The Brange extension
The temporary custody agreement recommended to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, stipulating full custody for now to Angelina, by the LA Department of Children and Family Services expired last week, on October 20th. When it was initially reported that Brange had agreed to the recommendation, sources close to Brad revealed that he was cooperating with the DCFS’s investigation, understanding that it was the usual protocol, and made it seem like it was simply a formality that would be satisfied quickly.
So October 20th came and went quietly. And then multiple outlets reported yesterday that the temporary custody agreement investigation has been extended. According to US Weekly and their legal source, “it’s normal [for the DCFS] to extend past the deadline to complete their work when an agreement exists between the parties.”
Another legal source tells PEOPLE that “things remain in a holding pattern at this point and are ideally nearing a conclusion. This investigation has always been and continues to be open-ended.” The source explained that “extending investigations is not unusual for the DCFS. People have erroneously made the assumption that the original Oct. 20th date of the agreement between the two parties was also in some way a deadline for DCFS, and that is simply not the case”.
No doubt. It’s sad but not surprising that the DCFS would have an enormous workload. Still, there was an assumption that Angelina started this “smear campaign” to “destroy” Brad so that she could move to England, or something, and the news of this extension doesn’t exactly support that theory. The best case scenario for those who were promoting the Evil Angelina Liar version of the situation would have been that the issue be resolved by now, now that it’s been over a month since it all went down, and resulting in a definitive Brad Pitt exoneration. The strategy then is to continue to hope, and communicate through Team Brad sources, that the extension is a merely bureaucracy at work, continuing to position Brad as the patient parent, who is willing to wait, even if it affects his reputation, in order to get it right, so that the children, ultimately, can move forward in a good place.
Interestingly enough, however, both PEOPLE and US Weekly, while dutifully presenting Brad’s side, are also hearing a slightly different side from other sources. And the wording of it is remarkably similar:
“They’re looking for a history or pattern of behavior,” a legal source with knowledge of the situation tells PEOPLE. With this continuation, says source, “They are looking at the original inciting incident and anything surrounding that, and looking at any relevant history.”
Compare that to this:
“They are looking at a history and pattern of behavior,” a source tells Us. “They are looking at not only the original incident but other possible incidents surrounding it and more history.”
Same source, probably? TMZ has more details about the “history and pattern of behaviour”:
Our sources say ... the L.A. County Dept. of Children and Family Services initially focused on the plane incident in which Brad allegedly struck 15-year-old Maddox.
Our sources say, through various interviews with family members, DCFS has now expanded its investigation to other alleged incidents, including interactions between Brad and Angelina which were allegedly witnessed by 1 or more of their 6 kids.
The Angelina sources say some of the children have been fearful around Brad, and Maddox in particular has problems with his dad. We're told the meeting Brad had with Maddox last week ended quickly because Maddox didn't want to be there.
None of our sources would say if the DCFS interviews turned up anything that would cause the agency to take action related to custody.
Previously TMZ had reported that the FBI was still gathering information but that they didn’t believe there was a case against Brad Pitt and that Brad hadn’t filed a response yet to Angelina’s divorce petition because he wanted to protect the kids. So, basically, it’s still image management from both client camps and, in particular, the pressure is now back on Brad since the family services investigation remains open because extending the deadline and expanding the investigation to examine other incidents and, possibly, other family members, and not just the incident on the plane, however, makes it harder and harder to stretch his rationale. Especially as we get closer and closer to the release of Allied.
Oh yeah, he has a movie coming out. Allied is due in theatres November 23. At one point, before love died, they were even talking Oscar possibilities for it. So they’re going to have to start some kind of promotion in a couple of weeks, latest. And it’s not like you can promote the film without him. What will that look like now in these circumstances?