Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie divorce: FBI investigating claims of incident involving couple’s children on private jet

The FBI has confirmed it is “evaluating” an alleged incident involving the actor Brad Pitt on a private jet transporting Pitt, his estranged wife Angelina Jolie and their children.

Jolie filed for divorce on 19 September and requested physical custody of their six children Maddox, 15, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10 and eight-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne. She asked for Pitt to have joint legal custody and visitation rights. The Independent understands Pitt will seek joint custody.

Media outlets including People and TMZ quoted sources claiming the Ocean’s Eleven star is under investigation by a child welfare agency after allegedly clashing with one of his children.

A report by TMZ claims the altercation involved one of his children and was “physical” and “verbal”.

The LAPD later said the case had been referred to the FBI.

Pitt denies any allegations of any abuse against his children, a source close to the actor has said.

In a statement, the FBI said allegations involving an “aircraft carrying Mr Brad Pitt and his children” had been referred to the agency.

“The FBI is continuing to gather facts and will evaluate whether an investigation at the federal level will be pursued,” it added.

The source close to Pitt told The Independent: “He takes the matter very seriously and says he did not commit any abuse of his children. It’s unfortunate that people involved are continuing to present him in the worst possible light.

“I think the most important thing is the fact that he is co-operating and that he takes it seriously, he recognises it is a serious matter and he is willing to do whatever will be best for his family.”

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The source said Pitt has refrained from directing any “negativity” in order to resolve the divorce as quickly as possible for the sake of their children.

The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services said it could not confirm or deny whether it was investigating Pitt.

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Pitt was on a plane that landed at the International Falls, Minnesota, airport on 14 September, local sheriff Perryn Hedlund told the Associated Press. Jolie lists the date of separation in her divorce filing as 15 September.

Jolie is being represented by divorce lawyer Laura Wasser, who helped in her divorce from Billy Bob Thornton and has represented Johnny Depp in his divorce from Amber Heard.

Jolie did not respond to requests for comment.