Out of the many quotes and claims in an Us or People report, there may be one or two sentences that are true and new. We can usually spot the fabrications and outrageous claims, but there are many "reasonable" sounding quotes from people with bogus claims to inside access.
I don't think any true friend of either Brad or Angelina would ever say that Maddox didn't see himself as Brad's son. Nor do I believe Angelina would encourage the idea that Maddox was choosing sides. She wants to unite the family not have them split in two -- which is obviously what all gossip sites are praying for.
I am not confident that People's report regarding the second visit was really from an informed source. People just hurriedly scrambled to put out a report after Us out-scooped it again.
Surprisingly, People seems to be having a harder time getting reliable info. They've been out-scooped by almost everyone and many of the quotes they've printed have turned out to be unreliable. Of course many of Us' sources are probably unreliable too but sprinkled in there are one or two who have come through with info later proven to be correct.
At any rate, both the Us and People reports are based on info from two weeks ago, they don't have any update on how things stand now. That should be coming up shortly once the DCFS has had a chance to conduct its review of the last three weeks.
Unfortunately it was as we earlier suspected. Maddox is healing very, very slowly.
And it sounds like the meeting did take place in Los Feliz -- "one of the L.A.-area homes Pitt, 52, once shared with estranged wife Angelina Jolie," They also have a home in Santa Barbara but that is too open and visible. Did Brad move out so Angelina and the kids could move back in?
Obviously, Brad behaved abominably on the jet such that a third party felt compelled to call ahead while the plane was still airborne to report him to the DCFS. We know he was "physical" but what did he say that constituted verbal abuse? It must have been very bad.
He didn't have a joyful reunion with the other five kids either -- "awkward at best." and "It wasn’t full of joy and happiness.”
We don't know what steps Brad had already taken to address his problems before the first visit but the cool reception he received from the kids who did meet him should have convinced him he needs major help.
It will be a long, long road back for Brad to repair his relationship with his family. Angelina is probably the first one to be able forgive. But even with her he will need to work hard. He needs to prove to her that he is a changed man and that the children will be safe with him.
TMZ - "Angelina, we're told, has a singular focus ... protecting her kids, not punishing Brad."
Which is not to say that she is no longer upset with him.
This is what I wrote when it was first reported that Brad met with just "some" of the kids and I feel the observations hold even more now:
Brad would surely have heard from the kids who saw him what the plane ride was like for all of them. Even if they were not the target of his tirade, being stuck in a plane for hours with a parent yelling abuse and getting physical with one of their siblings would be very traumatic.
He was drunk for most of the ride and likely had a dulled sense of reality. That may be why he seemed to be in denial about the severity of his actions.
Whatever illusions Brad had about that plane ride -- his claims that reports were "exaggerated" or "fabricated" or that it was a "normal verbal disagreement" -- he now knows the gravity of the damage he inflicted. His entire family will have to go though therapy and counseling just to recover.
When Angelina said her focus was to "heal" her family, she was likely referring to healing the bond between Brad and the rest of the family. The problem was not between the two of them, in fact, it sounds like she may have already forgiven Brad. The problem is between Brad and the kids.
The kids that agreed to see Brad are probably closer to forgiving him. But Brad still has to work on rebuilding his relationship with them back to what it was before the plane ride -- so that they can forget the image of him on the plane.
And for Maddox he will need to work much, much harder. Maddox has always struck me as being the cooler-headed and calmer of the two older boys. At 15, he is the most intellectually mature, the one who would have been able to process deeply everything Brad said and did. And he was on the receiving end of Brad's tirade. His hurt and the accompanying trauma would run deep -- as we can already see. Even after Maddox forgives, Brad will need to earn back his trust and respect.
As we've seen even with People, not all "sources" are reliable. Us has already received Bert Fields' letters so they will be very cautious about spinning obvious fabrications. Having said that, there may be people trying to project themselves as "insiders' who really have no clue what is going on. As a reader (Bianca) pointed out below, Maddox has been very much Brad's son. Whatever he said in the heat of the moment can't be considered a fair representation of the 12+ years they've spent together.
I think Angelina will do everything to help all her children heal individually and for the family to heal as a unit. She said so herself that her "focus is to heal her family and her children."
She will give Maddox all the support he needs, but she also knows that he and the rest of the children need a good, strong father. After all, she had said that Brad was a "great" father - at least when he was not abusing weed and alcohol and erupting at the children.
“… She wants them to have a relationship with him once their health and safety is assured.”In short, she will want proof that Brad has solved his problems. She will want the opinion of professionals on top of any assurance Brad could give.
She can help the children recover and guide them to forgiving him. But Brad has to convince them that the abusive man on the plane is gone forever and the father they knew for most of the past 11 years is back.
And "once their health and safety is assured,” she will have no need to continue protecting them -- or for the petition.
Unlike physical wounds, it is harder to predict the progress of emotional healing. It can take forever -- or it can happen suddenly.
The meeting took place two weeks ago and within that span of time, they all would have had a chance to heal further.
But perhaps not enough for them to enjoy the coming holidays together.