The Truth About Brad Pitt's Relationship With Son Maddox Jolie-Pitt

Imagine having celebrity parents. On the one hand, you'd get some pretty cool perks — hanging out in Hollywood, getting to attend red carpets, and so much more. But on the flip side, your life would be in the spotlight, even if your parents tried their best to shield you from it. The Jolie-Pitt family is a prime example of that catch-22. While Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have divorced, their six kids are forever under the Hollywood microscope. And there's one particular child who's gotten the brunt of negative attention: Maddox Jolie-Pitt.

It's no secret that Maddox and his dad Brad's relationship has become strained in recent years, but why is that exactly? Of course, some details remain private (and probably always will), but there have been several reports that shed light onto what's happened with this father-son pair. So let's jump right in, shall we?

Maddox Jolie-Pitt says "whatever happens, happens" with his dad

In mid-September 2016, there were allegations of an altercation between Brad Pitt and his oldest son Maddox Jolie-Pitt while the family was on a 12-hour flight from France to LA, per Us Weekly. Sources claimed Brad was "drinking heavily" and "grew frustrated" when Angelina Jolie asked him to sober up — it's unclear how Maddox got involved. A few months later, an investigation from the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services ultimately cleared Brad of any child abuse allegations.

Still, Angelina and Brad separated soon after the airplane incident, and her rep told TMZ in November 2016, "Angelina said from the beginning that she felt she had to take action for the health of the family and is relieved that after their 8-week involvement, the DCFS is now satisfied the safeguards are put in place that will allow the children to heal." She was reportedly granted primary custody.

The whole situation seems to have left a lasting effect on Brad's relationship with his son. As seen in an In Touch Weekly video in September 2019, Maddox was asked whether his dad would visit him at college in South Korea and replied, "Um, I don't know about that." He also was asked if his relationship with Brad was over, to which he responded, "Whatever happens, happens." Vague, but not incredibly optimistic.

Brad Pitt considers their fractured relationship "a tremendous loss," per sources

Following the airplane incident and the divorce, there were reports that Maddox Jolie-Pitt never wanted to see his dad Brad Pitt ever again. Granted, the information only came from sources surrounding the family, not directly from the now-18-year-old's mouth, but there was speculation that they'd grown apart beyond repair. According to Us Weekly, the family arranged a visit between Brad and his kids in October 2016, not long after the plane altercation. While the others — Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, Knox, and Vivienne — did show up, Maddox opted to skip it and stay with his mom instead. A source told the magazine, "He doesn't really see himself as Brad's son," while another insider said, "Maddox never wants to see Brad again."

In another report from Us Weekly in October 2019, a source claimed that while Angelina Jolie tried to get her son to make amends with his dad, "Maddox hasn't been receptive. And for Brad, it's a tremendous loss." Since Maddox is now far away at school, the same insider said that Brad is "hopeful" this will give him the chance to reconnect with his other son Pax, but there's no word on how well that worked out.

Maddox Jolie-Pitt still shares a close bond with his mother and siblings

While things with his dad are a bit complicated, Maddox Jolie-Pitt is very close with his mother Angelina Jolie and his five siblings. As Angelina shared with Entertainment Tonight in August 2019, all of Maddox's brothers and sisters joined her in sending him off to college. While the mom-of-six "ugly-cried," the support her other kids showed helped uplift her, explaining, "When you know that your kids love each other and you see the way they all — without any kind of prompting or pushing — give each other notes, hug each other, take each other, support each other, then you feel like they're gonna be okay and they're always gonna have each other."

The Cambodia native is currently studying biochemistry at Yonsei University in South Korea, according to Extra, and Angelina told the outlet, "I am very proud of him. He is ready — he's good." Of course, no one is probably thrilled to read about Maddox's strained relationship with his dad, but it's comforting to know that he's got a strong support system in his brothers, sisters, and mom.