Angelina Jolie and Kids Are In Therapy: 'It's Been a Traumatic Situation,' Says Source
"She's staying strong for her kids. It's been a traumatic situation," a source tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story.
Two weeks after she filed for divorce from Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie is “staying strong for her kids” as the whole family struggles to cope with life after the split, a source close to the situation tells PEOPLE. The source says Jolie and all of the kids have started therapy: “It’s been a traumatic situation.”
In PEOPLE’s new cover story, sources detail the intense behind-the-scenes divorce negotiations, the couple’s battles over their kids’ upbringing and the final fight aboard their private plane that triggered an investigation by L.A.’s Department of Children and Family Services. Jolie, 41, and their six children spent the first weeks after the split secluded in an L.A.-area rental home, with friends and her brother James Haven at her side. “She did what she felt she had to do to protect the safety of the kids,” says a source.
Meanwhile, a Pitt source tells PEOPLE the actor “has been absolutely devastated and heartbroken by the events of the past several weeks, both in terms of how those events have been wrongfully portrayed and how they have threatened to jeopardize his family’s ability to heal and move forward.”
As Jolie and Pitt tangle over their kids’ future—Jolie wants sole physical custody, Pitt wants shared custody—Maddox, 15, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, and 8-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox are adjusting to an upended life. At home with Jolie, they’ve been watching movies and playing in the pool. “They didn’t leave the rental house for days,” says a source close to the family. “It was hard for all of them. They are used to more activities and more entertainment so it’s difficult for them to just stay at the house. The younger kids don’t understand what’s going on.”
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Watch People Cover Story: Brad & Angelina’s Family Secrets, available now on the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the PEN app on Apple TV, Roku Players, Amazon Fire TV, Xumo, Chromecast, iOS and Android devices.
On Sept. 30 Jolie and Pitt, 52, agreed to a temporary plan recommended by DCFS: Until Oct. 20 the children will remain with Jolie, while Pitt is getting visitation with a therapist present for the first meeting. Along with family therapy, both Jolie and Pitt will undergo individual counseling, and Pitt will continue voluntary drug and alcohol testing.
“Brad loves his children more than anything in this world, and they matter more than anything else to him,” says a Pitt source. “He will do whatever it takes to be with them, now and always.”