Brad Pitt is not under investigation for child abuse, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, which Thursday morning acted quickly to dispel rumors that started with the online celebrity news site TMZ.
The Investigation is in the Hands of the FBI
The rumor was “confirmed” by People Magazine later in the morning — but the LAPD insists that no such investigation is underway.
TMZ, however, later reported that the LAPD simply lacked jurisdiction to investigate the child abuse report against Pitt because, the site reported, it occurred on an international flight from France. As a result, the LAPD investigators handed the complaint to federal authorities.
The FBI confirmed on Thursday that it is “gathering information” about the report, but was still deciding whether or not to open a full investigation of Pitt’s behavior toward a child, according to an Associated Press report.
The Alleged Abuse Took Place Aboard a Private Plane
According to TMZ, Pitt, Jolie and the couple’s children were aboard a private plane on September 14 when Pitt “got wasted” and flew into an uncontrollable rage, “screaming and getting physical” with the children. TMZ wrote that even after the plane landed, Pitt continued his angry tirade and bizarre, frightening behavior, attempting to escape the scene in a fuel truck that had been on the airport tarmac to fuel aircraft.
The TMZ report, however, did not specify the airport where the incident supposedly took place. Celebrities flying in and out of the Los Angeles area on private jets frequently utilize the Van Nuys Airport in the San Fernando Valley rather than the far busier Los Angeles International Airport.
The Associated Press report said that the FBI was looking into whether to investigate allegations of abusive actions by Pitt toward one of his six children with Angelina Jolie. But the report also said that Pitt was aboard a plane that landed for unknown reasons in International Falls, Minnesota, on September 14.
But the landing, though unexplained, produced “no incident whatsoever reported to law enforcement,” Koochiching County Sheriff Perryn Hedlund told the AP.
An LAPD Official Flatly Denied The Rumor
“We have no criminal investigation that we are actively pursuing,” LAPD Spokesperson Sergeant Barry Montgomery to The Hollywood Reporter. “And right now, that is where our office is. We are not investigating any case, nor do we have any allegations against Mr. Pitt. We understand how rumors get spun up and hopefully we can put a few of them to rest. We have no investigation involving Mr. Pitt.”
Angelina Jolie, 41, filed for divorce from the 52-year-old Pitt on Monday, September 19 — one day after an alleged incident on private plane, an incident which TMZ claimed sparked the investigation, took place.
Pitt Also Denies That Any Child Abuse Took Place
Britain’s Independent newspaper also looked into the rumors, and was told by an LAPD spokesperson that calls made to any of the police divisions that would normally handle child abuse investigations found that there was nothing in the works with regard to Pitt.
An anonymous “source close to” the Fight Club star also told The Independent that Pitt himself denies the allegations that he abused his kids verbally or physically — but said that Pitt is “cooperating,” a perhaps curious assertion since according to the LAPD, there is no investigation with which to cooperate.
“He takes the matter very seriously and says he did not commit any abuse of his children. It’s unfortunate that people involved are continuing to present him in the worst possible light,” the British paper’s “source” was quoted as saying. “I think the most important thing is the fact that he is cooperating and that he takes it seriously, he recognizes it is a serious matter and he is willing to do whatever will be best for his family.”
Rumors Have Been Rampant Since The Pitt-Jolie Divorce Announcement
The rumors of a child abuse investigation into Pitt is just the latest in a series of rumors that have run wild since news broke of the Jolie-Pitt divorce filing on Monday.
Some of the other rumors which, according to Shari Weiss of the rumor site Gossip Cop, have since been debunked include a story that Jolie overheard Pitt mumbling the name “Gwyneth Paltrow” in his sleep; that Jolie was enraged by Pitt’s flirting with singer/actress Selena Gomez; and that Pitt had an affair with his latest female co-star, French actress Marion Cotillard.