Over the last week or so, you may have seen some headlines from the usual suspects. The Sun and the Daily Mail, of course, always on their f-cksh-t, ran a piece a few days ago about how “Brad Pitt scores victory against ex-wife Angelina Jolie” citing a source who said that Brad has the “momentum” and that he’s had “three consecutive” court wins against her in their ongoing battle over Chateau Miraval. Or, I should clarify, HIS ongoing battle over the estate because she’s been trying to get the f-ck out of Dodge for years. 


Then there’s Page Six and this story they posted last week which also says that Brad’s had “three legal wins” lately in the case, with sources saying that Brad was determined to fight the “bullies” that are coming for his precious winery. Back in February, Page Six also ran with this headline: 


If you weren’t digging up the court documents then and verifying whether or not these publications’ interpretation of the legal situation was actually legit, you might have been led to believe that Brad was indeed dunking on Angelina repeatedly…even though the Suns and the Daily Mails and the Page Sixes of the world aren’t basing their reporting on the court proceedings but on how their sources are translating what’s in the court files. But that’s not actually the truth that emerges when you read what’s in the documents


Now, though, Entertainment Tonight is doing a much more accurate report on the court proceedings, sharing information directly from court documents and not just from sources. 

That article is worth your read because it actually goes into detail about SPECIFIC claims in the case brought by both Brad and Angelina and which ones were dismissed and what that means for each claimant. And what the Sun and the Daily Mail and Page Six neglected to mention is that the court “ruled against Pitt on Jolie’s demurrer to his original complaint and dismissed five of the seven claims Pitt asserted against her”. 


This is hardly “three consecutive wins”. Entertainment Tonight is not declaring Angelina the victor, and they do note that she does have two claims against her that she has to address, but it’s not as f-cking lopsided as those other media outlets had suggested. And Angelina’s lawyer has gone on the record with ET with this statement: 

"The judge dismissed most of Mr. Pitt's claims because they don't have a legal basis. Mr. Pitt's lawsuit has never been about a business dispute; instead, it is about his attempts to cover up serious abuse, and we are gratified the judge has thrown out so much of Mr. Pitt's complaint."

There are several different ways we can interpret the word “abuse” here. First, there’s what happened on that flight that precipitated the Brange breakup. There’s also the allegations that Brad and his people have mismanaged Chateau Miraval, with the new owners, Tenute del Mondo, alleging that this amounts to business negligence, accusing Brad of shady dealings that include unreported assets and sketchy financials. And then there are some who would characterise his relentless attacks on Angelina, in and out of the courtroom, to be its own form of abuse. After all, she’s the one who wants out of Miraval and has been trying to exit, while he seems to be holding her in place through the legal system. 


And certain media outlets are giving him an assist. Like I said, Angelina hasn’t won anything and she may never win, we don’t know, but right now? She’s definitely not losing. If anything, the case is still ongoing, it’s complicated, it’s going to be a while before it all gets sorted out – and the only people winning here are the lawyers. But time and again we’re reading headlines about how Brad is in the lead, how he’s the martyr out here on these streets fighting the good fight against the evil bitch he was married to and the even more evil Russian oligarch who’s become her benefactor. This is the narrative that Team Pitt has been planting in the public consciousness, relying on misogyny, himpathy, and its asshole cousin, DARVO, to carry his message. It’s a rally cry to all the pale males out there afraid of the classic “crazy bitch”, the woman scorned. (“Pale male” by the way is an expression I stole from Tanya Sam – what’s up Tanya! – who I met a few weeks ago while moderating a panel with her and Kike Ojo-Thompson. Look these women up, they’re doing valuable work!) 


All of these headlines foreshadowing and/or proclaiming his imminent victory suggest that he and his people might actually not be that confident in securing a victory in the legal court so they’re trying to lay the groundwork for a legal victory in the court of public opinion. To protect his image, his reputation, relying on the fact that most people won’t understand or bother to understand what’s in the documents and will just go by the biased stories they’re reading in the tabloids. 

But these headlines also obfuscate that thing he’s been running from, what he can never explain, which is that as much as he tries to deny that something f-cked up happened on that plane, he has not been seen with any of his SIX CHILDREN in almost EIGHT YEARS. The more time that passes, the older they get, the more confidently they step into the world in their own personhood, the more people will wonder whether or not he actually has a relationship with them. So has to keep casting her as the villain because, the way I see it, and it might be the way more and more people start to see it, his relationship with himself seems to be a lot more important than his relationship with them. 

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