Angelina Jolie claims she feared for the safety of her children during her marriage to Brad Pitt.
The actress filed for divorce in 2016 and the former Hollywood golden couple have been wrangling in legal proceedings in California largely shielded from public view.
Jolie, 46, made the allegation in an interview with The Guardian promoting her new book, Know Your Rights And Claim Them, which aims to equip children with the knowledge to challenge injustices.
Asked whether she feared for the safety of her own children, she replied: “Yes, for my family. My whole family.”
In 2016, Jolie sought a divorce days after a disagreement broke out on a private flight ferrying the actors and their children from France to Los Angeles.
Jolie described the divorce and custody proceedings as “horrific”.
“It doesn’t start with the violation [the plane incident]. It’s so much more complicated than that,” she said.
Jolie said she couldn’t talk in more detail because of her “legal situation” but the newspaper reported she nodded to confirm she was referencing the divorce and allegations she made against her Pitt.
Pitt, 57, was accused of being abusive toward his then-15-year-old son Maddox during the flight, but investigations by child welfare officials and the FBI were closed with no charges being filed.
The lack of ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), meant their oldest child, Maddox, now 20, had been “denied a voice in court”, she said.
Of her divorce, Jolie added: “I’m not the kind of person who makes decisions, like the decisions I had to make, lightly. It took a lot for me to be in a position where I felt I had to separate from the father of my children.”
The Hollywood stars were a couple for more than a decade and had married two years before filing for divorce in 2016.
In May, Pitt was granted joint custody of their six children in a tentative ruling. Legal proceedings surrounding their split are ongoing.
Representatives of both Jolie and Pitt have been contacted for comment.