Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were the caring, sharing, rainbow family that was going to last for ever and ever.
Except they didn’t.
Somewhere down the line this relationship buckled, fractured and has now imploded into a bitter legal fight that boiled over in court this week.
I expected better of these two.
Despite the fact Brad dumped his girl-next-door first wife, Jennifer Aniston, for his sexy, smouldering Mr & Mrs Smith co-star Angelina in 2005, I really thought “Brangelina” would go the distance.
In the unlikely event the fairy-tale romance turned sour, I believed they would handle the whole thing with dignity and respect for one another.
After all, they have six children together and seemed the kind of parents, who would not want to drag their kids through a messy divorce case or custody battle. Well, I was wrong about the messy divorce.
Bam! This week Angelina claimed that Brad wasn’t paying her enough child support.
Kapow! He hit back that he has coughed up over £7million since they first split over 18 months ago.
Sock! Angelina then put the boot in by saying that most of the money was just a loan that she’s having to pay back with interest.
Wham! He claims she wants to manipulate the media into branding him a deadbeat dad.
It once again proves that no one knows what’s going on inside someone else’s marriage.
It might look perfect bliss on the outside, but we have no idea what tense battles are being fought on a daily basis behind closed doors.
Despite us all being spoon-fed stories of their perfect relationship over the years, and shown photos of their wedding when the children drew pictures on Angelina’s beautiful white dress, it appears that this relationship has been on the rocks for quite some time.
Brad’s friends claim she is fired up with anger over the custody battle and doesn’t want the children to have any sort of relationship with their father.
They have slammed her for going public instead of having the divorce hammered out in front of a private judge.
Her friends counterclaim that he drank too much and was “rough” with one of the children, thought to be Maddox, the eldest, while they were on a private plane.
He was cleared of any wrongdoing, but mud sticks and this was highly damaging as well as deeply distressing for Brad.
These two extremely gifted, pampered, beautiful people might have met on a movie set and become infatuated with each other, but this is not a film.
This is real life and there are six bewildered youngsters caught up in the eye of the storm.
There’s the aforementioned Maddox, 17, then Pax, 14, Zahara, 13, Shiloh, 12, and ten-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox.
Shiloh and the twins are the biological children of Brad and Angelina, but they have all been brought up to think of themselves as full brothers and sisters, and just one big family.
So it must now be extremely unsettling for them to see all the news reports about custody fights and money squabbles, and to have witnessed friends of their parents forced into taking sides.
I have no idea whether the children witnessed any arguments or screaming matches between their parents, but there surely must have been an uncomfortable atmosphere at home in the months before the split.
The poor, wee children actually have their own psychiatrists that Brad’s friends claim he pays for.
And they have round-the-clock bodyguards available.
As with so many splits, money has reared its ugly head, and despite their enormous wealth (it’s estimated that Brad is worth £202million and that Angelina has a personal fortune of £125million) it would appear that it’s all coming down to cold, hard cash.
We are a long, long way from the heady Brangelina days when they were the world’s sexiest couple and couldn’t keep their hands off each other.
Sadly, most white-hot affairs tend to fizzle out when domesticity kicks in and you need to change nappies and wipe snot from little faces.
Even with a team of nannies, six children running around is probably one of the biggest passion killers of all time.
So, it’s a real shame that Brad and Angelina couldn’t make it work, but sadder still that their dirty washing is being aired for all the world to see.
But theirs is not the only love story to turn rancid . . .
ROMEO and Juliet ended in tragedy; at the end of Gone With The Wind, Rhett tells Scarlett that he doesn’t give a damn about her; reality TV romances rarely last beyond the first glossy magazine spread.
Docs go boozing like us
I’M not in the least bit surprised that doctors don’t trust us to tell the truth when it comes to how much booze we guzzle.
Apparently they nod wisely when we solemnly declare that we have but one small sherry on a Sunday night while watching Songs of Praise, and then they simply double whatever we say or put down a number that seems most likely.
New info this week says that just 40 per cent of patients tell the truth to their GPs when it comes to how much they drink every week.
Frankly, I’m astonished the figure is that high.
Most of us play down our booze intake and exaggerate the amount of exercise we do, but even as we are telling such huge porkies, we all know in our hearts that our doctors aren’t the least bit fooled.
We want them to think we are model citizens and that our bodies are temples, but in the long run we need to tell the truth so we can get a proper diagnosis and treatment.
And always bear in mind you can’t kid a kidder.
There are lots of doctors who overindulge and they know all the tricks and cover-ups.
Do not miss Moss
IT’S the final episode of The Handmaid’s Tale tomorrow night, and I will be watching from behind the sofa to find out the fate of our heroine June.
She inhabits a world where women have no rights, and handmaids are ritually raped, mutilated and even killed.
It’s not easy viewing, but Elisabeth Moss has been mesmerising throughout as June, whose first child was ripped from her arms, and whose newborn baby was also taken away from her.
I’m bracing myself for an emotional rollercoaster and Miss Moss should clear her sideboard for a slew of awards.
The Handmaid’s Tale, Sunday, Channel 4, 9pm.
Kick ass kidder
WHAT sad news to discover that Margot Kidder, who shone so very brightly as the feisty and fiercely intelligent Lois Lane in the original Superman movies, died by suicide.
Margot’s death happened back in May, but it was revealed this week that she died as a rfesult of a “self-inflicted drug and alcohol overdose”.
The 69-year-old suffered from depression and other mental health issues, which became worse after a car accident in 1990 left her wheelchair-bound for almost two years and facing mounting debts.
She had a very tough time but she tried hard to sort out her life and cope with her illness.
We should remember her in her heyday.
I loved the fact she wasn’t a conventional glamour puss at a time when any actress playing the “love interest” in an action movie was usually a busty blonde doing little more than squeaking and waiting to be rescued.
Lois Lane was a kick-ass reporter who adored Superman but also made fun of him during four movies between 1978 and 1987.
Those films had real heart and soul and – if you ignore the rather wobbly special effects – are far more entertaining than many of the over-long, over-loud and rather self-important superhero movies of today.
A sorry affair
I’M no fan of his, but I don’t think Boris Johnson should be forced to apologise for likening woman who wear burkas to letter boxes.
It’s his opinion.
You very well might disagree, but getting him to say sorry won’t make him stop thinking such thoughts.
He will just stop writing and uttering that particular view in public and instead will voice it in private.
And that, in my opinion, is far more dangerous.
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