international audiences with their jet-setting glamour, their commitment to philanthropy, and their stunning red carpet turns. But they put off getting legally married for a decade, until announcing a surprise ceremony in France at Château Miraval in August 2014.
In December 2014 Jolie told Vanity Fair being married did feel different for the couple. “It feels nice to be husband and wife,” she said.
Their children helped them write the vows for their ceremony, she revealed, adding, “they did not expect us never to fight, but they made us promise to always say, ‘Sorry,’ if we do. So they said, ‘Do you?,’ and we said, ‘We do!’ ”
Jolie was previously married to actors Jonny Lee Miller (1996-1999) and Billy Bob Thornton (2000-2003). Pitt was previously married to Jennifer Aniston from 2000 to 2005, and the two announced their separation just before the release of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which starred Pitt and Jolie as husband-and-wife spies.
Though Pitt and Jolie denied infidelity, Pitt later told Rolling Stone he “fell in love” making the movie. A month after the film’s release, the first paparazzi pictures of Pitt and Jolie surfaced.
Pitt later became a legal parent to Jolie’s two adopted children, Maddox and Zahara, and Jolie gave birth to their first child, Shiloh, in May 2006. Their son Pax was adopted in 2007 from Vietnam, and Jolie gave birth to their twins, Knox and Vivienne, in 2008.
In October 2014, Pitt told USA TODAY family helped him shake off long days working on the war film Fury. To decompress, “I’d go hug my kids,” he said.
In May 2013 Jolie went public with health issues, revealing that she had decided to undergo a preventative double mastectomy thanks to a blood test that had “revealed that I carried a mutation in the BRCA1 gene,” she told the New York Times, giving her “an estimated 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer.”
Jolie’s mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand, died in 2007 at 56 after an eight-year battle with ovarian cancer.
The day Jolie released her essay, USA TODAY sat down with Pitt and he brought his hand to his heart, recalling “an emotional and beautifully inspiring few months. And I’ll tell you, it’s such a wonderful relief to come through this and not have a spectre hanging over our heads.”
He called Jolie his “hero,” saying “she’s still here.”
In March 2015 Jolie went public again in an essay revealing she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed and had gone through early menopause.
Later that year, promoting their film By the Sea (which was panned by critics), Pitt told the Today show that “there was no vanity to my wife’s approach to protecting her health. It was mature. ‘This is our life and we’re gonna make the best of it.’ There was a strength in that. It was just another one of those things in life that makes you tighter, and she was doing it for the kids, and she was doing it for her family so we could be together.”
Jolie added: “I knew through the surgeries that he was on my side and that this wasn’t something where I was gonna feel less of a woman because my husband wasn’t gonna let that happen. To face these issues together and speak about them and talk about what it is to be human, I think can be a beautiful thing.”
But their professional interests had recently seemed to be diverging.
Jolie, a special envoy for the UN, this year became a visiting professor at the London School of Economics, and has worked to shine a spotlight on the worldwide refugee crisis for years. On Sept. 8 she made a surprise appearance at a major UN peacekeeping summit, blasting the peacekeeping organization for incidents of sexual assault, saying cases of women and children being sexually exploited by those in charge of protecting them were “intolerable.”
Her interest in acting, however, seemed to be waning. “I’ve never been comfortable as an actor; I’ve never loved being in front of the camera,” she told DuJour magazine in 2014. Though Disney announced Maleficent 2, starring Jolie, is in the works, the film has yet to go into production.
Jolie has maintained her interest behind the lens, first directing 2011’s In the Land of Blood and Honey, followed by 2014’s Unbroken, and 2015’s By the Sea. She recently finished directing the Netflix film, First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia, based on the memoir by author and human rights activist Loung Ung about the brutal Khmer Rouge regime of the 1970s.
Their son Maddox, born in Cambodia, was involved with production of the film.
Meanwhile, Pitt has increased his role behind the camera, having produced films including 2014’s Oscar best picture winner, 12 Years a Slave, and the upcoming African-American coming-of-age drama, Moonlight. Pitt will also star two films this fall: War Machine and the highly-anticipated WWII spy drama Allied, with Marion Cotillard (out Nov. 23). A recentT Magazine profile of Pitt did not mention Jolie.