He's given a VERY emotional interview
Words by Stephanie Petit
From the Editors at PEOPLE
Brad Pitt has revealed he’s stopped drinking and is in therapy in his first interview since he announced his divorce from Angelina Jolie last September, though the two are now back on talking terms and even have plans to go into business together.
In the extensive talk with GQ Style‘s summer issue, the 53-year-old actor mentioned his estranged wife’s name just once, recommending the interviewer check out her new movie First They Killed My Father: ‘You should see Angie’s film.’
Pitt spoke extensively about his six children with Jolie and the public custody fight over them, including being investigated by the FBI and the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services.
He said he fears how his children’s friends will react to false rumours that emerged from the divorce, adding that it was ‘jarring’ for them to ‘suddenly have their family ripped apart.’
After the bitter end of his 12-year relationship with Jolie, Pitt initially agreed to weekly supervised visits with their six kids, Maddox, 15, Pax, 13, Zahara, 12, Shiloh, 10, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 8. The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and the FBI launched an investigation after Pitt allegedly got ‘verbally abusive’ and ‘physical’ with Maddox, his and Jolie‘s oldest child, after drinking on the couple’s private plane on Sept. 14, five days before she filed for divorce. They concluded that there were no findings of abuse and the former couple released a joint statement saying they were working with a private judge to resolve their divorce and would ‘act as a united front’ moving forward’. The FBI closed the criminal case with no charges.
The actor traveled to three national parks with GQ Style, resulting in three new covers.
Jolie, 41, requested sole physical custody of their six children in her Sept. 19 divorce filing, but in January they released a joint statement stating that they reached an agreement to handle their divorce in a private forum.
Pitt spent much of the interview talking about his transformation since the split – including his healthy lifestyle changes.
‘I was boozing too much,’ he shared. ‘It’s just become a problem. And I’m really happy it’s been half a year now, which is bittersweet, but I’ve got my feelings in my fingertips again.’
He added, ‘Truthfully I could drink a Russian under the table with his own vodka. I was a professional. I was good.’
When asked how he simply stopped drinking, the Allied star said, ‘Don’t want to live that way anymore.’
While he sticks to cranberry juice and ‘fizzy water’ nowadays, Pitt admitted that he tends to take things too far.
‘For me this period has really been about looking at my weaknesses and failures and owning my side of the street,’ he said. ‘I’m an a—— when it comes to this need for justice. I don’t know where it comes from, this hollow quest for justice for some perceived slight. I can drill on that for days and years. It’s done me no good whatsoever. It’s such a silly idea, the idea that the world is fair. And this is coming from a guy who hit the lottery, I’m well aware of that. I hit the lottery, and I still would waste my time on those hollow pursuits.’
Because it was ‘too sad’ to be at the Hollywood Hills home where his six children spent much of their time, the actor said he crashed on a friend’s floor in Santa Monica following his split with Jolie.
Despite his attempt to stay out of the spotlight in recent months, he fears for his kids after the details of his bitter custody battle were splashed across the media.
‘I worry about it more for my kids, being subjected to it, and their friends getting ideas from it,’ he said. ‘And of course it’s not done with any kind of delicacy or insight—it’s done to sell. And so you know the most sensational sells, and that’s what they’ll be subjected to, and that pains me.’
‘I was really on my back and chained to a system when Child Services was called. And you know, after that, we’ve been able to work together to sort this out,’ Pitt told GQ Style.
‘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.’ And it seems to be true, you spend a year just focused on building a case to prove your point and why you’re right and why they’re wrong, and it’s just an investment in vitriolic hatred. I just refuse. And fortunately my partner in this agrees. It’s just very, very jarring for the kids, to suddenly have their family ripped apart.’
The actor’s blue eyes take centre stage in the series of photos, each of which he looks directly into the camera unsmiling.
One cover shows Pitt in a pink sweater and silver chain, with white sand dusted across his face. Another shows the movie star among tall brown weeds donning an orange Hawaiian shirt. In the third photo, he wears a white blazer with gold chain, staring at the camera straight-on.
Though he appears to have lost weight, a source previously told PEOPLE, ‘He’s healthy and much happier. Things with his family have improved, all is being addressed privately, and it’s serving everyone in the family well.’
Pitt was photographed by Ryan McGinley at notable locations including the Everglades, the White Sands and Carlsbad Caverns.