Richie : Jan. 7 Golden Globes with Angelina, Jan. 6 Haiti Gala with Brad.
They sent an unmissable and unequivocal message:
- With his chief personal bodyguard acting as Angelina's close in security in two very high profile events, Brad is broadcasting that she is his. She belongs to him. He is possessive and protective of her. Her well-being and security are as valuable to him as his own. And of course he owes her a lot. He loves her dearly.
- Angelina is content with Brad looking after her and seeing to her protection. She trusts him. She has kept her faith in him. She is happy to be the object of his affection and she is basking in his love. He is her big love.
- Mr. Brad Pitt and Mrs. Angelina Jolie-Pitt are as happy and as in love with each other as they’ve ever been -- if not more.
They've weathered a huge storm together. They've made their family stronger and closer. They are partners for life.
Their relationship is the same as it was in 2015 when Richie accompanied her to the Critics Choice Awards for Unbroken -- right down to Brad's possessiveness.
Critics Choice Awards 2018, left and 2015, right
The problem -- the events that led to the filing and to a self-inflicted weird journey for Brad -- was never between them but between Brad and the children. His April 2017 GQ mea culpa enumerated his many faults and shortcomings primarily impacting the children: He needed to listen to them, let them know his self-doubt and struggles, "gotta be more for them, need to show them." He was boozing too much, he tended to run things to the ground and make things so calamitous. He was an asshole wasting time on hallow pursuits when he knows he hit the lottery. Every time he got into trouble it was because of his hubris. He was tired of himself and had to face that he was what he didn't like.
In the summer of 2016, "Things became ‘difficult.'" His boozing had become a problem, he didn't have feelings in his fingertips.
It all served to give the lie to Lance Spiegel's November 2016 assertions that his rampage on the plane was simply an isolated incident and he had otherwise been a great father. There was evidently already a lack of empathy and understanding between him and the kids due to festering issues that deepened the impact of his drunken rage.
Angelina was upset with his behavior but she knew that he was in the grip of substance abuse and she had some understanding of what was happening to him. The children had no such understanding and they were left badly traumatized, distrustful of and disillusioned with him. His boozing was the biggest problem but other simmering issues exacerbated its effect.
They were both on their backs and chained to a system when Child Services was called. The filing was not something she wanted -- she saw nothing good about it, it was just hard. Laura Wasser noted in November 2016 that the therapeutic process was expected to enable the family's reunification within six months to a year. But Brad's abortive attempts to circumvent the legally binding custody stipulation which was drafted and signed at the DCFS' behest likely had far ranging consequences that lengthened the process.
Brad halted boozing right after the plane incident when the DCFS became involved and he was immediately subject to random drug and alcohol testing. It took him much longer to comprehend the children's PTSD and the damage done to their relationship, to accept his shortcomings as a father that magnified the problem, and to understanding the need to strictly follow the therapists' recommendations during the therapeutic process.
Brad thought that by simply getting more facetime with the kids he could quickly restore their old relationship. He was frustrated that the therapists were limiting his access and in his mind slowing his progress. After Crested Butte, he realized that just spending time with the kids was not enough, there were many issues that needed to be addressed to enable his relationship with the children to rebuild on solid footing, and he better understood the need for the therapists to guide and supervise the process.
After they returned from Crested Butte, Angelina was convinced that Brad was truly committed to abiding by the custody stipulation and to following the therapists' advice on what was in the children's best interests. It paved the way for them to hire Judge Ouderkirk as their private judge to help effectuate recovery and reunification.
Brad had volunteered the provision in the custody stipulation that required him to continue to undergo random drug and alcohol testing in order to show Angelina that he was committed to being clean and sober. He had gone through two therapists before finding the right one. He learned to be introspective, own his side of the street and accept that he needed to deal with his faults and failures. He accepted that he had not been the great father he imagined himself to be and that the pain of the process offers an opportunity for growth, betterment and an epiphany.
The therapy sessions that have become an important and integral part of their lives should continue to help them address all future issues promptly.
They are all very eager to emerge from this and they are letting the public know they believe they are close. Much closer than where they were even just last month. Closer to having their full normal lives back. They hinted as much in the quotes they gave People in late December:
She is doing fine and working with Brad on ways to continue their lives so everyone is happy. The process has been difficult (for him). But he is OK and remains committed to his family."We can see the return of familiar routines and everyone is visibly happy.
Happy, relaxed and confident enough to reveal more to the public.
Richie fetched her from the airport when she returned from London last March 2017, but it had been months since he was last seen with her before the Globes. She skipped the red carpets at the AMPAS Governors' Awards in mid-November and THR's Women in Entertainment Breakfast in early December so we don't have any shots of her entering the venues. But there was no sign of Richie in the audience photos at either event or at the earlier Hollywood Film Awards. Now, however, his looming presence is impossible to miss.
Richie has appeared with her in the biggest awards shows she's attended this year. In the past, he almost always looked detached and serious on awards red carpets, so it was a bit surprising to see him engaged and smiling. Richie is happy too.
Everyone is happy 😀
They didn't get along with the publicists they hired right after the emergency, that it never worked out. So their authorized reps are again principally Cynthia Pett-Dante and Robert Offer, both of whom rarely speak to the press. They've totally shut down the flow of info to all tabloid sites -- as evidenced by ET's unsuccessful effort to obtain from them the facts behind Shiloh's injury. With Pett-Dante and Offer leading their reps, with their closest friends being people like Loung Ung and David Fincher, and with Richie heading their security, there is no bonafide insider who will leak any info about them, least of all to a tabloid. They've always maintained a very, very tight-lipped circle. So as to any tabloid report, as Doug Pitt said, "Just remember, they're the tabloids."
They've provided People the text of a few of her speeches, but outside of the brief quotes, they've not offered anything about the two of them. This is likely to continue until they're ready to tell their story.
They've always had a good relationship with Jack Coyle of the AP but their story cannot fit into an AP report. They've had a long relationship with Mary Green, but People is a tabloid and as such is only suitable for sharing family photos.
An Op-Ed in the NY Times conveys the seriousness of their story and is the only way they can ensure that it is presented accurately in its entirety. It allows them to explain the very sensitive and very complex situation they faced, the decisions and actions they made. and what was really happening behind the scenes. It would typically include an encouraging message for other families faced with similar problems, that they too can emerge successful.
They've skipped a few red carpets and neither wants to walk through a gauntlet of extremely frenzied reporters. It may be something they are taking into consideration with BAFTA looming.
Dreams come true! https://t.co/VSLxXl6lLe— Brooklynn Prince (@thebrooklynnk) January 13, 2018
The Florida Project's @thebrooklynnk has made more new friends in a single awards season than the average adult will make in their lifetime. https://t.co/kinZonEdzD— A24 (@A24) January 17, 2018
My parents watched First They Killed My Father, and they said that Sareum Srey Moch was amazing! Loung Ung told us she's also interested in directing now! Wow! What a girl! 👏🎉💪 #inspiration— Brooklynn Prince (@thebrooklynnk) January 18, 2018