BRAD PITT OPENS UP ON HIS SPLIT, GIVING UP BOOZE AND BECOMING A BETTER FATHER!

In a deeply personal and raw interview with GQ Style, Brad Pitt opens up for the first time on his divorce from Angelina Jolie and how his life has changed.

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It all started last September, in the skies heading towards Los Angeles. Pitt allegedly had an altercation with his oldest son, Maddox. Authorities were called, and investigations began which concluded with no charges being brought. Angelina Jolie, Pitt’s partner of over a decade, filed for divorce. The split was surprising, as the pair were considered one of the strongest unions in Hollywood.

The high-profile couple were often seen travelling the world with their six children, Maddox, 15, Pax, 13, Zahara, 12, Shiloh, 10 and twins Knox and Vivienne, 8. But that seemingly perfect picture shattered, with the couple’s break up and custody battle playing out in public view. As things got more ugly, Jolie and Pitt finally decided to handle things privately for the sake of their children, putting up a united front.

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Pitt discusses the split, his issues with drinking, owning his side of the street and his positive evolution. He is still a work in progress, but the War Machine actor appears to be emerging from the fog.

On curbing his drinking, Brad was very honest. “I can’t remember a day since I got out of college when I wasn’t boozing or had a spliff, or something. Something. And you realize that a lot of it is, um—cigarettes, you know, pacifiers. And I’m running from feelings. I’m really, really happy to be done with all of that. I mean I stopped everything except boozing when I started my family.”

“But even this last year, you know—things I wasn’t dealing with. I was boozing too much. It’s just become a problem. And I’m really happy it’s been half a year now, which is bittersweet, but I’ve got my feelings in my fingertips again. I think that’s part of the human challenge: You either deny them all of your life or you answer them and evolve.”

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Does he miss drinking?

“I mean, we have a winery. I enjoy wine very, very much, but I just ran it to the ground. I had to step away for a minute. And truthfully I could drink a Russian under the table with his own vodka. I was a professional. I was good.”

But it’s all Cranberry juice and fizzy water these days. And Pitt is undergoing a renovation of his life and coming to terms with his feelings and with himself.

“Sitting with those horrible feelings, and needing to understand them, and putting them into place. In the end, you find: I am those things I don’t like. That is a part of me. I can’t deny that. I have to accept that. And in fact, I have to embrace that. I need to face that and take care of that. Because by denying it, I deny myself. I am those mistakes.”

“For me every misstep has been a step toward epiphany, understanding, some kind of joy. Yeah, the avoidance of pain is a real mistake. It’s the real missing out on life. It’s those very things that shape us, those very things that offer growth, that make the world a better place, oddly enough, ironically. That make us better.”

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On the personal aspects of his life playing out publicly, Pitt’s main worry is for his children.

“I worry about it more for my kids, being subjected to it, and their friends getting ideas from it. And of course it’s not done with any kind of delicacy or insight—it’s done to sell. And so you know the most sensational sells, and that’s what they’ll be subjected to, and that pains me. I worry more in my current situation about the slideshow my kids have. I want to make sure it’s well-balanced.”

And after the acrimony following their September split, Pitt and Jolie are now working together on visitation and parenting their large brood.

“I was really on my back and chained to a system when Child Services was called. And you know, after that, we’ve 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. 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.”

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Pitt is also determined not to become one of those Hollywood couples that battle it out viciously in court, seeking vengeance and vindication.

“I see it everywhere. Such animosity and bitterly dedicating years to destroying each other. You’ll be in court and it’ll be all about affairs and it’ll be everything that doesn’t matter. It’s just awful, it looks awful. One of my favorite movies when it came out was There Will Be Blood, and I couldn’t figure out why I loved this movie, I just loved this movie, besides the obvious talent of Paul T. and, you know, Daniel Day. But the next morning I woke up, and I went, Oh, my God, this whole movie is dedicated to this man and his hatred. It’s so audacious to make a movie about it, and in life I find it just so sickening.”

“I see it happen to friends—I see where the one spouse literally can’t tell their own part in it, and is still competing with the other in some way and wants to destroy them and needs vindication by destruction, and just wasting years on that hatred. I don’t want to live that way.”

And on worrying about what is said about him and written about him, Pitt cares most about those closest to him.

“What did Churchill say? History will be kind to me: I know because I’ll write it myself. I don’t really care about protecting the narrative. That’s when I get a bit pessimistic, I get in my oh-it-all-goes-away-anyway kind of thinking. But I know the people who love me know me. And that’s enough for me.”

The sun is slowly coming out for Pitt, an artist who is living honestly, coming to terms with himself and determined to be the best father he can be.

PHOTOS: RYAN MCGINLEY FOR GQ

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