ALISON BOSHOFF lifts the lid on toxic war of the Pitts

They share a jawline, a million-dollar smile, and that same fair coloring. But Brad Pitt’s daughter Shiloh has left him devastated after filing to change her name officially to Shiloh Jolie – on her 18th birthday. That the first thing she did as an adult was to officially drop the Pitt name means that any hopes Brad has of a reconciliation with his oldest biological daughter now look like wishful thinking.

“Now that Shiloh is 18, she can make up her mind as far as how she wants her relationship with her father to develop,” a source close to the star said this week. While Shiloh has repeatedly walked red carpets with her famous actress mother, neither she nor her siblings have done the same for their father. Angelina and Shiloh attend The Eternals premiere afterparty in London in 2021. Brad Pitt and his daughter Shiloh, pictured together in 2008, share the same fair coloring. The source went on to say that since the couple split, Angelina has made sure their children have had ‘limited involvement’ with their father. “It is still that way with the underage ones, but with Shiloh, that is no longer Angie’s choice,” they continued. “If Shiloh chooses to have limited contact with her dad, that is her decision.” The source added that Brad would still “love her unconditionally,” no matter what she chose to do. “He would love Shiloh to start making her own decisions and for him to be in the mix for her future, so he just has to see what happens and hope for the best.”

Having spoken to friends of the film star many times over the eight years since his marriage to Angelina Jolie collapsed, what can be said with certainty is that Brad has tried everything to build bridges with his offspring following that private jet confrontation in 2016 – during which he was said to have been physically abusive – and that nothing has worked. There have been long custody battles which temporarily ended in victory for Brad – in 2021 he was granted 50-50 custody – only to have it overturned on appeal. He’s had a judge intervene to tell Angelina she mustn’t listen in on his mobile phone calls with the children and has also been ordered to undergo ‘reunification therapy’ with their six children – Maddox, 22, Pax, 20, Zahara, 19, Shiloh 18, and Knox and Vivienne, 15. He’s sent cars and security to ferry the children from her home to his whenever there is an allotted custody visit. Sadly, none of it has brought them any closer. In fact, son Pax said in an Instagram post in 2016 that all four of the youngest children – including Shiloh – “tremble with fear in his presence.” The two elder ones were at that point already declining point-blank to see him. The situation now is that all six have formed a tight gang with his former wife. Shiloh, seen in Rome with Angelina in 2022, has filed to change her name officially to Shiloh Jolie – on her 18th birthday. Last year Angelina called them: “The closest people to me in my life. We had to heal. There are things we needed to heal from.” While Shiloh has repeatedly walked red carpets with her famous actress mother, neither she nor her siblings have done the same for their father. Shiloh, who for some years would only answer to the name of John and would dress in boys’ clothes, is by all accounts a creative soul. Angelina once said of her: “Shiloh dresses like a little dude. She likes to dress like a boy. She wants to be a boy. So we had to cut her hair. She likes to wear boys’ everything. She thinks she’s one of the brothers.” Now a dance student, Shiloh was recently praised by her long-term choreographer who insisted that the daughter of the Hollywood couple could not be further from the stereotypical Hollywood ‘nepo baby.’ “Shiloh is an exceptionally talented dancer, demonstrating dedication and hard work,” said Keelan Carter, who has trained with Shiloh at an LA dance studio. “She is a sincere and straightforward person who never uses her celebrity status to her advantage. Shi does not rely on her famous name to achieve her goals. Honestly, I didn’t even know who she was at first and I don’t think this matters, especially in a dance studio.” A source added that Brad would still “love her unconditionally,” no matter what Shiloh chose to do. Certainly, Brad has often talked of Shiloh with pride. Speaking at the premiere of his film Bullet Train in 2022, Brad said of her dance accomplishments: “It brings a tear to the eye, yeah. I’m Mr Two-Left-Feet here.” But for all his pride and paternal attempts to engage with her passions – he also once set up a skate park in his home for Shiloh and more recently an art studio to reflect their common interest – there has only been rejection. “This is the result of textbook parental alienation, and it is a great sadness in his life,” I am told. “There have been years and years of her [Angelina] telling and retelling the same lies about him and the reality is that she has alienated the kids, and the reality is that it is upsetting to Brad. He cares about all of them. It is devastating.” Of course, Shiloh is not the first child to ditch the Pitt surname. All three of the couple’s adopted children – Zahara, a student at Spelman College, Atlanta; Maddox, a graduate of Yonsei University in Seoul, and Pax, who has worked on film sets with his mother – no longer use their father’s name. Brad’s second biological daughter Vivienne, 15, who has been working on a musical with Angelina, is credited as simply “Vivienne Jolie” in the program for the production of The Outsiders in New York. It’s not known if Knox, Brad’s only biological son, has also followed suit. Ironically, when the couple first met on the set of the action movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith – and when Brad was still married to Jennifer Aniston – sources said that Angelina would show up at his trailer and tell him: “Maddox would like to say ‘Hi.” Brad, then 42, was enchanted – by the boy and his mother. Angelina Jolie had adopted Maddox from Cambodia in 2002 as her marriage to Billy Bob Thornton was falling apart. In 2005 she adopted Zahara, a baby from Ethiopia – aided by Brad Pitt. The last adoption came in 2007 when Pax, aged three, joined the family. Brad legally adopted all three. Their three biological children followed. They settled at one time in New Orleans, and in France, and called a myriad of hotels a temporary home. Brad was drinking heavily during some of this time and said more than once that he would wake up still drunk from the previous night. His friend Quentin Tarantino has alluded to his pot-smoking habit, which Angelina disapproved of. (He gave up alcohol in the wake of his split.) At home there were no rules, except that the children weren’t encouraged to make friends outside of the family circle – and they ruled the roost. One former nanny, who quit in despair, reportedly said that the children insisted on breakfasting on items like pizza or chocolate, and enjoyed a diet of junk food, particularly the cheesy corn snack Cheetos. As the troubled marriage entered its final year, Angelina’s brother James moved in with the couple, having been hired as the chief nanny. Then came that shattering – and disputed – incident on a plane. In legal documents, Angelina said that Brad hit and choked the children as well as attacking her, and punching the roof of the plane when drunk. At one point, it was claimed, he poured beer on his wife, while he also poured beer and red wine on the children. Five days later, Angelina filed for divorce — just after the second anniversary of their wedding — requesting sole physical custody of the six children. A lawyer for Brad said he had accepted responsibility for some things in his past but that he would not accept responsibility for things he did not do. Another source close to the actor dismissed Angelina’s account as ‘bulls***’ and claimed her story was ‘constantly evolving.’ The source added: ‘She continues to rehash, revise and reimagine her description of an event that happened six years ago by adding completely untrue information each time she fails to get what she wants.’ Sources in the Brad camp described the release of the information as a ‘media stunt to inflict pain.’ Last year, an Instagram post in which Pax called Brad Pitt a ‘f***ing awful human being’ was made public. In it, Pax wrote of his father: ‘You time and time again prove yourself to be a terrible and despicable person. You have no consideration or empathy toward your four youngest children who tremble in fear when in your presence. You will never understand the damage you have done to my family because you’re incapable of doing so.’ One friend of Brad’s called the publication ‘sad and frustrating’ but added: ‘[He] would only ever respect the kids’ voices. He will never ever speak negatively about any of them and will almost never talk about them in public. There is no question that he would hit back at them.’ No further activity is expected over custody – Brad’s friends explain that it’s clear that the children will be all ‘aged out’ before the current arrangement can be varied. Legal skirmishes now concern the sale of Angelina’s share of the Miraval vineyard to the Stoli group. Angelina has been ordered to hand over Non-Disclosure Agreements which she previously had with staff. She is arguing that Brad tried to tie her up in an NDA in exchange for her selling the vineyard to him. The war, then, continues. But as Shiloh becomes the latest child to write her father out of her life, the only battle Brad really cared about seems to have been lost already.