Just like that, in two little words, Hollywood’s most famous/infamous couple — aka Brangelina — has joined the trash heap of celebrity marriages.
That’s what Angelina Jolie, 41, cited when she filed for divorce on Monday from Missouri’s famous son, Brad Pitt. TMZ was the first to report the split.
The couple has six children: Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, and twins Knox and Vivienne. She is seeking physical custody.
“I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the wellbeing of our kids. I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time,” Pitt said in a statement to People.
Pitt, 52, was married to former “Friends” star Jennifer Aniston when he first met Jolie.
Aniston and Pitt were Hollywood’s “It” couple, the golden kids on the red carpet. It was a first marriage for both of them, though Pitt had been engaged to actress Gwyneth Paltrow.
Then in 2004 Pitt made a movie called “Mr. & Mrs. Smith.” His co-star? The sexy, twice-married, raven-haired Jolie of “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” fame.
On screen Jolie and Pitt played a married couple. Off-screen, tabloids reported that the two had begun an affair. Paparazzi stalked them. The rumor mill churned. Brangelina was born.
The two have always denied that they had an affair. At the time Jolie told one publication that “to be intimate with a married man, when my own father cheated on my mother, is not something I could forgive.”
But Aniston and Pitt announced in January 2005 that they had split. She cited irreconcilable differences — sound familiar? — when she filed for divorce eight months later.
To this day many Aniston fans still consider Jolie a homewrecker, explaining the virtual cheering and laughing on Twitter when news of the Brangelina divorce broke on Tuesday.
This, they proclaimed, is payback.
Pitt and Jolie remained a couple in name only for nearly 10 years until they married in a secret ceremony in a castle in France in August 2014, though they had vowed to tie the knot only when same-sex marriage was legalized.
Their children helped them write their vows. Pitt is legal parent to Jolie’s two adopted children, Maddox and Zahara. She gave birth to the couple’s first child, Shiloh, in May 2006. Together they adopted son, Pax, in 2007 from Vietnam. Then Jolie gave birth to twins, Knox and Vivienne, in 2008.
They sold pictures of the newborn twins to People and Hello magazines for a reported $14 million, making them the most expensive celebrity photos in history. The money went to their Jolie-Pitt Foundation.
Jolie revealed in May 2013 that she decided to have a preventative double mastectomy after a blood test showed she carried a mutation of the BRCA1 gene that raised her risk of both breast and ovarian cancer.
In an interview with USA Today after that announcement, Pitt called her his “hero.”
Though they professed deep love for each other off-screen, recent audiences didn’t find them particularly sizzling on-screen. In last year’s “By the Sea,” written and directed by Jolie, they played a couple that takes a vacation to France in a bid to save their marriage. The movie bombed at the box office.
“It almost makes you get past those issues because you can laugh at them,” Jolie told the Associated Press before the movie came out.
“You do a film about bad marriage and you witness that behavior. You study it, you let it out, you attack each other and then you just want to hold each other and make sure you never behave that way.”
On Monday an attorney for Jolie, Robert Otter, said in a statement that she filed for divorce “for the health of the family. She will not be commenting at this time, and asks that the family be given their privacy during this difficult time.”
Fans are left, then, to find comfort wherever they can.
The police department in Lawrence, Kansas, offered unexpected solace.