FBI says it's evaluating abuse allegations against Pitt
LOS ANGELES: The FBI is gathering information about an incident involving actor Brad Pitt and his family aboard a private flight last week, the agency confirmed Thursday.
Spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said the FBI is still evaluating whether to open an investigation into allegations Pitt was abusive during the flight toward one of his six children with actress Angelina Jolie Pitt, as several media outlets have reported.
The news reports from anonymous sources contend the actor is under investigation by a child welfare agency because of the September 14 airborne incident.
Amara Suarez, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, said the agency could not confirm whether it was investigating Pitt or the well-being of the former couple's children.
A representative for Pitt declined comment Thursday.
Jolie Pitt filed for divorce Monday and her lawyer released a statement the following day saying she came to the decision "for the health of the family." She listed their separation date as September 15, the day after the alleged plane incident, and the actress is seeking sole custody of all six of the children.
A phone message left for Jolie Pitt's attorney Laura Wasser was not returned Thursday.
Koochiching County, Minnesota, Sheriff Perryn Hedlund told The Associated Press on Thursday that Brad Pitt was on a plane that landed at the International Falls, Minnesota, airport near the Canadian border on September 14.
Hedlund said his sheriff's deputies were not called to the airport, and International Falls police were also not called.
"There's no incident whatsoever reported to law enforcement," Hedlund said.
He said he didn't know why the plane landed in International Falls, but said it's not uncommon for hockey players or other celebrities to stop at the airport.
Messages left with the airport's manager were not returned Thursday.
Pitt and Jolie Pitt — known as "Brangelina" — were together for 12 years but only wed in August 2014. They married privately at their French chateau in the Provence hamlet of Correns with their children serving as ring bearers and throwing flower petals. They announced the ceremony days later.
Their six children include 15-year-old Maddox, 12-year-old Pax, 11-year-old Zahara, 10-year-old Shiloh, and 8-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne.
This is the second marriage for Pitt (52) who previously wed Jennifer Aniston. It's the third for Jolie Pitt (41) who was previously married to Billy Bob Thornton and Jonny Lee Miller.
In 2006, they formed the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, to which they funneled many of the millions they made selling personal pictures to celebrity magazines.
In addition to their philanthropy, much of their off-screen public image has been about their role as parents.
Although Jolie Pitt's divorce filing sought sole physical custody of their children, divorce experts say the actors will have to agree to a parenting plan or face a public custody battle in court. Both actors have, in separate statements, said their primary concern was their children and asked for privacy.