Brad Pitt Saw His Kids for a Christmas Gift Exchange
Brad Pitt saw his children over the Christmas weekend amid his divorce and custody drama with estranged wife Angelina Jolie, multiple sources exclusively tell Us Weekly.
"Brad did see the kids at some point for a holiday gift exchange," an insider tells Us. The former couple share six kids: Maddox, 15, Pax, 13, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 8.
A second source tells Us that Jolie organized the holiday get-together and that the kids' therapist — who supervises their visits with the Allied actor — was also there. "[Brad] gave them presents and it was cordial," the insider adds.
The Holiday get-together isn't a therapeutic visit, it's outside of therapy but Angelina invited the therapist to join them. Angelina found a compromise solution that enabled Brad to spend the Holidays with them while allowing her to take heed of the therapist's advice that it was too soon for unsupervised visits.
The get-together was over Christmas weekend so it would have taken place between Saturday, Dec. 24 and Monday, Dec. 26 and the exact timing may have been dependent on when the therapist was available. The therapists feel strongly that the children are not yet ready to have unsupervised visits which means they don't yet feel safe or secure with Brad, so it was likely held at a house nearby and could not have been at their present home or their Los Feliz compound. It may be where they normally have their family therapy sessions.
Just one month ago, Brad was unable to spend Thanksgiving Day with the family and spent Thanksgiving weekend in Turks & Caicos. He was also not present for Pax's birthday. The older boys still refused to see him at the time. The family therapy sessions made them more open to him and more comfortable being with him.
Being able to have a "cordial" Christmas get-together that included a "gift exchange" shows they've made impressive progress in one month. The kids were not only willing to celebrate with him, but just as important, they also made presents to give to him. That part may have been a surprise Angelina arranged for him. The atmosphere at the get-together was warm and friendly. The Holidays will likely give an important boost to Brad's efforts.
Spiegel's filing had no apparent effect on their Holiday plans or on Brad's interactions with the children.
Angelina's solution is a much better alternative to what Brad had been pushing for. This arrangement allows him to get the visits outside of a therapeutic setting that he was seeking while still being mindful of the therapists' recommendations and without violating the S&O. Brad and Spiegel should have been more patient and worked harder at finding a solution with Angelina and Wasser instead of resorting immediately to litigation which they were never going to win anyway.
The combination of therapeutic visits and family visits in a non-therapeutic setting but with a therapist present should continue until the therapists determine that the children are ready for non-therapeutic visits.
ET has a report that offers no new details but allows them to back-track from the info they apparently inadvertently revealed to Us that Angelina organized the get-together. They sent out their reps in a coordinated action to give the same message:
The Us story has not been edited to change any of the details. It's understandable that they would back-track because it makes people curious why Angelina would do this for Brad after he just "slammed" her. Even with Brad's recent progress with the children, reunification is still many months away. But there is no question that the get-together would not have happened without Angelina. It was the culmination of her efforts that started with the family therapy sessions.Brad Pitt spent at least part of Christmas with his six children he shares with his estranged wife, Angelina Jolie.The 53-year-old actor saw the kids -- Maddox, 15, Pax, 13, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 8 -- over the holiday weekend, a source confirms to ET. The meeting, the source says, was not arranged by Jolie."It was agreed overall," according to the source
Another source tells ET that the meeting was set up by the therapist and the children, adding that Jolie was not present for it -- only Pitt, the kids and their therapist. The source also notes that the tabloid reports alleging that the actress was "furious" over the holiday meeting are completely false.
Just over 3 weeks ago, when the S&O was filed, ET wrote: "As for if Pitt will see the children for the holidays, that remains unclear. 'If a child says they don't want to see Brad on Christmas, the psychiatrist isn't going to force them,' the source says. 'That's the whole purpose of this agreement.'"
She was very far from her goal of a family Christmas get-together when she started and Brad may not have been optimistic about her chances. Since the older two boys only agreed to see their father in family therapy sessions because she was with them, there is no chance that they would agree if she was not present for the get-together as well.
She then had to be creative in working with the therapists to find an arrangement that satisfied their concerns but still allowed the family to have a celebratory gathering outside therapy.
Brad owes his happy Christmas Holiday entirely to her. Without her efforts, he would be back in Turks and Caicos. I am sure he has shown his appreciation to her and what we saw in Samy's Camera was her response to him.
I think given the pace of their progress to-date, Brad could advance to non-therapeutic visits with the younger 4 kids by February and with the older boys by around April.
The four younger children started to warm up to Brad in mid-November, between his Allied trips to China and Europe. When Brad filed his RFO on December 7, the therapists still didn't feel the children were ready for unsupervised visits.
I am assuming that the cordial Christmas get together had a positive effect on all the children and that the younger four will be ready to have unsupervised visits by February at the latest.
The older boys will obviously take longer since they were not participating in Brad's visits earlier and they may have just started to warm up to him. Using the younger children's progress as a guide, I am guessing they could be ready for non-therapeutic visits by around April or May.
They could petition to modify or set aside the S&O once Brad can have non-therapeutic visits with all the children. He should be "enjoying frequent and continuous contact with all of the children on a joint custodial basis" not long after and they will have achieved their reunification goal on the shorter end of their original 6 to 12 month timetable.
Their reps only gave details of their Christmas get-together to Us. It has otherwise been very quiet. That is usually a good sign that things are proceeding smoothly. What has broken the silence in the past have been actions or statements from Brad's side when he was unhappy -- after his solo Thanksgiving and his attempts to get more visits outside of therapy -- which have in turn triggered a reaction from Angelina's side.
Brad should be very happy with the way the Holidays have turned out so it should continue to remain quiet.
The outlets they have been favoring are Us, ET and Vanity Fair.
People has been shut out. People had been cultivating their Brad sources to the point of giving them lopsided coverage with the obvious expectation of payoffs. I noted previously that one of those sources sounded like Spiegel. So it is significant that they do not have much to show for their efforts and lag the competition. I am sure People tried to get news about their Christmas holiday but without any success. There is apparently a deliberate decision to shut them out. It should be cause for worry in People's editorial offices. They may find that choosing a side was a mistake when there is really only one side.
What this also indicates is that Brad and Angelina have their reps under tighter control. They've clamped down on who in their circle can talk about them and which outlets they can talk to.
Their reps have lately been working in tandem -- both talking to Us and then both talking to ET, each time offering complimentary information.