Brad Pitt, in his first interview since his split from Angelina Jolie, has revealed that he has quit drinking and started therapy to help him get through the divorce.
Jolie announced in September 2016 that she was filing for divorce from the actor, whom she had been with since 2004, due to “irreconcilable differences”. The pair became embroiled in a custody dispute, with Pitt under investigation for possible child abuse after reportedly losing his temper in front of some of his children. The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) later cleared Pitt and Jolie’s representative told Vanity Fair: “The DCFS is now satisfied the safeguards are put in place that will allow the children to heal.”
Speaking to GQ Style in an in-depth interview published this week, Pitt explained that while he and Jolie are working together to provide the best possible life for their children, the experience has also inspired him to work on himself.
“I just started therapy,” he said. “I love it. I love it. I went through two therapists to find the right one.”
The 53-year-old went on to reveal that his split from Jolie had been a “huge generator for change” – and it inspired him to give up alcohol.
“I can't remember a day since I got out of college when I wasn't boozing or had a spliff, or something,” said Pitt. “And I [was always] running from feelings. I'm really, really happy to be done with all of that. I mean I stopped everything except boozing when I started my family. But even this last year, you know – things I wasn't dealing with.
“I was boozing too much. It's just become a problem.”
Speaking about his recovery, Pitt added that he has since found a creative outlet for his feelings and has taken solace in working with his hands.
“I'm working with clay, plaster, rebar, wood,” he said. “Just trying to learn the materials. You know, I surprise myself. But it's a very, very lonely occupation. There's a lot of manual labor, which is good for me right now.
“I find vernacular in what you can make, rather than giving a speech. I find voice there, that I need.”
Pitt says he has been focusing his energies on making sense of the past six months and on being there for his children.
“Family first,” he told the magazine. “People on their deathbeds don't talk about what they obtained or were awarded. They talk about their loved ones or their regrets – that seems to be the menu. I say that as someone who's let the work take me away.
“Kids are so delicate. They absorb everything. They need to have their hand held and things explained. They need to be listened to. When I get in that busy work mode, I'm not hearing. I want to be better at that.”
Pitt added that he and Jolie don’t wish to be involved in any of the “vitriolic hatred” often associated with divorce: instead, they are making a concerted effort to work together as a team, in order to provide the best support for their children.
“It's just very, very jarring for the kids, to suddenly have their family ripped apart,” he said.
“If anyone can make sense of it, we have to with great care and delicacy, building everything around that.
“So our focus is that everyone comes out stronger and better people—there is no other outcome.”
Read the full interview here.
Images: REX / instagram.com/gqstyle