Angelina Jolie Reveals She ‘Suddenly Had Bell’s Palsy’ Amid Divorce From Brad Pitt

Brangelina isn't over yet.
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It’s been seven years since Hollywood’s golden couple shocked the world and filed for divorce—but the proceedings for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie still aren’t over.

In fact, Brangelina’s divorce saga has only gotten more complicated as the years pass. From court battles to leaked documents, alleged abuse and possible NDAs, Brad and Angelina’s divorce has been even more gripping than their relationship. 

Most recently, a dispute about the ownership of their Chateau Miraval winery in the south of France has put the former couple back in the spotlight—yes, the very same winery where they got married in 2014. 

But before you try to understand the most recent dispute, let’s bring you up to date on the last seven years of Brangelina. 

Brad Pitt and Angelina filed for divorce seven years ago. (Credit: Getty)

September 2016 

Brad and Angelina announce their separation in September 2016, after just two years of marriage. The separation comes after Angelina files for divorce due to “irreconcilable differences.” 

Angelina’s attorney Robert Offer, tells the Associated Press that the decision was made “for the health of the family.” The actress also requests physical custody of the couple’s children, the now 21-year-old Maddox, 19-year-old Pax, 18-year-old Zahara, 17-year-old Shiloh and 14-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne.

Brad responds to Angelina’s divorce petition with a request for both joint legal and physical custody of the children. 

At the same time, it was revealed that the FBI and the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services were investigating Brad for alleged abuse after an incident on the family’s private plane. 

It was widely reported that the couple’s son, Maddox, defended Angelina during a fight with Brad. Reports alleged that Brad had been drinking and lost his temper at his son. Brad has since been cleared of all allegations.

ET reported that the former couple had agreed to a temporary custody arrangement. The publication’s sources alleged that both parties volunteered to undergo counselling. 

Angelina is physical custody of the couple’s six children with Brad receiving agreed-upon-therapeutic visitations. 

December 2016 

Brad requests an emergency hearing to seal the documents related to the custody case with Angelina but it is denied. 

Angelina and Brad with two of their children in 2006. (Credit: Getty)

January 2017 

Angelina and Brad send their first joint statement, which outlines their agreement to keep all of their court documents private. 

May 2017 

Brad opens up to GQ about the challenges of his separation. 

“I was really on my back and chained to a system when Child Services was called,” Pitt said. “And you know, after that, we’ve [he and Angelina] been able to work together to sort this out. We’re both doing our best. I heard one lawyer say, ‘No one wins in court — it’s just a matter of who gets hurt worse.’ And it seems to be true, you spend a year just focused on building a case to prove your point and why you’re right and why they’re wrong, and it’s just an investment in vitriolic hatred.”

Brad continued: “I just refuse. And fortunately my partner in this agrees. It’s just very, very jarring for the kids, to suddenly have their family ripped apart. If anyone can make sense of it, we have to with great care and delicacy, building everything around that.”

July 2017 

Two months later, Angelina shares her side of the story with Vanity Fair, and alludes to events that occurred prior to the couple’s split. 

“[Our lifestyle] was not in any way a negative. That was not the problem. That is and will remain one of the wonderful opportunities we are able to give our children…They’re six very strong-minded, thoughtful, worldly individuals. I’m very proud of them,” Angelina said. 

“We care for each other and care about our family, and we are both working towards the same goal. 

“They’ve been very brave. They were very brave. In times they needed to be. We’re all just healing from the events that led to the filing… They’re not healing from divorce. They’re healing from some … from life, from things in life.”

Angelina Jolie in 2017
Angelina Jolie in 2017. (Credit: Getty)

August 2018 

A report from NBC News reveals that Angelina accused Brad of not paying any “meaningful” child support for a year and a half. Brad denies the claim and says that he had paid more than US$9 million since their September 2016 separation.  

April 2019 

Both Angelina and Brad are ruled legally single by the court after requesting a bifurcated judgment. This allows their single status to be restored despite the divorce not being finalised. 

February 2020 

Brad wins an Oscar for his role in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and thanks his children in his acceptance speech. 

“This is for my kids. You colour everything I do. I adore you,” he said. 

June 2020 

Angelina opens up to Vogue India about her divorce from Brad

“I separated for the well-being of my family. It was the right decision,” Jolie shared. 

“I continue to focus on their healing. Some have taken advantage of my silence, and the children see lies about themselves in the media, but I remind them that they know their own truth and their own minds. In fact, they are six very brave, very strong young people.”

July 2020

Brad is spotted leaving Angelina’s home in Los Angeles, and sources reveal the former couple are in an amicable place. 

“They chose to live close to one another so they could easily go back and forth with the kids,” says ET’s source“This week wasn’t the first time Brad and Angelina have spent time together at her home. They are in a much more amicable relationship.”

Brad Pitt 2020
Brad Pitt in 2020. (Credit: Getty)

March 2021 

Court documents (that were filed under seal) reveal Angelina alleged that she was prepared to offer “proof and authority” against Brad regarding a claim of domestic violence. 

May 2021

Brad is granted custody and Angelina challenges the ruling. 

July 2021 

Angelina successfully gets Judge John Ouderkirk dismissed from the divorce case after the court rules that Judge Ouderkirk didn’t sufficiently disclose his business relationship with Brad’s attorneys. 

February 2022 

Brad sues Angelina for selling her portion of their shared 1,200-acre Chateau Miraval Winery to Russian oligarch, Yuri Shefler, without his approval. In his complaint, the actor sought monetary damages, legal fees and for the winery’s sale to be voided.

Angelina and children
Knox Jolie-Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Shiloh Jolie-Pitt attend the red carpet of the movie “Eternals” in 2021. (Credit: Getty)

June 2022 

In June 2022, Pitt filed a second lot of court documents which accused Angelina of attempting to inflict harm on him and damage Brad’s involvement in the company.

September 2022

A sealed FBI report surfaces about the family’s 2016 plane incident and is reported on by NBC and multiple other outlets. Weeks after the report surfaces, Nouvel, Angelina’s former company files a $250 million cross-complaint that alleges Pitt only wants to gain control over their company to get back at Angelina for their split and custody battle. The cross-complaint also alleges Pitt developed an alcohol abuse problem prior to the divorce. 

October 2022 

Angelina files a cross-complaint against Brad that provides more details on the alleged abuse that occurred during the 2016 plane incident. 

June 2023 

Brad files an emended complaint which claims Angelina “vindictively” sold her share in the winery as payback for their custody battle. He claims she never gave him the chance to match the offer, “which he has a contractual right to do” and “which he would have done” given the chance. 

Brad also claimed that Angelina purposely chose the buyer due to his “personal network of ill-reputed professional associates” would cause “lasting harm to Miraval’s reputation.”

The filing alleges that Shefler has had business dealings with “individuals” in the “inner circle” of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. 

July 2023

Nouvel files a second lawsuit against Brad, in which the company accuses him of vineyard-related misconduct. A document obtained by CNN alleges that Brad “wasted the company’s assets, spending millions on vanity projects, including more than $1 million on swimming pool renovations, building and rebuilding a staircase four times, and spending millions to restore a recording studio.” 

The company accuses the Babylon star of “looting” the assets and acting like a “petulant child”. 

Angelina and son Maddox in April, 2023. (Credit: Image: Getty)

September 2023

In a rare interview with Vogue US, Angelina opened up about coping with the aftermath of the divorce, saying her children were her saving grace.

“I was 26 when I became a mother. My entire life changed. Having children saved me — and taught me to be in this world differently,” she told the publication.

“I think, recently, I would’ve gone under in a much darker way had I not wanted to live for them. They’re better than me, because you want your children to be.”

She also shared how her marriage breakdown had continued to impact her, 7 years after she and Brad filed for divorce. 

“I’m still understanding who I am at 48. I guess I’m in transition as a person,” she said.

“I don’t feel like I’ve been myself for a decade, in a way, which I don’t want to get into.”

The actress went on to address her latest venture, Atelier Jolie, saying that her struggles had served as inspiration for the fashion project, which seeks to create a space for women to “feel safe enough” to be ‘soft’.”

“Sometimes the way you dress says, ‘Don’t mess with me – I’ve got my armour on,’” she said.

“After I went through something where I was hurt, I had a therapist ask if I would try wearing a flowing garment. Sounds silly, but I assumed that pants and boots projected a ‘tougher’ look, a stronger me. I felt vulnerable.”

Angelina and Pax Jolie-Pitt. (Credit: Getty)

November 2023

A resurfaced Instagram Story shows Pax Jolie-Pitt berating his father Brad on Father’s Day in 2020.

In the post, which was first unearthed by the Daily Mail, a then-16 year old Pax reportedly wrote on his private account: “Happy Father’s Day to this world class a–hole!! You time and time again prove yourself to be a terrible and despicable person.”

He continued, “You have no consideration or empathy toward your 4 youngest children who tremble in fear when in your presence,” reportedly referring to siblings Zahara, 18, Shiloh, 17, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 15. Pax also has an elder brother, Maddox, 22. 

“You will never understand the damage you have done to my family because you are incapable of doing so.”

“You have made the lives of those closest to me a constant hell.”

“You may tell yourself and the world whatever you want, but the truth will come to light someday. So, Happy Father’s Day, you fucking awful human being!!!”

He accompanied the message with a photo of Brad accepting the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood.

(Credit: Getty)

The news comes just weeks after the couples’ daughter, Zahara, made headlines for seemingly dropping ‘Pitt’ from her surname.

In a video at a luncheon  for the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, Zahara was captured introducing herself as simply “Zahara Marley Jolie.”

None of the Jolie-Pitt children have been photographed with their father since 2016. 

December 2023

In a rare interview, Angelina Jolie has opened up about the extent to which her divorce took a toll on her body.

The actress told Wall Street Journal, “My body reacts very strongly to stress. My blood sugar goes up and down. I suddenly had Bell’s palsy six months before my divorce.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, Bell’s palsy is a condition that “causes sudden weakness in the muscles on one side of the face,” typically resulting in drooping and sagging. Its effects are usually temporary, and often resolve within six months.

The link between stress and Bell’s palsy is unclear, however experts have suggested that stress can weaken your immune system, which may result in being more susceptible to the condition.

In the same interview, she gave insight into her life post-Brad, saying she doesn’t really have “a social life,” and isn’t currently dating.

Of her inner circle, she said her “closest friends are refugees.”

“Maybe four out of six of the women that I am close to are from war and conflict,” she said.

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