It was supposed to be the love story of the new millennium — up there with Romeo and Juliet. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were the caring, sharing, rainbow family that was going to last forever and ever.
Except they didn’t.
Somewhere down the line, this relationship buckled, fractured and has now imploded into a bitter legal fight that boiled over in court this week.
I expected better of these two.
Despite the fact Brad dumped his girl-next-door first wife, Jennifer Aniston, for his sexy, smouldering Mr & Mrs Smith co-star Angelina in 2005, I really thought Brangelina would go the distance.
In the unlikely event the fairy-tale romance turned sour, I believed they would handle the whole thing with dignity and respect for one another.
After all, they have six children together and seemed the kind of parents, who would not want to drag their kids through a messy divorce case or custody battle. Well, I was wrong about the messy divorce.
Bam! This week Angelina claimed that Brad wasn’t paying her enough child support.
Kapow! He hit back that he has coughed up over £7 million since they first split over 18 months ago.
Sock! Angelina then put the boot in by saying that most of the money was just a loan that she’s having to pay back with interest.
Wham! He claims she wants to manipulate the media into branding him a deadbeat dad.
It once again proves that no one knows what’s going on inside someone else’s marriage. It might look perfect bliss on the outside, but we have no idea what tense battles are being fought on a daily basis behind closed doors.
Despite us all being spoon-fed stories of their perfect relationship over the years, and shown photos of their wedding when the children drew pictures on Angelina’s beautiful white dress, it appears that this relationship had been on the rocks for quite some time.
Brad’s friends claim she is fired up with anger over the custody battle and doesn’t want the children to have any sort of relationship with their father. They have slammed her for going public instead of having the divorce hammered out in front of a private judge.
Her friends counterclaim that he drank too much and was “rough” with one of the children, thought to be Maddox, the eldest, while they were on a private plane. He was cleared of any wrongdoing, but mud sticks and this was highly damaging as well as deeply distressing for Brad.
These two extremely gifted, pampered, beautiful people might have met on a movie set and become infatuated with each other, but this is not a film.
This is real life and there are six bewildered youngsters caught up in the eye of the storm. There’s the aforementioned Maddox, 17, then Pax, 14, Zahara, 13, Shiloh, 12, and ten-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox. Shiloh and the twins are the biological children of Brad and Angelina, but they have all been brought up to think of themselves as full brothers and sisters, and just one big family.
So it must now be extremely unsettling for them to see all the news reports about custody fights and money squabbles, and to have witnessed friends of their parents forced into taking sides. I have no idea whether the children witnessed any arguments or screaming matches between their parents, but there surely must have been an uncomfortable atmosphere at home in the months before the split.
The poor children actually have their own psychiatrists that Brad’s friends claim he pays for. And they have round-the-clock bodyguards available.
As with so many splits, money has reared its ugly head, and despite their enormous wealth (it’s estimated that Brad is worth £202 million and that Angelina has a personal fortune of £125 million), it would appear that it’s all coming down to cold, hard cash.
We are a long, long way from the heady Brangelina days when they were the world’s sexiest couple and couldn’t keep their hands off each other.
Sadly, most white-hot affairs tend to fizzle out when domesticity kicks in and you need to change nappies and wipe snot from little faces. Even with a team of nannies, six children running around is probably one of the biggest passion killers of all time.
So, it’s a real shame that Brad and Angelina couldn’t make it work, but sadder still that their dirty washing is being aired for all the world to see.