Pax Jolie-Pitt didn’t mince words in a recently discovered rant that the 19-year-old posted on Instagram in 2020 directed at his estranged dad, Brad Pitt. “Happy Father’s Day to this world class a–hole!! You time and time again prove yourself to be a terrible and despicable person,” Pax reportedly wrote alongside a photo of Brad accepting his 2020 Oscar. “You have made the lives of those closest to me a constant hell. You may tell yourself and the world whatever you want, but the truth will come to light someday,” he added, before calling Brad a “f–king awful human being.” The post, a source exclusively tells In Touch, “cut Brad to the bone.”

It’s just the latest in a series of setbacks, disappointments and crises the 59-year-old actor has faced recently. In mid-November, Brad’s eldest daughter, Zahara, also seemed to reject her dad by dropping his last name. At an Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority event at Spelman College, where she’s a student, the 18-year-old introduced herself as “Zahara Marley Jolie,” keeping mom Angelina Jolie’s surname, but not his.

Seven years after filing for divorce, Brad and his ex — who also share Maddox, 22, Shiloh, 17, and 15-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne — also remain locked in a bitter court battle over their French winery, Château Miraval. Adding to that litany, Brad’s once smoking-hot career has been battered by two 2022 box-office bombs, Babylon and Bullet Train. It’s all, the source says, “a painful reminder of better days.”

Bad Blood

Once Brad’s happy place, Château Miraval has become a battleground. In July, Angelina’s former investment company filed a $350 million lawsuit against him alleging he “seized control” of the former couple’s 1,300-acre country estate and “wasted” millions on “vanity projects,” including a renovated swimming pool and a restored recording studio.

Previously, he had sued her, alleging that she sold her half of the winery without his knowledge to a Russian billionaire with a questionable reputation. “This has been going on for years,” says the source, adding that the legal wars have chipped away at Brad’s $400 million fortune. “Angelina is trying to take him down once and for all by destroying the winery he built. He’s standing firm in his fight, but anyone can see the wear and tear this is all having on him.”

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

His relationship with the kids is another casualty of the bitter breakup. Brad feels Angelina is out to destroy him — and estrange him from his children permanently. “Brad will never underestimate the power of Angelina’s devious nature,” says the source. Some have even speculated that the Girl, Interrupted actress was behind Pax’s vicious Father’s Day note. “Brad suspects Pax would not have posted that without Angie’s knowledge and consent. It seems she’s trying to turn the kids against him — and has been successful in the case of the older kids.”

She pulled out all the stops in a 2022 cross-complaint in the Miraval case. For the first time, she outlined his alleged abuse during an infamous 2016 incident on a private plane. Angie claimed a drunken Brad “grabbed her by the head, shaking her” in the restroom and “choked one of the children and struck another in the face” during the flight. The incident involved an investigation and Brad was relegated to supervised visits with his then-minor kids. “He did everything he could to rectify the situation,” says the source. “He reached out to his kids to formally apologize, he stopped drinking and smoking marijuana and attended AA meetings.”

It was the beginning of a long, ugly custody battle. Brad and Angelina, 48, are still duking it out over custody of the younger children in court. “Angie refuses to budge an inch,” says the source, adding that Brad “is convinced she’s stringing this along until the twins are of legal age.” The wrangling has frustrated his ability to father the kids, something Brad blames for Maddox, Pax and Zahara cutting ties. “Brad would’ve liked to be a better parent and to be present in all his kids’ lives, but Angie has thwarted every attempt,” says the source. “He’s hoping Zahara and her siblings get a chance to make up their own minds about him and see him for who he is.”

Career Concerns

With the actors strike over, work would seem to be a logical outlet for the star. But the source says the A-lister is a bit shaken by the reception of his last two big-budget films and production on his upcoming Formula 1 racing movie was halted in July due to the writer’s strike. There are reports that hours of footage have been rendered unusable because of sponsorship issues. “The film,” says the source, “has run into all kinds of problems.” (Formula 1 stated, “all footage captured this year is relevant.”) Still, his producing career is a bright spot, and the source says that’s where Brad will focus. “The real joy for Brad is working behind the camera.”

Source of Solace

Another bright spot: his one-year romance with Ines de Ramon. Brad and the jewelry designer, 30, were first photographed together at a Bono concert last November and have been dating ever since. “Ines has been a breath of fresh air for Brad,” says the source. “She’s smart and down-to-earth and supportive.” The duo will be spending the holidays together, says the source. “It’s been a crazy year for Brad, but Ines is the one great thing that’s happened to him,” concludes the source. “Having her in his life has made it less stressful for sure.”

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