TMZ: The FBI ‘never opened an investigation’ into Brad Pitt’s plane incident


Back on September 22nd, there was some crazy back-and-forth reporting on Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and what exactly went down on their private plane. While the story keeps shifting, most sources are in agreement that there was a verbal altercation between Brad and Angelina, and that Maddox tried to get in between them because he was defending his mom. There was some kind aggressive contact, with Brad likely striking Maddox, although it’s up in the air as to Brad’s intent.

Originally, TMZ reported that Brad was being investigated by the LAPD for child abuse, but hours later the LAPD spokesperson was like “not really.” Then we heard that Pitt was actually being investigated by the FBI because it was an international, multi-state flight. Throughout it all, sources have maintained that Brad is also facing an investigation from the L.A. County Dept. of Children and Family Services (DCFS) for what went down on the plane. We also heard that Angelina has no interest in seeing Brad prosecuted for anything. Which is good news, I guess, because it looks like the FBI weren’t really investigating jack sh-t.

Brad Pitt will not be prosecuted for the incident on his private jet … in fact, we’ve learned there was never an investigation in the first place because FBI sources say there’s no case. TMZ broke the story … after the L.A. County Dept. of Children and Family Services started its investigation into allegations Brad struck his 15-year-old son on a private jet, the LAPD was notified and turned the matter over to the FBI, which has jurisdiction.

Well-placed law enforcement sources tell us the FBI never opened an investigation, and say the matter should never have even been referred to the agency. The Bureau’s official position is that they are still fact-gathering, though they are not calling it an investigation. Behind the scenes, we’re told the case will go nowhere.

As we reported, Maddox suffered no injuries and some witnesses on the jet say Brad’s contact with the boy was inadvertent. Sources connected with Angelina Jolie put it out there that she did not want Brad prosecuted, but the reality is … that was never going to happen anyway.

DCFS has interviewed family members but, as far as we know, the dept. has taken no action with respect to custody. As we reported, for now Angelina has full physical custody of the couple’s 6 kids.

[From TMZ]

I don’t understand the semantic argument being made here – the FBI is “fact-gathering” but they’re totally not “investigating.” As in, the FBI has already made the decision that they don’t want to investigate the incident but someone, somewhere is… making phone calls? Talking to Brad? Did FBI agents just call him and ask him what happened and decide “sure, let’s take his word for it”? Or did they decide to fact-gather by reading People Magazine? In any case, as I’ve said before, it’s pretty clear that whatever happened on the plane was the absolute deal-breaker for Angelina, but it doesn’t follow that she ever wanted to see Brad criminally prosecuted for anything. It’s still pretty clear that prosecution was never her endgame. Her endgame involved bolting with the kids and giving Brad a major wakeup call about his behavior.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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57 Responses to “TMZ: The FBI ‘never opened an investigation’ into Brad Pitt’s plane incident”

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  1. Fa says:

    It was TMZ reported Brad was investigated by FBI and now they’re saying there was not any case open against Brad who are these sources that lying to them with false information

    • roses says:

      Plus TMZ had already said this would probably go nowhere with the FBI earlier on so why are they rehashing it now.

    • I Choose Me says:

      And that is precisely why you have to always take the words of ‘sources’ with a boulder of salt.

      So far Kaiser’s summation of what actually happened seems accurate. There was an incident on the plane, it was a deal breaker or the last straw for Angelina. What we know to be true is that DCFS in investigating and the family is getting counseling. Any and everything else is merely speculation or a conflation of the facts.

      Major Side eye to TMZ who reported the investigation in the first place for their spin.

      • Kori says:

        I’ve been saying this all along. We know very little for fact as there have been few statements, with little info. The rest is ‘sources’.

    • Jellybean says:

      I think more than anything it was a reaction to the sources who said Jolie would not cooperate with a prosecution. I watched the TMZ live show where they discussed that. Harvey said it was complete BS, that there was never going to be a prosecution in a case like this and going out of the way to state that she wouldn’t cooperate was clearly a PR move. My impression was that they had to look into it since it was reported, but opening an investigation is a more formal step, which they would only take if it was warranted. Also, whatever happened they would liaise with child services who certainly were investigating the incident and looking for patterns of behaviour prior to that.

    • Kate says:

      They gave their articles click-baity titles like ‘Pitt being investigated by FBI’, but the actual articles pretty much just said what this does, that the case was passed onto the FBI due to the incident happening in the air.

      Their source on this seems to be reliable, but obviously gossip sites are going to spin it to get clicks.

    • Fixer of nothing says:

      Maybe a new twist by the fixer’s mr pitt? Only he wasted and completely crazy on a plane with a few kids. No big deal, you know. So it’s a return to the narrative She pushed my buttons?
      Kinda fell sorry for this man and his desperation for to conserve a public image, poor rich man.

    • Lalu says:

      I know. When this story originally broke I heard he had hi jacked a fuel car and was trying to leave in it. Then I read that never happened.

  2. paolanqar says:

    Again: the wrong info spread by the media can ruin families and careers.
    Stop judging peeps, we will never know the real truth so don’t just believe anything you read.

    • Seraphina says:

      Agreed. Who really knows? Brad and AJ. And we will never know. Just proves we are all human. That tends to elude us at times.

    • Aren says:

      It’s very sad really. And some people’s comments still want to try to adapt the information to some sort of theory.
      It was a lie, some benefited from it and some didn’t, that’s it.

  3. Crumpet says:

    They are fact gathering but not investigating sounds to me like they are trying to determine if a formal investigation needs to be opened.

    • Bob says:

      I think they are gathering the facts they need to fill out the paperwork explaining why they will not be opening an investigation and registering their irritation that the case was referred to them.

      The feds generally don’t file charges for things that happen on planes unless it was affecting the overall safety of the flight (assaulting crew members would count as that).

  4. KellzBellz says:

    “Angelina Jolie put it out there that she did not want Brad prosecuted, but the reality is … that was never going to happen anyway.”

    So Angelina WAS behind that manipulative statement!

    Who are all these “witnesses?” I thought private jets were…private?

  5. B n A fn says:

    Private are private but they have a pilot, and stewardess. Also, I’m sure there were body guards, and Nancy’s. As I said before, I’m going to wait until I hear from Brad and Angelina because there are to many people trying to make a buck off them even if they have to write garbage.

  6. Tulip Garden says:

    This is such a dramatic public separation. I know it would have been big news regardless but, wow.
    The good news is it has gone mostly quiet and I think it will stay that way. Uninteresting for us but fantastic for the kids.

  7. Colette says:

    Another case of TMZ as well as all these sites pulling stuff out their asses.I don’t believe any of them because all them post contradictory statements.So either their sources are liars or they are making up some of this stuff up.
    Personally I am glad none of them are reporting concrete stuff about Brad visitation with his kids as in when,where he met his kids.Also stuff about their family therapy sessions.

  8. mini says:

    you always hit it right on the head. Seems like Brad has been in pout mode for the last two years. Perhaps the stress of Angie’s health took it’s toll on him as well as her, It could not have been easy even with all their money. Six kids, health issues, work issues and disagreements in general are enough to put any couple in therapy. As long as they can afford it. I wish the JP family well.

    • Kelly says:

      ITA, I also can’t underestimate the toll her immediate plunge into menopause took on her mental and emotional health. It seems to me that therapy is the best thing for this couple and family.

      • KB says:

        I was also wondering about the effect of menopause, but I didn’t want to be chased out with fiery torches. Some women suffer more than others mentally and emotionally.

  9. molly says:

    Tmz keep putting stuff out there bacause they have gotten lots of hits from it. Doesn’t matter if it doesn’t ring true as long as they profit from it.

  10. spidey says:

    Would be interesting to know who did actually start this story, because the motivation depends on the person.

  11. Ana says:

    “Normally with DCFS if the allegations were unfounded the case would be closed immediately after the referral stage so I’m not so sure its that cut and dry with what’s going here. Since Pitt admitted he was drunk and the anonymous caller stated he got verbally abusive and physical with the child in my opinion, DCFS would definitely investigate. Also, the child would give his account as to what happened which could also make things difficult since he’s probably hurt and upset by his dads actions. DCFS then determines if the incident is substantiated, unsubstantiated, or indicated. Honestly the whole thing is just a mess for the parents and kids. Regarding the FBI, I had a feeling it would go nowhere with them and it being solely in DCFS hands but as some stated above TMZ had already mentioned this earlier last week about the FBI. With Jolie filing for divorce, she is now considered a non-offending parent in this situation which means if there is some truth to any of this, the kids will definitely benefit from this move she made. DCFS involvement is serious for any family that has to deal with them so they all have my sympathy.”

  12. Kelly says:

    I don’t believe it was the incident on the plane that made her file for divorce. As her side has said, it built over time. Also she had already rented the Malibu house to move into and had a top attorney in place. It sounds like what ever happened on the plane my have been blown out of proportion and now the various agencies are agreeing nothing big happened.

    • Colette says:

      That’s not true her attorney said she had not heard from AJ in years until she called the week of the plane incident.Also if she had planned to rent a house she would have rented one in a gated community at a better price than $95K a month.

  13. molly says:

    What i find despicable, is that legal files are published by scum that is tmz. They have no privacy with anything anymore. Harvey levin admitted he pays off legal clerks, airport workers, drivers ,estate agents, so they can’t do anything without it being reported.

    • Jellybean says:

      ….and yet, some will claim the information has always been fed to them by the celebrities.

      I personally think it is a mixture of the two, but I agree it is despicable the way court documents are handed over to TMZ. It is utter hypocrisy when media outlets criticize someone for negative comments made about a spouse and the impact on the children, when those comments would have remained private if THEY hadn’t paid for them and printed them. With the best will in the world sometimes a person may have to fight in the courts and it may get messy, but these leaks make it a 100 times worse, even if they don’t misrepresent what was said.

  14. Fixer of nothing says:

    We are loosing the perspective, IMO, what matters: the alleged fbi investigation or the behaviour of a drunk father who became almost physical with one of his kids. Remeber his team said and quote “he was drunk, he didn’t strike maddox ‘in the face’ “.
    Something is rotten…smell to much like an intent to protec a publc image

    • Ollie says:

      His team said nothing! “A source near him” said this stuff which is code for some gossip side made it up

      • Louise177 says:

        The only sources I believe are People Magazine because 99% of the info comes from the celebrity’s team. Brad’s source did say he was drunk, fighting with Maddox, and did put his hands on him. I don’t think there was actual physical abuse, pushing/shoving at worse. But people keep ignoring that Brad was drunk and Maddox seemed so concerned that he felt he needed to come between Brad and Angelina.

  15. Ollie says:

    No surprise.

    Oh and we now know Melissa Etheridge said the truth. Several gossip sides received threats from Jolie’s team. Perez Hilton was one of them. They want him to stop his reporting about the divorce or Jolie will sue him. He is a Brangeloonie and was so hurt he posted his responce letter on Twitter and co.

    • Lalu says:

      I saw that. He took it very personally. I don’t read his stuff but everything I saw about it said that he is a big supporter of Jolie.

    • Maya says:

      How about reading the letter Perez posted? Angelina’s team said that they will sue if media posted anything about her children.

      Melissa is vile and did say something about the case.

      • Lalu says:

        Was Melissa talking about the children?

      • Em' says:

        I am sorry but celebrities can not have it both ways. They can not talk at length about their kids and family when promoting projects and then, when sh! hits the propeller threaten to sue bloggers who are daring to write about it.
        And don’t tell me they never exposed their kids because they were never shy of talking about their family. They fed the interest of the public. This is classic Hollywood entitlement.

      • Lalu says:

        EM… I agree that they have not kept their children hidden away… In fact, I feel like their kids and family were a huge part if the image they were promoting. However, I do think that the media should keep the kid’s names out of it because it is the right thing to do.
        Maya said that these threats that Jolie’s people were issuing to the media etc were about the children and I was just thinking that I don’t remember Melissa actually saying anything about the children. I don’t like Melissa and it wasn’t her business… But I don’t think this was about the children so much as it was people trashing Jolie.

      • Em' says:

        @Lalu I was responding to Maya 🙂
        I agree with you. But I also understand medias and bloggers : it is almost impossible to talk about Brandgelinomore without talking about their kids. As you said, they turned their family into a package deal.
        I find it easy when celebs blame the medias as if they never benefit from them.

        They both seriously mishandled communication on their divorce which is weird coming from these two master PR players

    • Kelly says:

      It’s sad for him. He was disappointed that after all his positive coverage, she turned on him.

  16. teacakes says:

    What are they going to tell us next, that BP never got drunk and went “nose to nose” with his fifteen-year-old son on an airplane? Do they expect us all to forget that part?

    I hope this goes quiet soon, for the kids’ sake.

    • Lalu says:

      Blown way out of proportion. I have been “nose to nose” with my 14 year old son except he is almost a foot taller than I am. This happens in families sometimes and it doesn’t mean that Pitt is a child abuser.

    • Fixer of nothing says:

      Exactly like that. And please do it before Allied premiere!
      Only drunk (around kids, on a plane!) and almost physical with a teen BUT NEVER UNDER NVESTIGATION.

  17. Lalu says:

    I think it was pretty obvious from the very beginning that this was a family incident blown way out of proportion.

  18. Agapanthus says:

    I thought the endgame was that AJ wanted ‘sole physical custody’? Seems like her lawyers/PR/team have pulled (her?) back on this one, given that it is very rare and there would have to be solid evidence of abuse.

  19. Louise177 says:

    This isn’t breaking news. It was never believed that there was a serious incident. I think most people assumed that it was a minor but still troubling alteration. Angelina asked for temporary custody. If she wanted to cut Brad out of the kids life, she would have asked for sole legal custody. I haven’t read the legal letters but it sounds like Perez Hilton’s was more of a form letter given to a bunch of outlets. Melissa Etheridge attacked Angelina and even said all allegations are false, made up by Angelina. Although she admitted she hasn’t spoken to Brad in over 10 years, to me Melissa acted like she knew about the situation. It’s one thing to speak in general but she got very specific.

    • Nemera77 says:

      thanks you.

      there are things happening that people don’t know. It is good that they are dealing with this all in private.

    • Carmen says:

      How would she know if the allegations were false? How would she know anything about what went down if she hadn’t spoken to Brad in 10 years? And I don’t think Angie would even give her the time of day. She’s a has-been making sh*t up to try to gain some relevance, but since her own personal life wouldn’t stand close scrutiny, who is she to talk?

  20. Carmen says:

    “Her endgame involved bolting with the kids and giving Brad a major wakeup call about his behavior.”

    Interesting. Do you think her endgame involves actually following through with the divorce? What if Brad needs the wakeup call and gets his act together?

    • Fixer of nothing says:

      The whole situation, the altercation in public and the next DCFS intervention, is a non return situation. They are end like a couple but still parents. It’s totally naive to think she did a wake up call for to save their marriage, maybe for to save his relationship with his own kids (if he has the alleged issues, strong feeling he has them). Huge difference. MO.