Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt may be headed to the same destination, but their trajectories have widely diverged.
The once-warring exes have reached a tentative accord after their divorce proceedings got off to a surprisingly contentious start last September, at the end of the day each parent only wanting what’s best for their six children.
But since Pitt’s the one who was put on the defensive immediately—Jolie initially requested primary custody of the kids and the FBI briefly investigated a family squabble the actor was involved in on a private flight from London to Los Angeles—Pitt’s the one who demonstrably set out to repair his relationship with his fans and the general public in recent months.
There were a few wonky weeks last fall when Pitt’s character was publicly called into question by way of vague yet potentially damning divorce papers, ultimately his human side—flaws and all—served him well. His wife was over him for a multitude of reasons, but his closest pals stood by him in the face of allegations that called his trustworthiness as a parent into question.
Jolie had her personal reasons for wanting to end their marriage after two years and nine years of togetherness before that (Brad “boozing too much” and “running from feelings,” as he admitted to GQ, presumably played a role), but she may have been a little surprised to find out that people seemed far more concerned with when Brad would get to see the kids next than they were with her reasons for wanting custody.