ENTERTAINMENT
04/09/2019 17:36 BST

Brad Pitt Talks Quitting Drinking, AA Meetings After 'Pain' Of Angelina Jolie Split

The actor got candid about "pain, grief and loss" that followed his highly-publicised divorce.

In the years since Brangelina reverted back to being just Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie following their messier-than-most split, both stars are now seemingly back on track.

For Brad, who faced allegations of physical abuse and excessive drinking during the prolonged custody battle over the couple’s six children, getting sober was a major turning point.

Speaking with The New York Times in a revealing profile published on Wednesday, the Once Upon A Time In Hollywood actor revealed he has stopped drinking altogether, and sought the support of Alcoholics Anonymous group meetings to process the fallout from his highly-publicised divorce. 

“I had taken things as far as I could take it, so I removed my drinking privileges,” he told the outlet, adding that he attended AA meetings for a year and a half. 

Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images
Angelina Jolie Pitt and Brad Pitt attend an event together a year before announcing their split. 

“You had all these men sitting around being open and honest in a way I have never heard,” Brad continued. “It was this safe space where there was little judgment, and therefore little judgment of yourself.”

Brad shared few specifics of his split with his ex-wife, revealing only that he had “family stuff going on”. But he did remark on the power of being emotionally vulnerable, noting it’s “really freeing just to expose the ugly sides of yourself”.

“The fact is, we all carry pain, grief and loss,” he said. “We spend most of our time hiding it, but it’s there, it’s in you. So you open up those boxes.”

Brad previously described his 2016 split from Jolie as a “huge generator for change” in his own life that allowed him to take a hard look at his bad habits. 

“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 realise that a lot of it is, um — cigarettes, you know, pacifiers. And I’m running from feelings,” he told GQ in May 2017. “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.”

In the NYT profile, Brad described how the attention he received as his career was taking off in the 1990s “really threw” him and made him even more dependent on drugs and alcohol.

“It was really uncomfortable for me, the cacophony of expectations and judgments,” he said. “I really became a bit of a hermit and just bonged myself into oblivion.”

Life certainly seems a bit smoother for Brad these days.

He reached a custody agreement with Angelina in late 2018 that awarded joint custody of the children, and he’s gaining Oscar buzz for his performance in two of 2019′s biggest movies, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and the upcoming Ad Astra.   

  • Calvin Harris And Taylor Swift
    Calvin Harris And Taylor Swift
    Raymond Hall via Getty Images
    Calvin Harris made headlines the world over when he called out his ex on Twitter, accusing her of trying to 'tear him down' and suggesting she has a tendency to 'bury' anyone she disagrees with, including her pop rival Katy Perry.
  • Calvin Harris And Rita Ora
    Calvin Harris And Rita Ora
    David M. Benett via Getty Images
    Taylor isn't the only one of Calvin's exes he's got beef with, though. Rita Ora revealed shortly after their split that the DJ had forbidden her from performing their collaboration 'I Will Never Let You Down' at an awards ceremony in the US.

    He later insisted he had a 'damn good reason' for putting the brakes on her scheduled performance.
  • Stephanie Davis and Jeremy McConnell
    Stephanie Davis and Jeremy McConnell
    Jeff Spicer via Getty Images
    It was drama from the beginning with these two, who met in the 'Celebrity Big Brother' house in January 2016, when Stephanie was still dating model Sam Reece.

    Although they tried to make a go of it in the outside world, it wasn't long before infidelity accusations were thrown from both sides, with Stephanie eventually announcing she was pregnant with Jeremy's child.
  • Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake
    Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake
    CHRIS PIZZELLO/AP
    They were truly love's young dream in the early 2000s, but things quickly turned sour and they broke hearts all over the world when they announced they'd split.

    He later addressed the break-up in his track 'Cry Me A River', and has repeatedly made digs at her over the past decade.
  • Kanye West and Amber Rose
    Kanye West and Amber Rose
    Michel Dufour via Getty Images
    Kanye and Amber split in 2010, but it was years later that he took a swipe at her in the press, suggesting new wife Kim Kardashian had made him take "30 showers" before they got together, because of their relationship.

    Amber then caused ripples on social media with #FingersInTheBooty-gate, with Kanye later using Amber as one of 12 celebs in his shocking 'Famous' music video.
  • Binky Felstead and Alex Mytton
    Binky Felstead and Alex Mytton
    Ben A. Pruchnie via Getty Images
    It was one of the most outrageous 'Made In Chelsea' moments ever when one of our fave couples went their separate ways, after it was claimed Alex had been unfaithful.

    While he initially owned up to one indiscretion, it later transpired that an entire orgy had taken place without his girlfriend's knowledge, and their relationship swiftly ended.
  • Rita Ora and Rob Kardashian
    Rita Ora and Rob Kardashian
    CopettiPhotofabREXShutterstock
    Rob was furious with Rita when they broke up, posting a string of crude tweets about her, including one where he accused her of 'cheating on him with 20 dudes'.
  • Kelly Brook and David McIntosh
    Kelly Brook and David McIntosh
    JB Lacroix via Getty Images
    We're seeing a bit of a pattern here, but it was only long after their 'amicable' split that things appeared to turn sour for David McIntosh and Kelly Brook.

    Shortly after their break-up, they were both victims of a mass celebrity nude photo hacking, with Kelly publicly tweeting David to tell him: 'Your nob's online. Email me.'
  • Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez
    Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez
    C Flanigan via Getty Images
    They haven't been together for years, but it seems these two still have a lot of unfinished business.

    Most recently, Selena tweeted Justin to tell him he was being unfair to his Beliebers by blaming them for laying into his new girlfriend, something she knows a whole lot about.
  • Big Sean and Naya Rivera
    Big Sean and Naya Rivera
    Jason LaVeris via Getty Images
    Things turned really sour between Naya Rivera and Big Sean once they'd ended their relationship, with the 'Glee' actress accusing her ex of stealing her Rolex, something he has vehemently denied since.
  • Chantelle Houghton and Alex Reid
    Chantelle Houghton and Alex Reid
    Doug Peters/Doug Peters
    Chantelle publicly blasted Alex in 2012 once they'd called time on their relationship, accusing him of turning their home into a 'sex dungeon' when she was eight months pregnant.

    He later issued a public statement in a video, urging Chantelle to allow him to see their baby daughter, Dolly.
  • Kelly Osbourne and Luke Worrall
    Kelly Osbourne and Luke Worrall
    Gregg DeGuire via Getty Images
    Kelly has never been one for holding back on social media (just ask Dannii Minogue, or her father's former mistress), and this was never more true than when she split with Luke Worrall.

    After discovering he'd slept with a model behind her back, Kelly blasted her then-fiancé on social media, calling him the 'biggest piece of shit ever' also accusing him of sleeping with 'hundreds of girls as well as men behind her back'.
  • Lauren Goodger and Mark Wright
    Lauren Goodger and Mark Wright
    Mark Cuthbert via Getty Images
    The British reality TV romance that had everyone talking finally came to an end in 2012, after the two had been together for 11 years (which The Goodge was in no rush to let anyone forget).

    Since marrying Michelle Keegan, Mark has repeatedly blasted his ex, urging her to stop mentioning him in interviews and to 'have some self-respect'.
  • Robert Pattison and Kristen Stewart
    Robert Pattison and Kristen Stewart
    Fred Duval via Getty Images
    Twihards were stunned when it emerged that K-Stew (*sigh*) had slept with 'Snow White and the Huntsman' director Rupert Sanders behind R-Patz's (again, *sigh*) back.

    The two attempted to get their relationship back on track, but allegedly split when he learned she was still in contact with Rupert.