Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were once a match made in Hollywood heaven. However, things came crashing down in 2016, when the Maleficent actress filed for divorce from the A-list actor, citing irreconcilable differences — just days after the family took a private plane ride from France back to their Los Angeles home on September 14, 2016.

So, what exactly happened on that plane? For years, details about the airborne argument began to trickle out, with Angelina’s most recent filing claiming that “Pitt’s history of physical abuse of Jolie started well before the family’s September 2016 plane trip from France to Los Angeles,” adding that the flight “marked the first time he turned his physical abuse on the children as well.”

In Touch looks back on the series of events that led to the bitter Brangelina divorce war — and how their children were at the center of the split.

Angelina Jolie Files for Divorce From Brad Pitt Days After Their Flight

When Angelina filed for divorce on September 19, 2016, she reportedly listed the couple’s date of separation as September 15 — one day after the plane ride. They had been married since August 2014 after falling in love on the set of the 2005 film Mr. & Mrs. Smith (which was around the same time Brad officially ended his marriage to Jennifer Aniston).

At the time of the divorce filing, Angelina’s lawyer explained, per People, “This decision was made for the health of the family. She will not be commenting at this time, and asks that the family be given their privacy during this difficult time.” For his part, Pitt said in a statement, “I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the wellbeing of our kids. I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time.”

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt get off a plane with their children at the Con Son Airport on Con Dao island
duc manh/AFP via Getty Images

The Kids Were on the Flight — and Brad Pitt Was Investigated for Child Abuse

Angelina has claimed that she, Brad and their six children — Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh and twins Vivienne and Knox — were all on the plane when the alleged incident occurred, In Touch previously reported. Amid allegations of child abuse (that Brad has denied), the actor was investigated by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and the FBI, but he was ultimately cleared.

“In response to allegations made following a flight within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States which landed in Los Angeles carrying Mr. Brad Pitt and his children, the FBI has conducted a review of the circumstances and will not pursue further investigation,” said Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, according to Reuters. “No charges have been filed in this matter.” (The Department of Children and Family Services also said there was no findings of abuse.)

Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and their children
Jun Sato/WireImage

Angelina Jolie’s Shocking Allegations

In paperwork obtained by In Touch in October 2022, more details from the alleged plane incident came to light. The Bullet Train actor allegedly “choked one of the children and struck another in the face” and “grabbed Jolie by the head and shook her” during the family’s private flight, and the filing went on to state that at one point, Brad “poured beer on Jolie; at another, he poured beer and red wine on the children.”

The Wanted star, referred to as “Jane Doe,” said that Brad’s actions made her feel “like a hostage” on the plane. The actress continued that Brad was “becoming a monster” as he “ranted” on the flight at herself and the children as he “mimicked the behavior of a monster and screamed at them.” Angelina said the trauma left her and their kids “shell-shocked.”

In response, a source told In Touch that Angelina “continues to rehash, revise and reimagine her description of an event that happened six years ago by adding completely untrue information each time she fails to get what she wants. Her story is constantly evolving.”

Brad Pitt Denies the Latest Allegations

After Angelina’s stunning allegations made headlines, a lawyer for Brad shared a statement with NBC News, denying the claims. “Brad has owned everything he’s responsible for from day one — unlike the other side — but he’s not going to own anything he didn’t do,” attorney Anne Kiley said. “He has been on the receiving end of every type of personal attack and misrepresentation.”

Brad Pitt Talks Sobriety

The actor opened up about his drinking in a May 2017 interview with GQ Style, telling the publication he quit because he doesn’t “want to live that way anymore.” He added, “I just ran it to the ground. I had to step away for a minute. And truthfully I could drink a Russian under the table with his own vodka. I was a professional. I was good.” He also talked to putting his “family first” as their personal life played out in the news.

brad pitt and angelina jolie
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s Ongoing Drama

Though the couple was declared legally single by a judge in 2019 — nearly three years after they separated — their legal war wages on. A bitter custody battle followed the September 2016 divorce filing, and the relationship between the exes has been contentious ever since. The two have been sparring in court over their French winery Château Miraval. In March 2024, a source exclusively told In Touch, “She still seems hell-bent on destroying him and has been scolded for jealously sabotaging his relationship with the kids in the past, so it wouldn’t be surprising if she tried again.”

Have a tip? Send it to us! Email In Touch at