Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt file for divorce

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Sarah Biddlecombe

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are set to divorce after 12 years together, and two years of marriage.

Jolie filed for divorce on Monday, citing irreconcilable differences.

Her attorney Robert Offer today released a statement that read: "Angelina has filed for dissolution of the marriage. This decision was made for the health of the family. She will not be commenting, and asks that the family be given its privacy at this time."

Pitt said in a statement released to the Daily Mail, "I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the well being of our kids. I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time."

TMZ, who broke the news, reported that Jolie had requested physical custody of their six children - Maddox Jolie-Pitt, 15, Pax Jolie-Pitt, 12, Zahara Jolie-Pitt, 11, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, 10, and eight-year-old twins Knox Jolie-Pitt and Vivienne Jolie-Pitt. 

The couple on the red carpet last year

The couple on the red carpet last year

Brad and Jolie were married in a secret ceremony at the French house they share in August 2014, and have been an item since 2004. 

They famously met while filming 2005 comedy Mr & Mrs Smith. At the time, Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston and six months after the film's release, the two filed for divorce.

Jolie later said of the film: "not a lot of people get to see a movie where their parents fell in love". In a 2008 Vogue interview, Aniston described this comment as "a little inappropriate to discuss," saying: "that stuff about how she couldn't wait to get to work every day? That was really uncool."

The couple filming Mr & Mrs Smith

They met while filming 2005 action comedy Mr & Mrs Smith

In a candid interview last October, the A-list couple discussed the ups and downs of love and suggested that they experienced “extremes” in their marriage.

“Everybody knows that there is never just the tragedy of life or the humour of life or pure joy of life,” said Jolie. “Relationships have those extremes. You can absolutely madly love the same person you want to kill.”

Pitt added: “It's the puzzle of figuring out those things that get in the way of really loving someone. A lot of it's the past, a lot of it's insecurities, a lot of it's wanting something so much that you focus too much on losing it.”

Pitt with his ex-wife, Jennifer Aniston

Pitt with his ex-wife, Jennifer Aniston

This will be the third divorce for Jolie, who was previously married to Johnny Lee Miller and Billy Bob Thornton.

The announcement comes less than a year after the pair starred together again in their own film, By the Sea, which told the story of an unhappily married couple. The movie was released in December 2015.

Sharing a laugh on the red carpet in 2007

Sharing a laugh on the red carpet in 2007

Speaking about directing and starring in the film, Jolie said, "It was our way of testing ourselves. We knew that if we could get through this, we'd come out even stronger and happier. And we did.

"We've always liked putting ourselves through challenges, even though it was maybe a little more dangerous for us as a couple."

Playing an unhappily married couple in By The Sea

Playing a married couple in By The Sea

Working on the project also involved filming sex scenes together.

Speaking about the filming process late last year, Jolie told Entertainment Weekly, “I’ve done sex scenes before. But this is obviously different. I almost wish every woman could have this experience.

“It’s the strangest thing in the world to be lying naked in a bathtub with an iPad that’s showing you the shot outside, while your husband is at the door and you’re directing him to come in and make love to you. In front of a bunch of other men with cameras.

"It was just so weird,” she added. “I couldn’t get out of the bathtub to get to the monitor because the director is naked. We’re artists and want to be free, but Brad – it’s his wife. He was on towel duty. He’d hold the towel over me.

“Love scenes are strange anyway, but when you’re doing a love scene with a person that you really have sex with? The only way to get through it was for us to all talk about the absurdity of it and make sure no one was feeling awkward.”

The pair filming By The Sea

The pair filming 2015 rom com By The Sea

The couple have supported each other through the highs and lows of their personal lives.

Back in 2013, Jolie chose to go public about her decision to have double mastectomy and the removal of her ovaries and fallopian tubes, after she tested positive for developing breast cancer and showed signs of early-stage ovarian cancer. 

“There was no vanity to my wife's approach,” Pitt later said, in a rare and candid interview with the Today show. “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.”

The couple together at an event

The couple have been together 12 years

The pair together on the red carpet in 2007

On the red carpet in 2007

In the same interview, Jolie praised her husband's supportive response to the changes her body went through.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

The pair in 2005, shortly after they started dating

The pair in 2005, shortly after they started dating

The Hollywood duo tied the knot at their home in France at Château Miraval in  August 2014. Jolie  wore a custom-made Versace dress (pictured below) for the occasion, which her children helped to design.

The couple were keen to involve their children as much as possible in the ceremony. Sons Maddox and Pax walked their mother down the aisle, both wearing black suits.  Zahara wore a dress designed by Adama Kebe and Vivienne took the role of flower girl, tossing petals in the pathway of the bride.

Vivienne’s twin Knox, who wore a suit, and Shiloh, eight, who wore black dress shorts, shoes, white shirt and a black tie and top hat, were the ring bearers.

In the an interview with HELLO! magazine, the newlyweds said: "It was important to us that the day was relaxed and full of laughter. It was such a special day to share with our children and a very happy time for our family."


Jolie and Pitt on their wedding day in August 2014

Images: Rex Features

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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Features Editor at Stylist

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