The actress Angelina Jolie has spoken publicly about her separation from Brad Pitt for the first time.
The actress and director, who shocked the world after filing for divorce last September, told BBC In an emotional interview about her marital breakdown, “It was very difficult. Many people find themselves in this situation. My whole family has all been through a difficult time. My focus is my children, our children.”
Apparently close to tears, Jolie said: “We are and forever will be a family and so that is how I am coping. I am coping with finding a way through to make sure that this somehow makes us stronger and closer.”
Jolie filed for divorce in September last year in a move that caught Hollywood by surprise, citing the ‘health of my family’ as the reason for the split from Pitt, who she had been with since 2004 and with whom she has six children: 8-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox, Shiloh, 10, Zahara, 11, Pax, 13, and Maddox,
Jolie was speaking in an exclusive sit-down with the BBC at the ancient Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia ahead of the premiere of her new film, First They Killed My Father, based on a book of the same name by Loung Ung, who was five when her life was turned upside down by the Khmer Rouge, the murderous regime headed by Pol Pot which ran the country between 1975 and 1979.
Jolie spoke of her love for the country and of her very first trip there in her 20s, which she credits for sparking her passion for humanitarian work. “This country, for me, was my awakening,” she said. She adopted her oldest son, Maddox, from Cambodia in 2002.
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) February 20, 2017
Jolie later addressed the recent rise of populist politicians around the world—“This is an old trick and we should know better [than] to fall for it”—before finally opening up about her very public split from her partner of 10 years. “I don’t want to say very much about that except that it was a very difficult time,” she explained. “We are a family and we will always be a family, and we will get through this time and hopefully be a stronger family for it.”
Jolie, who has reinvented herself as a UN ambassador, recently wrote a piece for the New York Times in response to President Donald Trump’s immigration ban, saying: “The American people are bigger than any president. I suppose I have faith in my country and in what it is founded on and the values we hold dear.”