Brad Pitt accused of child abuse
US authorities investigating alleged mistreatment of kids on private jet
Brad Pitt is under investigation by US authorities after being accused of physically and verbally abusing his children during an angry outburst, TMZ reported yesterday.
According to the entertainment news site, the Los Angeles Police Department began probing Pitt based on an anonymous tip received by the LA County Department of Children and Family Services.
The news comes days after 41-year-old Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt, 52, on Monday, citing irreconcilable differences and seeking custody of their six children, AFP reported.
The source reportedly told the authorities that Pitt began screaming and "getting physical" with his children on a private jet, possibly under the influence of alcohol, and then continued ranting after the plane landed.
Pitt and Jolie have six children: Maddox, 15, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 8.
Pitt and Jolie are already believed to have been interviewed by child protection services and investigations are ongoing.
A source close to Pitt told TMZ: "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."
Pitt was said to have been devastated by Jolie's decision to seek a divorce and is said to be furious at suggestions that she was concerned with his alleged alcohol consumption, marijuana smoking and "anger issues", The Telegraph reported.
On Wednesday night, it was reported that Pitt had offered to have therapy to help salvage his marriage, with friends saying that the actor still "totally adored" Jolie and would never put her or their children "under threat".
Meanwhile, a source close to Pitt told the Independent he plans to seek joint custody of his children.
The source said on Wednesday: "Ange is a great mother and Brad is a very committed father and they both just want what is best for the kids.
"Unfortunately, people are introducing baseless allegations as a way of trying to ratchet up negativity when in fact the two of them want to resolve this for their children."
Said Pitt: "I am very saddened by this (divorce), but what matters most now is the well-being of our kids.
"I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time."
The split between two of the world's biggest stars spells the end of Brangelina, one of Hollywood's highest-profile celebrity couples.
The A-listers wed in France in August two years ago, but have been a couple since 2004.