Angelina Jolie on her separation from Brad: ‘I didn’t recognize myself anymore’

So far, the promotion for Maleficent: Mistress of Evil was everything I ever hoped for. It’s been a while since we’ve gotten a big promo tour from Angelina Jolie, and even when she did speak years ago, it was often in cryptic riddles. I get it though – she was still off-kilter to a certain extent, still figuring out the next steps of her life post-Brad, making sure the kids were okay and healthy and adjusting to their new reality. Angelina has already talked a bit about how she hasn’t always felt safe. She said “There have been times in my life where I have felt — and maybe I’ve hidden them well from the public — where I have not felt free, I have not felt safe, I have not felt like free of harm. I have felt small. I have felt cornered. And it has taken a lot to find that again, probably more of that today than I was in the last four years.” Now she’s talking even more about that in her Madame Figaro interview (the interview is in French and LaineyGossip translated these quotes):

Jolie’s wild side: “I feel like I’m coming full-circle. For this new Guerlain campaign, I asked myself: what is expected of me? And the answer was that I want to be who I’ve always been. So instead of hiding my wild side, I’m bringing it out. I want to feel free.”

Her future/destiny: “I do not know about destiny, but I’m certain that I’m in transition, and this is a homecoming, I’m coming back to myself. Because I was a little lost.”

A little lost? “I think it was at the end of my relationship with Brad and then when we separated. It was complicated, I didn’t recognise myself anymore, and I’d become, how do I say this, smaller, insignificant, even if I didn’t show it. I was profoundly, deeply sad, I was hurt. On the other hand, it was interesting to tap into this humility and sense of insignificance. In the end, that’s human. And on top of that, I was dealing with some health issues. All of these things ground you and remind you of how lucky you are to be alive. It’s a lesson I pass onto my children: the idea of renewal, and through it all, the possibility of joy. I had to rediscover the joy.”

[From Madame Figaro via LaineyGossip]

“I didn’t recognise myself anymore, and I’d become, how do I say this, smaller, insignificant, even if I didn’t show it. I was profoundly, deeply sad, I was hurt.” Much like the quotes she gave to E! News last week, Angelina does not say “Brad emotionally abused me.” It definitely feels like the subtext though. Plus, she’s leaving room to have a larger conversation about toxic relationships, or relationships that become toxic over the years because of one person’s addiction issues. On a happier note, she’s gone through all of that and come out on the other side. I wish her all the happiness in the world.

World Premiere Of Disney's 'Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil'

Photos courtesy of Instagram, Backgrid and WENN.

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76 Responses to “Angelina Jolie on her separation from Brad: ‘I didn’t recognize myself anymore’”

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  1. Snowslow says:

    What’s with the dirty bath water on the cover? Blergh.

    • Fan says:

      Dirty bath water?
      Donkey Milk….

    • DS9 says:

      It’s a milk bath.

      Dirt isn’t usually white.

      • Snowslow says:

        I don’t know about you guys but when I take a bath and have washed my body with soap, my bath water looks like this. I usually don’t get dirty enough to make bath water go all muddy ffs.

        I maintain that this looks very blergh to me as a mag cover. You’re absolutely welcome to disagree but I wasn’t expecting to comment about the colour of bath water in this thread 😂🤷🏽‍♀️.

    • delilah says:

      It looks sexy as anything.

    • Allie says:

      I am pretty sure a picture with clean water would have been on another type of magazine or no magazine at all because female nipples are evil.

  2. Jess says:

    I get what she means. I’m still dealing with the ways my toxic marriage changed me – increasing my anxiety, making me more fearful – and it’s been several years now since I left my ex.

    • Kate says:

      Me as well. With time it has become easier to recognize when the source of my fear/anxiety is from the behaviors learned during my marriage rather than an event in my current life. But wow, how come the bad stuff has such staying power. Best of luck to you Jess!

    • MariaS says:

      Me too, Jess. I don’t trust my instincts anymore and I can’t see any other relationship not going the same route: gaslighting, emotional abuse, infidelity and then abandonment. I know this narrative doesn’t serve me in the end but it’s where I still am 8 years later.

    • Anna says:

      I was just wondering about this personally last week…thinking how it is entirely possible that I have undiagnosed PTSD that has been going on for decades, from the first abusive relationship I encountered and other life circumstances, wondering if I can trust any decisions I’ve made since then in the relationship department because of the unaddressed issues… Trying to imagine what life would look like from a healed perspective even though I know it’s a process.

    • Myrtle says:

      Same. It took me almost 10 years to feel like myself again after leaving an emotionally abusive relationship, and even so I can still get triggered.

      • SolitaryAngel says:

        Same here. I’m bipolar and it was hard dealing with the abuse and the rapes (he was a very large, strong man and he took me whenever HE wanted), and the PTSD on top of it. It’s been 13 years since I took my son and ran; I break out in a cold sweat anytime I even think about being intimate with someone. My trust is gone, my man-picker is clearly broken, and I don’t think I’ll ever get past it. I’m lonely, but I doubt myself so much that loneliness is preferable to trying a new relationship. It took years before I could sleep with the lights off because after I left him, he would break into my house and I’d wake up in the dark with him on me. I have nightmares about it still. He had this old truck that sounded really loud; even now I can hear a vehicle like that and have a panic attack. I have panic attacks if someone knocks on the door really loudly because he used to do that; cutting my phone line, stealing things out of my vehicle (he took the battery out of my car once), trying to run me off the road while I was driving, etc…He has been in prison since 2003 for 40 years no possibility of parole for some of the things he did to me and to 2 poor underage girls. My mom’s best friend was the judge on that case and he made sure my ex was GONE. I still have nightmares that he escapes and comes after me again, even though I know it’s not possible. I’ve had years of therapy, and adjusting my meds to control the bipolar issue along with the PTSD but it’s still hell. I trust no one except for my son. I’m pretty sure I’m broken for good. 🙁 But I try every day and it’s hard work just trying to maintain. I feel for all of you who’ve gone through this too. Stay strong, my sisters in pain….

  3. Patty says:

    She’s really working overtime to sell this sequel. I can’t believe that celebrities still haven’t realized that mystique is part of the appeal. In the last couple of days she’s basically said she was “pressured” into getting married as if she was some poor destitute woman from a third world country who had no other options and now we know she apparently didn’t know how to maintain her own identity when she was married – to which I say boo hoo. She sounds like just another privileged 1% with too much time and money on her hands.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      And you sound incredibly bitter and judgmental.
      And if you were really about celebs maintaining “mystery” YOU wouldn’t be on a gossip site commenting about them.

      • Cicily says:

        And if you were really about celebs maintaining “mystery” YOU would be on a gossip site commenting about them .
        Thank you for this @Valiantly Varnished

      • otaku fairy.... says:


      • Oracle says:

        Boom! LOL I never understand why people come here to a site that literally says it’s about bitching and celebrities, to pine for ‘maintaining mystery?’ By the way, the only ‘celebs,’ able to “maintain mystery,” are the ones people don’t care enough to read about.

        It would crack me up how people would say, “Oh golly gee…I don’t get why (insert huge worldwide superstar’s name here) needs to parade the kids around (i.e., be seen in public with her/his children – GASP!!)…when (insert name of D-lister, or anonymous spouse of Matt Damon) can have privacy without any problem at all.” yea, wonder why that is…? LMAO

      • Jaded says:

        This VV – it doesn’t matter that she’s rich and famous — hearts can get broken, marriages can fall apart, partners can be toxic and it affects us all the same way. She describes it perfectly.

    • DS9 says:

      So basically you know nothing of how toxic and/or abusive relationships develop and shouldn’t be permitted to speak in polite company..

    • SWEETSUN says:

      I personally prefer women with a platform to speak out on issues like this; to shine a light on things that remain in the dark and encourage silence. She has not vilified anyone, she has spoken on the ways that she lost herself in a relationship. Because ultimately she is human.

      The world is going to the crapper and the times of mystery (which veiled toxicity and a lot of messed up sh*t in Hollywood) are over. We are all returning to each other. Humanity and humanness are needed more than ever. No one needs glitz, glamour, and illusion. Also, this woman has earned the right to tell her story.

    • roseplot says:

      I could have sworn US Weekly put out that story (which probably made up) about her being pressured into a marriage. Also this interview was not for the sequel but when she had done promo for Guerlain!

    • DaisySharp says:

      I think every woman is entitled, and should be given the space to, speak about her pain. I thought the same thing about Aniston, who was entitled to speak about being hurt and publicly humiliated by her husband. I think the same for AJ.

      Not many give BOTH of them this courtesy and respect though, trust.

    • truth hurts says:

      Sell what? He went on a two week tour and did two GQ mag interviews wanting sympathy and she says three lines and she wants attention?? Girl bye!!!!!!!! This world would be better off without women like yourself with that type of nonsense.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      Yes. because money and fame make one immune from feelings, emotions, crappy marriages, health issues, etc. If you’re wealthy, you can’t be pressured into anything? You’re not allowed to have things happen in your life? Miss me with THAT crapola.

    • tealily says:

      Didn’t realize you couldn’t be emotionally abused or manipulated unless you were destitute and from a third world country.


    • Hmmm says:

      You had no problem with brads multiple pity party interviews. Hell he even had the nerve to pose teary eyed for gq magazine for his first round of pity me interviews. Too funny. He used his own daddy, his divorce, his alcoholism to sell dad disastra but you have an issue with a woman telling her truth.

    • MC2 says:

      Who pissed in your cheerios this morning? I hope you hold kinder judgement & compassion for the people in your life. Yikes.

    • Oracle says:

      To @Patty: Working ‘overtime?’ Isn’t that what all stars are contractually obligated to do? By the way, doesn’t seem like overtime to me, Angie usually does print interviews and premieres – she stays off late night TV. Maybe a 60minutes here or a Nightline there. So she doesn’t do a lot of what other actors do.

      It’s bizarre however, that some of these bitter types are happy as pie to see millionairess Jen Aniston doing 101 ‘Brad Who?’ interviews, cry in Oprah’s bosom, and lash out at Angelina to sell her cute dog movie.

      But Angelina alludes to her personal life in a few interviews and you’re all up in arms?

      Why the hypocrisy?

    • M says:

      My first husband abused me to the point that he put me in the hospital for a week so I think I have a little bit of experience in the matter of toxic relationships. I also have experience with manipulative relationships and I would say both Brad and Angelina are extremely manipulative. Which makes sense because to rise in Hollywood you have to know how to play the very vicious Hollywood game. I worked in Hollywood on the business side for a couple of years and it was amazingly toxic, Only manipulators survive. Her comments about not feeling safe, etc. are designed to talk crap about her ex and make herself like good. Just like Brad’s good boy routine is intended to do for him. I don’t believe Angelina did not feel safe in the way I did not feel safe. Nor did she get manipulated by Brad. Those two gave each other as good as they got. If there were ever 2 people who did not deserve anyone’s sympathy, its these 2.

      • Sierra says:

        Sorry but your experience has turned you into someone who is bitter. I would’ve thought you would have more sympathy because of your experience but it seems it went the other way.

        I am sorry for what you have been through but that doesn’t give you the right to dismiss/ignore/downplay another woman’s experience.

      • Truth hurts says:

        Probably his first ex wife’s agents intern making comments like that.

    • Myrtle says:

      I thought a “source” made that pressured comment.

  4. Valiantly Varnished says:

    I am glad that she is – in her own way – telling her side of the story. After what has unfolded over these last three years it has shown a side of Brad that is manipulative and insensitive and paired with what she has said leads me to believe that their was indeed a lot of emotional and perhaps verbal abuse. And it can take awhile to heal psychologically from that.

    • DaisySharp says:

      Really, it’s just in the past three years he has shown a side of being manipulative and insensitive? He wasn’t manipulative and insensitive to Aniston??? Did that not count because she didn’t have bradley’s little babies? Do you have to have a man’s babies before you are entitled to be treated with some damned respect? Honestly, his behavior is NO surprise to me.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        First off – slow your roll. Your comment comes off as aggressive AF and it’s a Monday and I’m tired and I’m not here for it. Big sigh… Aniston played a huge role in her OWN narrative. Mainly vilifying Angelina and playing the victim role while it suited her. Do I think Brad was manipulative towards her? Yes. Do I think she also played a huge role in the narrative? Yes.
        Have a nice day.

      • DaisySharp says:

        You’re blaming the woman, which means it’s okay to blame Aniston but get mad when some blame AJ. I support both women. I support women. That’s why I usually do have nice days.

      • Oracle says:

        Really @DaisySharp ? You want to compare someone living with an addiction, and being an out of control substance abuser terrorizing their family (allegedly) to Aniston’s four year marriage breaking up because one person wanted out?

        Ok girl, you do you.

        Really don’t see how you compare Angelina, mother of six and her 14 year relationship to Brad eventually going bust due to alcoholism and other substance abuse issues, with Aniston and his much shorter rebound relationship where they claimed at the time that their breakup was mutual, that they remained friends and that no third parties were involved – to which both she and her close girlfriends have always asserted.

        If you want to say, ‘we told you so,’ (which most Aniston-stans have been dying to do for 14yrs) then go right ahead. But it’s really not the same at all. Brad was talking about he and Aniston maybe going bust a year or two before he even met Angelina. Sorry that Angie did the leaving and didn’t get left in the dust, like you wanted her to, same as Aniston. But it’s best to just leave the Female First level hate, envy and bitterness in the early aughts.

      • Jaded says:

        DaisySharp – Brad bailed on JA, not vice-versa. If he hadn’t maybe they’d still be married, maybe not. They were both heavy pot-heads in those days and partying was the common ground for them, but he got greedy and jumped ship. However he never really grew up and his addiction issues clearly escalated over the 14 years he was with AJ and she and JA are both well rid of him. He’s a smug man-baby who didn’t know how to adult or parent properly and AJ did the right thing by leaving him when he got violent with Maddox. Any mother would do the same thing.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        @Oracle Okay?! The SAME Aniston stans who spent a DECADE vilifying Angelina. But sure… “Women First”. Women supporting women…

      • Starkiller says:

        Better than halfway through the comments before Aniston’s name pooped up! That must be some sort of record!!

  5. TheOriginalMia says:

    I think it’s important for her to speak about how a toxic relationship can effect a person, even someone perceived as strong or having BDE as she was. She felt small and vulnerable. And she had to fight her way through those insecurities to find joy in her life again. Good for her!

  6. Ok says:


  7. Oy vey says:

    OKAY!! This is the Jolie I want to see and hear from. She excels in the medium of being photographed. We need to see her as her. Hear about her and not sad-dad-Brad. I remember having this awakening after raising a family with a selfish narcissist. I’ll go even further. Dealing with my ex, who I had maintained a friendship with, 10 years on, I realize he was and is still the jerk I thought he was. I rarely text with him and no longer take his crybaby calls. He has no one left in his life except a woman who is more controlling and nuts than even he is and he has grown Zero% while I have had the weight of the world lifted off of my shoulders. Bloom woman!! and don’t be afraid to let a little freak flag fly, because people respect you when you are genuine.

    • truth hurts says:

      Agree. It hurt her to be attacked by his PR machine. But mostly hurt by Mad and Brad deteriorating relationship end up in violence. She had to be there for those kidos and herself. That is draining emotionally and physically.
      Some say karma and appauded when they separated. Ok well karma is coming to you! Those kids lost their family and had to witness a lot including people verbally attacking their mother.

      • Oy vey says:

        Well…I’m a real believer in karma, but the thing about karma is that it can be instant, it can sneak up on you, or if you are lucky, it can be a lesson in life as she has shared here. Being diminished is easy when you give everything to everyone…but, YOU are still in there somewhere, and if ya gotta take a few hard knocks to re-awaken and be you…it’s well worth it.

  8. Sierra says:

    She looks absolutely gorgeous these days. Have you seen her in Rome today? Wow, smoking hot again.

    That’s what a happy environment does to you. Once she cane out of that toxic relationship, she is blossoming.

    • minx says:

      She really does look better than ever. Her kids seem to be doing well, her career is flourishing.

  9. eilishb86 says:

    I love this cover! Reminds me of her bombshell era when she was just starting out. I’m glad she’s getting her wild side back because she was becoming a little boring when she was with Brad.

    This cover is a promotion for the new Guerlain ‘Intense’ perfume where the theme is wild and free. This is not a promo for Maleficent. You think Disney would allow this as a promotion for their kid friendly movie? Lmao.

  10. sue denim says:

    I wonder if the abuse was physical as well, hope not but it sounds like it might have been — even just the threat of it is scary. Good for her for finding her way out and back to herself.

    • Carmen says:

      I doubt it. Angie may look small and fragile, but she knows how to handle herself. She is nobody’s punching bag and never was.

      • MC2 says:

        Erg….this is not the bench mark for if physical abuse occurs in a relationship. Many, many strong women are physically abused & it only takes once (then, hopefully they leave but they are not weak or choosing to be anybody’s punching bag if they don’t).
        Isn’t it wildly accepted that he was raging at her on the plane & somehow hit their son?! Yea, the abuse was abuse.

      • Carmen says:

        @MC2: “Wildly” accepted by whom? Nobody knows what happened on that plane. We still don’t know what the final straw that broke them apart was — if it was something Brad did, or something Brad said. I’m leaning toward the latter.

    • DaisySharp says:

      No, her eldest sons wouldn’t have permitted it. I think it may have been bordering on physical, and I actually think that’s what happened with Maddox on the plane. I think he stepped between his mother and Pitt. And pitt shoved him.

  11. Hmmm says:

    I knew his fans would have heatstrokes and meltdowns when Angelina dared to share her side. Her truth, as they call deadbeats thoughts… they all said good for you brad for telling your truth, lol

    Her lousy abusive ex has been on multiple non stop pity parties for his movies but y’all freak when she tells her truth. The problem is his fans want her and her kids to disappear so the truth about their beloved toxic pit is never revealed. They have even attacked Maddox for being estranged and not really caring about his daddy dearest. Well, buckle up because I’m willing to be a lot more will be revealed as the rest of those kids get older.

    Angie is no longer a stepford wife !!! Hallelujah!!

  12. 2lazy4username says:

    This resonates so hard with me. I am five months post-split after a 30 year relationship, 21 of those married. It’s unbelievable how much you can totally love somebody and still become toxic together. The death of my marriage was/has been harder for me than the death of my own father. Glad she’s in a better place.

    • Ok says:

      How brave of you to share that.

      I think her telling her story as she did with the cancer scare is important to help break down barriers and allow women to speak up

      • Oracle says:

        It’s so important to share with women. I’ve always admired Angelina’s ability to do that, she’s saved lives – particularly with her BRCA1 gene diagnosis/testing and her surgery journey. When a woman like Angelina Jolie, says: this is what I did to try and save my life, and you can too – here’s what you need to know. It’s EPIC.

        Last week The View had one of their guests, I think she does the steals and deals for ABC and The View on. She had had a breast cancer diagnosis, very recently. She was on to tell her story. How she found it, how her ordinary mammogram hadn’t caught it. Ultimately, how she’s gone through a double mastectomy procedure even though it was only in one breast, she said until they removed the other one, they weren’t even able to see the cancer (floating cells) in the other breast. Long story short, she was so inspiring, she looked beautiful, you could tell she was post operative and had not yet had reconstructive – but she STILL rocked a form fitting orange dress. It took me back to when the word and procedure ‘Mastectomy,’ was so scary and almost life ending for some women, to the point they’d have partial surgeries

        She didn’t mention Angelina, other women have, but I can’t help but KNOW what AJ did, helped changed the game in the way women perceive the procedure and reconstructive surgery. If a global sex symbol like her comes out and does what she did and is sexy and vital and happy to be alive – that resonates with women everywhere.

  13. Cee says:

    Toxic relationships are abusive in itself and they do that to you. I’m glad she’s in a better place now. It takes a while for your self esteem to heal, or to feel safe and confident again.

  14. Adorable says:

    The More Angie talks about the divorce/separation you can tell than she had no choice to do it.It was either Brad or the kids & she chose her kids.They were in a toxic environment & she removed herself & her kids from it,her original comment in the wake of the divorce makes sense with all that we’ve learnt.More Respect to her!

  15. pyritedigger says:

    I actually completely understand where she’s coming from. I ended a 10-year relationship last year, and part of why was I did feel lost and that I had to become less “myself.” It’s not that my partner was capital-letter Toxic or Controlling, but to be in a LTR requires giving up a lot and sacrificing yourself (sometimes in ways that aren’t good). The unhappiness can creep up, and the love in the relationship taps into some really profound things and is not always easy to let go. I do not regret breaking up at all, but it still takes time to get over. I can also say I will definitely never get as involved or cohabit with someone ever again. I think celebrities live extremely charmed lives, but this has definitely resonated with me.

    • DS9 says:

      I’m still married, for now, but I tooootally relate to this. I’ve given so much of myself in 12 years, don’t get much in return, and can’t flip the dynamic because he’s gotten so much all these years that he feels entitled to keep on keeping on.

      All this emotional labor and feeling management is draining. I’m tiiiiiiired.

      And I’ll never marry or live with anyone else again either.

  16. Zut alors says:

    Brangelina was good from far but far from good.

  17. Lowrider says:

    The divorce was for the health of the family. She got dragged for saying this but 3 years later she is proven right. Brad, Angelina and the kids all look happy.

    Brad and Angelina in particular look healthier. 🤷‍♀️

    • Oracle says:

      I’ll give you the healthier looking, but Brad certainly doesn’t sound happy. Nor does he look it. I side-eye anyone who says it. He seems lost and confused, and melancholy. Which I don’t expect anything else, when he’s still probably trying to navigate the new normal and repair trust with his children. If he was looking joyous and relieved I’d wonder wtf was wrong with him.

  18. skeptical says:

    What’s this perfume called? Eau de Toxic Regret?

    • Oracle says:

      This would be a cute if b*tchy joke, if they had gone bust 1 year in, like most Aniston stans were chanting in the goddess circles to happen.

      But 15yrs later, 6 kids, untold millions to charitable causes, new schools, hospitals/clinics, good works – all done together, with an eye on making the world a little bit better and you still got jokes? That’s just bizarre.

      ….I’d say as far as unions go, theirs contributed more great things to the world than the average selfish do-nothing couple, especially those that are partnered with others that just vengefully lash out irrationally on message boards, or wear matching jorts on Cabo beaches.

      • Butterscotch says:

        What is your obsession with Aniston?
        This article is about Angie.
        Let it go…..let it go..let it go…
        You sound mad irrational.

      • skeptical says:

        I think the divorce tour is a bizarre way to promote perfume. I really don’t know what the rest of your speech is about…

    • Ramona Q. says:

      Eau du tests on animals, unfortunately. I wish she didn’t shill Guerlain.

  19. AmyB says:

    I am glad to see Angelina opening up more about this – being in a toxic relationship with a person who has addiction issues. I was married to a heroin/cocaine addict for almost ten years and it literally almost killed me. You are told by your family and loved ones, to stay and “support him”, you made vows, etc. And yes, I did marry him b/c I loved him dearly and wanted to commit my life to him in that significant way. I didn’t know I was marrying an addict though. He lied and manipulated me for years, until he finally came clean about his use, and even then, it was a rollercoaster of repeated rehabs and treatments, relapses and sobriety….you get the picture. He was an amazing man, but under the influence, he was angry, cruel and emotionally abusive. I became sick in the relationship; I was the definition of co-dependent. After my daughter was a few years old, I knew I couldn’t keep repeating this cycle and filed for divorce.

    It literally broke my heart to do this, but I knew I had no choice. I was miserable. And I couldn’t subject my daughter to his raging on/off addiction. He finally got clean several years later, thank God, but it still took me a long time to “recover” and find myself again as well. So I applaud Angie for speaking out….it is beyond difficult to navigate a relationship with someone you love who has addiction issues. I wish I had found Al-non back then.

  20. wtf says:

    I know that the commenters here are fiercely Team Jolie or Team Pitt, but I’ve always thought that their relationship was just always a hot mess. Not that it was anybody’s fault, per se, but they got together during Mr. and Mrs. Smith and it was hot and passionate and it just wasn’t sustainable. When they got together they were probably the most famous actor and actress in the world. Jolie never struck me as the power-couple type. She seemed too free and independent for that. Brad seemed too pot-head, peter pan for it. But somehow they were both kind of forced into that role. It had to be exhausting to maintain.
    I’m just happy they are both moving on.

  21. Meg says:

    Who wouldve thought the wild child with her husband’s blood on her shirt and another in a vile around her neck who had sex in cars before film premieres, would be the stabilizing force in her kids life; not brad Pitt midwestern ‘good guy ‘

  22. Ad says:

    She has achieved her goals, “filing for divorce is for the health of the family” she appears happy & her family appears healthy now! Only them knows facts & their truth! She was right from the start but too many vilified her without knowing the facts.