Things You Didn't Know About Brad & Angie's Odd Relationship

From their controversial courtship to their top secret European wedding, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's relationship was anything but conventional. Jolie sent shockwaves through Hollywood in 2016 when she announced that she was filing for divorce from Pitt, citing "irreconcilable differences" as her reason. "This decision was made for the health of the family," the star's attorney told People.

In his own statement, Pitt admitted that he was "very saddened" by the news, but he agreed that the well-being of their kids was now the most important thing. "I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time," he said. Both parents seemed to have their priorities straight, but a few years have passed since then, and the former power couple are still no closer to finalizing custody terms. They begged members of the press to keep their distance, but in a bizarre twist, it looks as though one of them is now trying to use the media to sway the divorce battle in their favor.

With negotiations between the pair on the verge of turning nasty, here's a quick look back at the many unique and odd moments in this high-profile relationship.

They got together under shady circumstances

About four months after Pitt and Jennifer Aniston announced they were divorcing, Pitt was photographed on a beach in Kenya with Jolie and her adopted son, Maddox, further fueling rumors that the Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) co-stars were an item. Despite numerous incidents that suggested otherwise—like, you know, their bizarre-o shoot for W magazine in which they posed as a married couple with children—Jolie and Pitt did not confirm their relationship until January 2006, when Jolie announced they were having a baby.

About a year later, Jolie spoke to Vogue magazine about how their relationship began. "It took until, really, the end of [shooting Mr. & Mrs. Smith] for us, I think, to realize that it might mean something more than we'd earlier allowed ourselves to believe," Jolie said (via People). "And both knowing that the reality of that was a big thing, something that was going to take a lot of serious consideration."

Jolie added that the two remained "very, very good friends" for a long time before things took a turn for the romantic. "And then life developed in a way where we could be together, where it felt like something we would do, we should do," she said.

The story of how they met changed over time

During her big Vogue interview, Jolie emphasized the fact that she and Pitt were simply good friends throughout the making of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, insisting they didn't become romantically involved until after the project had wrapped. According to People, Jolie told the famous fashion mag that she "didn't know much about exactly where Brad was in his personal life" while filming, only that he was "with his best friend, someone he loves and respects." Jennifer Aniston probably didn't see it that way, especially not after Jolie started changing her tune.

The Tomb Raider star appeared to tell a different story to The New York Times in October 2008, when she mentioned how excited she was to show the DVD of Mr. & Mrs. Smith to her children. "Not a lot of people get to see a movie where their parents fell in love," she said, contradicting her earlier version of events. 

Pitt seemed to give the game away just two months later, when he sat down for a candid interview with Rolling Stone. The actor said they hadn't had the chance to sit down and watch Mr. & Mrs. Smith yet, but he revealed that it was already his favorite Angelina Jolie movie because he "fell in love" with her while they were making it.

They gave birth in Africa to avoid the press

Jolie and Pitt welcomed their first daughter, Shiloh, in May 2006 at a hospital in Namibia, where they had reportedly flown to avoid the paparazzi. According to the Associated Press, Namibia "put tight security around their hotel and the hospital, set up large green barriers to protect their privacy from photographers and refused to grant visas to any foreign journalists unless they had written permission from Jolie and Pitt to cover the birth." Police also "arrested photographers and confiscated film," the AP reported.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Women's Hour in 2016, Jolie touched upon her eye-opening experience of giving birth in Africa. "I went to a hospital in Namibia, where I was having my daughter, and I was in breech. I needed a C-section, and I knew I was in breach because I had had the money to have an ultrasound," she said. "But I found even the local hospital with many, many women — and this was a good hospital — did not have an ultrasound machine." Jolie noted that many complications could be avoided with "one simple machine," adding, "I know there are many extraordinary people who are working on this and women's health around the world, and many groups dedicated solely to that, and their work is so needed and these solutions can come."

They sold their baby photos for millions

Celebrity power couples have a tendency to sell their baby photos to gossip mags for huge sums of money, and Brangelina was no exception. According to The New York Times, People paid $4.1 million for the U.S. rights to the first snaps of baby Shiloh in 2005 (a record fee at the time), but the magazine disputed these figures. We'll never know how much the outlet really stumped up, but it was apparently worth the money — the Shiloh issue sold 800,000 copies more than usual. Pitt and Jolie reportedly donated the money to charity, and it wouldn't be the last time the couple sold photos of their kids to bankroll a worthy cause.

A source told the Associated Press (via Today) that the money they got in 2005 was pocket change compared to the hefty check Jolie and Pitt received for the photo rights to their twins, Vivienne and Knox, in 2008. The insider claimed People and Hello! coughed up a whopping $14 million between them. According to the AP, that money was put toward a foundation that Pitt and Jolie started to help children around the world.

The same two publications reportedly paid another $5 million for access to the A-listers' wedding photos in 2014, which — you guessed it — they donated to charity.

Jolie clashed with Pitt's mother over politics

Unlike his beautiful bride-to-be, Pitt invited his immediate family to the wedding, though at one point, it looked as though his mother was in real danger of being axed from the guest list. According to the Daily Mail, Jolie was absolutely furious with Jane Pitt (pictured with husband Bill Pitt) after she penned a letter for a Missouri newspaper urging Americans to vote against President Barack Obama in because of his support of gay marriage. Jane called Obama's Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, a "family man" with "high morals" in the opinion piece, which was published in a 2012 edition of the Springfield News-Leader. "I hope all Christians give their vote prayerful consideration because voting is a sacred privilege and a serious responsibility," she added.

Sources close to the Pitt family claim Jane had no idea just how much of a ruckus the letter would cause. "Jane has never wanted to talk politics with Angelina," an insider told Star magazine. Just a week later, tensions reportedly came close to a breaking point when Jane allegedly "disrespected" Jolie by trying to force "girly" clothes on her "tomboyish" daughter, Shiloh.

They waited forever to get married

For years, Jolie and Pitt claimed they wouldn't get married until, as Pitt put it to Esquire in 2006, "everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able." That all changed in 2012 when Pitt at long last popped the question, even though same-sex couples had not yet earned the right nationwide to say "I Do."

Leading up to their engagement, Pitt hinted to The Hollywood Reporter that their stance had shifted a bit, admitting, "We made this declaration some time ago that we weren't going to do it till everyone can. But I don't think we'll be able to hold out. It means so much to my kids, and they ask a lot. And it means something to me, too, to make that kind of commitment." Their engagement was confirmed just four months later.

Interestingly enough, it took the couple more than two years to actually walk down the aisle during a super-private, super-exclusive ceremony at their family estate in France.

Her dad wasn't invited to the wedding

Reports suggested that Angelina Jolie had ended her years-long feud with her famous father by the time she walked down the aisle in 2014, but that clearly wasn't the case. The Salt star is said to have fallen out with Jon Voight after he publicly claimed that she'd developed serious mental health problems following his divorce from Jolie's mother, Marcheline Bertrand. 

"There was an incident years ago when the children were babies," he said (via the Telegraph). "I was having difficulties in my marriage, and I had an affair." said Voight, admitting that his actions caused "a lot of hurt and anger" within the family. Those feelings don't seem to have fully faded for Jolie. The actress responded to her father's revealing interview with a blunt statement. "After all these years, I have determined that it is not healthy for me to be around my father, especially now that I am responsible for my own child," she said. 

Jolie apparently still felt this way while planning her wedding with Pitt, because the father of the bride was not in attendance. According to TMZ, the Oscar-winner said he could not have made the ceremony anyway because he'd agreed to attend the Emmy Awards that evening. How's that for priorities?

Angelina admitted their marriage had issues

While promoting the couple's 2015 movie By the Sea, in 2015 — a tense marital drama, Jolie hinted to the U.K.'s Telegraph that her marriage wasn't as picture perfect as it sometimes seemed. "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 said. "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."

The couple (who has always been catnip for the tabloids) was subjected to multiple breakup rumors throughout 2016, with some going so far as to allege that Jolie had hired a private detective to find out if Pitt was cheating on her with his Allied co-star, Marion Cotillard. Reports of an affair were shot down by sources for Us Weekly and TMZ

Jolie may have been unhappy with Pitt's parenting

Some sources allege Angelina Jolie left Brad Pitt because of his poor parenting skills and his issues with substance abuse. According to a TMZ insider, it was "Brad's consumption of weed and alcohol" that ruined the relationship. "Combined with what she says are Brad's anger issues, his interactions with the kids created a deal breaking problem for her." Rumor had it that Jolie reached her breaking point when Pitt allegedly became involved in an altercation with their eldest child, Maddox, on a flight from France to Los Angeles. Pitt was investigated by child protective services but later cleared of any wrongdoing.

"I was really on my back and chained to a system when Child Services was called," Pitt told GQ (via AOL) in 2017. "And you know, after that, we've been able to work together to sort this out. We're both doing our best. I heard one lawyer say, 'No one wins in court, it's just a matter of who gets hurt worse.'" At the time, Pitt told the mag that he couldn't "remember a day since I got out of college where I wasn't boozing or had a spliff, or something," but he said he "stopped everything except boozing when I started my family" and gave that up, too, after his marriage collapsed. 

Jolie went public with the divorce battle

Their faces were absolutely everywhere following the big divorce announcement, but after the dust settled, things went quiet on the Brangelina front. The two stars were apparently working out the specifics of their separation with the help of a private judge, keeping details related to child custody out of the press. According to The Blast, that all changed when Jolie cut ties with celebrity divorce attorney Laura Wasser and hired a new legal team, who immediately began what a source described as a "full court press" in the press.

The Maleficent star accused Pitt of not paying his fair share, alleging he hadn't made any "meaningful" child support payments since they separated. In August 2018, NBC News obtained a two-page brief filed in Los Angeles Superior Court that indicated Pitt hadn't stuck to the "informal arrangements" to which he and Jolie had agreed. Speaking to E! News, a rep for Jolie said the actress was "asking Brad to pay 50 percent of the children's expenses," but he allegedly had not done so. "Angelina has had to shoulder the majority of those without his contribution for the past two years," the spokesperson claimed.

Sources have also told The Blast that Jolie is considering a palimony lawsuit against Pitt, which, if successful, would entitle her to half of everything Pitt earned over the course of their entire relationship, not just their marriage.

Pitt allegedly thinks Jolie's tactics are 'disgusting'

The World War Z star was quick to contest accusations that he hadn't been chipping in financially, claiming he'd sent more than $9 million his ex's way since she filed for divorce in 2016. "[Pitt] adamantly disputes the contention that he has not paid significant child support," court papers filed in response reportedly state. According to E! News, the documents submitted by Pitt's legal team suggest the actor even loaned Jolie as much as $8 million to "assist her in purchasing her current residence" and has already given her more than $1.3 million "for the benefit" of the kids. 

There's no way of knowing exactly how much money has actually changed hands since Brangelina broke down, but one thing seems pretty certain — this divorce is going to get a lot messier before it gets any better. Pitt is reportedly furious that Jolie has supposedly decided to air their dirty laundry. Sources told The Blast that Pitt believes thrashing arrangements out in the public eye is "terrible for the kids," particularly since some of them are now old enough to read all about it on social media.

Pitt's attorney, Lance Spiegel, has been all too happy to call Jolie out, claiming her request for more money is "unnecessary, omits material information and is a thinly-veiled effort to manipulate media coverage."