Is Angelina Jolie suing the FBI for their records from the 2016 plane incident?

In September 2016, something bad went down on a private plane. The whole Jolie-Pitt clan was on the plane, meaning Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and their six children (at the time, all of the kids were minors). We knew at the time that when the plane landed, Angelina took all six kids, went into hiding, hired a divorce attorney, began ghosting Brad and filed for divorce immediately. We also know that even Brad couldn’t get his story straight for weeks/months/years afterward about exactly what happened on the plane. We know it was abuse. We knew it was the red line for Jolie and there was no going back for her. We also know that Brad has been smearing her ever since. The FAA and FBI opened up an investigation into what happened on the plane, but the investigation was closed rather suddenly and without any findings released or arrests made. Now, more than five and a half years later, this was reported in Politico:

Rulings in Freedom of Information Act suits rarely capture much attention in Washington, but an intriguing decision released Monday allowing a woman to anonymously file such a case against the FBI is prompting curiosity about just who is the “JANE DOE” behind the suit. The order from U.S. District Court Chief Judge BERYL HOWELL said the case stems from an FBI investigation into allegations that the plaintiff’s “then-husband … physically and verbally assaulted” her and their children while they were traveling on board a private plane “several years ago.”

The facts Howell outlined — including a statement from the FBI confirming an inquiry into the claims and another statement that the inquiry had been concluded without action — track closely with accusations Hollywood star Angelina Jolie leveled at her then-husband Brad Pitt as she filed for divorce from him in 2016.

The mystery plaintiff also has an unusually high-powered attorney for a FOIA case: Covington & Burling partner Amanda Kramer, the former human trafficking coordinator at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan.

“I’m unable to comment on the identity of Jane Doe, who has sought to preserve the family’s privacy,” Kramer told POLITICO. “Our position is that victims and survivors should be able to access federal agency records of crimes they experienced or reported, as is common at the state level, so they can advocate for help and trauma care and legal protection for their children and themselves. Our client has been seeking such records for years and has been stonewalled and has had to resort to court action to receive those much-needed records. Legislative remedies are necessary.”

Jolie has been a frequent presence on Capitol Hill over the past year, lobbying as recently as February for reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Biden signed the extension measure in March, an event that Jolie attended.

Kramer asked to put the whole FOIA lawsuit under seal, citing the potential impact on the privacy of her client’s minor children. But Howell declined that request, saying that allowing the suit to be filed anonymously would be sufficient to protect the children’s privacy. A lawyer representing Jolie in the divorce case did not respond to a message seeking comment.

A spokesperson for Pitt declined to comment, but pointed POLITICO to the FBI’s statement saying it was closing its inquiry without pursuing charges.

[From Politico]

TMZ also did a report on it, noting that “Angelina Jolie may be trying to sue the FBI…” TMZ’s reporting isn’t anything that Politico didn’t discuss, but they did update their story with this: “A source connected to Angelina and Brad with knowledge tells TMZ … the FBI report was given to both Angelina and Brad following the initial investigation. The source adds the information was submitted in the divorce case.” Yeah… my guess is that update came from Brad’s lawyers and “the FBI report” was probably just the FBI’s statement about not pursuing charges. I remember how quickly the FBI dropped their investigation too, and it definitely felt fishy. I don’t blame Angelina for wanting to get to the bottom of it.

You can read the actual filing here – Jolie’s name isn’t mentioned (obvs), but it is pretty clear that she is the one seeking the FBI records. One of the most notable pieces of information – which was not included in Politico or TMZ’s reporting – is that the FBI dropped their investigation without notifying Angelina. It also sounds like Jolie has been working the FBI channels for a while to try to get her hands on their records but they’ve been stonewalling her. It wasn’t like she just woke up a month ago and decided to sue the FBI. This has all been a very long road for her and she’s going to keep fighting.

Photos courtesy of Instar, Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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40 Responses to “Is Angelina Jolie suing the FBI for their records from the 2016 plane incident?”

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  1. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Whoa. Go on, Ang. The whole thing reeked of misogyny and the very real budding MAGA moment of the FBI as well. Brad, you done f*cked up. Just admit it.

    What’s interesting is that it says that she was also physically abused. So brad got handsy with both her and Maddox, at least. What a rageaholic. One who refuses to accept accountability or change for even his own sake.

    • Josephine says:

      I could definitely see her trying to intervene if he was hitting Maddox. And I could see the opposite as well – Maddox interfering if she was being abused. So sick of the authorities being so willing to protect the reputation of white men who abuse.

    • Dierski says:

      +1 Go on, Ang. Keep fighting that good fight.

  2. Ariel says:

    This brings to my mind the stories of the young women gymnasts who went to the fbi to report sexual abuse and the men of the fbi blew them off.
    White men hurting women and children is a low priority for the fbi.

    • North of Boston says:

      Thanks Ariel! I knew this was giving me deja vu but couldn’t pin down why. It was the sexual abuse of gymnasts case, where the same “it’s okay bro, we’ve got this, NBD” attitude wafted off the response. Urgh! These men in power, sworn to uphold the law, who think protecting women and children from harm by powerful abusive men isn’t worth bothering about.

  3. Erin says:

    Good for her. The FBI seems to handle high profile domestic violence very poorly, and I’m glad she’s fighting to get this info public. Brad is toxic and deserves to be clearly outed as such.

    • Macm says:

      Everyone responds to domestic violence poorly. The FBI responds the same way as everyone else, women don’t matter. Even high profile women.

  4. MattieLove says:

    Do any of the children have anything to do with Brad anymore?

  5. Amy Bee says:

    Good for her.

  6. Jais says:

    Wow, this is crazy. Why shouldn’t she be allowed to see?

  7. sunhine says:

    Sounds like she’s appealing a foia denial and going though the process. Those things are notoriously aggravating to get. They don’t give all the documents and tend to retract information causing you to file another appeal.

    • Beenie says:

      Yep, agreed. But I would trust Covington & Burling to know how to navigate such things. I know the partner responsible for the filing is in NYC but it wouldn’t surprise me if they have a team in DC working on the matter as well.

      • sunhine says:

        She has a lot of connections in DC and i am positive they helped her form a great team. A lot of people don’t any type of representation during the process so she’s ahead of the game there.

  8. Angela says:

    I don’t like TMZ reporting on a Jane Doe filing
    Doesnt seem like a safe practice.

    • sunhine says:

      Same. One of the reasons she wanted to stay anonymous is because of potential physical and mental retaliation to her and the kids. It’s dangerous

    • KFG says:

      I feel like Brad’s team leaked it to try to make her look bad. I feel like he did some shady ish to get the investigation closed and is trying to muddy the waters by leaking.

      • Zut Alors says:

        Pitt is always leaking info so his version is the one that’s widely disseminated. No one bothers to dig any further.

  9. Willow says:

    Dear Judge, how well did that judgment work? Have the children’s privacy been protected? Because you allowed just enough information to stay unsealed so their identity was quickly revealed.

  10. Adorable says:

    Good for her.Even from her advocacy of the bill that recently passed,sounds like she wasn’t aware or didn’t recognize the seriousness of the things that went on in the marriage,until she left..

    • Facts says:

      Brad brought this in himself. He won’t let her be. He is suing her about selling her own shares and gaslit her bigtime for years. Even in his last court filings. She is smart. Build your case and if he wants to sue it out in a public trial as he requested, the whole world is about to hear how/ what he said and did to those kids and her.
      Bring it on Angie. But to say those kids may face retaliation speaks volumes.
      No doubt those meetings and time she spent in Washington was efficient. Someone with more power than Pitts goons are advising her.

  11. Oh-dear says:

    I wonder -if it is Angelina – if it is in response to his lawsuit against her with their vineyard and if she is willing to set precedent for others who don’t have her resources to have access to documents if needed

    • Coco says:

      As what was said in the post this has been going on for a while now, so it has nothing to do with his non -lawsuit.

      In fact that lawsuit was thrown out because Pitt never served Jolie or lawyers with papers. It was all to cover up the fact that Pitt house and office in France we’re all rated by the French police.
      ( I do believe in LA too) As part of the lawsuit the new partner in the wine business has against Pitt. Apparently Pitt up to some shady business with the wine company.

  12. Concern Fae says:

    Also, the twins are almost 14 now, so she probably isn’t as worried about hiding the report from them.

  13. Green Desert says:

    As more and more comes out about this (including Angelina and Zahara’s continued advocacy in Washington)…I don’t know. Part of me hopes that exactly what went down on the plane and whatever Pitt did to shut down the investigation comes to light.

    This is all so icky. I’m glad Angelina immediately got her kids out of that situation. It sounds like they’ve done a lot of work to heal.

  14. susan says:

    you know he smacked her. or at the very least grabbed her

  15. Maria from Tercer mundo says:

    I’m so glad to read here the true about the fbi investigation: he wasn’t cleared, the case was closed after he agreed a lot of stipulations: random test for alcohol and drugs, therapy for his additions and for anger management and the eff SUPERVISED VISITS.
    People is not interested into see the truth about him. Even when it’s obvious.

  16. Eggbert says:

    I wonder if/when she can just publicly say what happened on the plane.

  17. Poisonella says:

    When it first happened, some guy said Brad Pitt was drunk off his ass at the airport, jumped in a truck, and took a joyride on the tarmac. That coupled with the inflight DV might have sparked an investigation. Think he won an Oscar then.

  18. bisynaptic says:

    Why would the FBI be involved in a domestic abuse case?

    • Julia K says:

      I believe they have jurisdiction because the charges stemmed from airspace behavior which is FBI .

  19. Bao says:

    I’m sad – Angelina didn’t break the cycle of abuse. She didn’t see the red flags in Pitt that she witnessed and learned from her father. Remember hearing the rumors about tension with her father, John Voight. And her adoration for her mother?
    She didn’t know she had CPTSD. Her reactions were all trauma responses from her past abuse and trauma that was never fully processed.
    Keep fighting Angelina!

  20. JRenee says:

    TMZ is too intrusive. Tbh, once a story is certified by TMZ, I don’t question it because they have eyes/ ears everywhere. I wish some of these leaks could be traced back to some of the leakers and any unethical dealings addressed. There is a reason suits are brought as Jane/John Doe.
    Brad Pitt NEVER wants the exact airspace/tarmac activity revealed as it would surely kill his caree! He didn’t leak this imo. He’s a fool. He’s going to keep poking the bear and the truth will all come out.
    I can’t believe it’s been almost 6 years. Soon the kids will be of age to decide if they want to see him in not. He’s overplayed his hand. Those kids will defend their mom!

  21. kirk says:

    If Jolie & Pitt were given copies of FBI report, it would have contained: case number; date of report; special agent preparing report; person authorizing report (special agent in charge); the office conducting investigation; status (closed); distribution of report if submitted outside investigating office; whether previous reports were submitted; and an extremely detailed synopsis of the case including who, where, when, what, how, persons interviewed (who, where, when, how), pertinent physical object description and analysis, whether identified pertinent physical objects could not be located and steps taken to locate them, other steps taken by investigators to verify authenticity of allegations, results of investigatory procedures, whether they used Subject Matter Expert, whether they relied on expert testimony from other professionals (e.g. medical), etc., etc., and the conclusions reached.

    IIRC FBI conclusion was no chargeable crime occurred, so no formal investigation (i.e. lots more detailed reports).
    LA County Dept of Children & Family Services cleared Pitt in connection with reported abuse aboard private jet in Sept 2016. LADCFS was unable to substantiate allegations of abuse by Pitt. LADCFS reviewed facts and interviewed family members.

    Don’t know what anybody hopes to get by suing the FBI, especially if you’ve already been given a copy of the report. If they’re hoping to get at FBI protected methods, they might ‘win’ by getting document so heavily redacted it’s unreadable.

    • Alycea says:

      This isn’t right in the slightest.

      DCFS never said they cleared him. In fact as we later found out DCFS was driving force behind Pitt having supervised visits in the first place. They may not have found enough evidence to press charges which happens as we unfortunately seen.

      The filing was clear that it’s dealing with her FOIA request. Being denied files and information is part of the process. That’s why there is an appeal process. You can find many many many stories about people and organizations needing to sue an agency to obtain documents that are rightfully owned to them. There are thousand pending cases as we speak and not surprisingly, the FBI id the agency that has the most. It doesn’t matter if most of the information is public or they were given summary report already. It’s our right to request records and go through the process to properly obtain them.

      A report will never have enough information as the investigation files. The agency has already given some files as said in the filing.

      • kirk says:

        Perhaps ‘cleared’ is not the proper term for LADCFS being unable to substantiate the allegations made. Concern that allegations were made, even if they can’t be substantiated would justify caution.

        Of course people can use FOIA. Media organizations frequently do so. However, if you have been given a case report, read it; you likely already have most of the information you’re able to get legally.

      • Alycea says:

        That’s simply not true. The information given in investigation files and a person’s file is vastly more detailed then a case report. Just because the information wasn’t given in the report doesn’t make it any less important or mean don’t have the right to see it. That’s why people request FOIA for investigations in the first place and why you hear so many families/victims say they learned new information from reading the investigative files and not their point of contact or report.

      • Alycea says:

        That’s simply not true. The information given in investigation files and a person’s file is vastly more detailed then a case report. Just because the information wasn’t given in the report doesn’t make it any less important or mean don’t they don’t have the right to see it. That’s why people request FOIA for investigations in the first place and why you hear so many families/victims say they learned new information from reading the investigative files and not their point of contact or report.

        you have been given a case report, read it; you likely already have most of the information you’re able to get legally.

  22. LOL says:

    Brad pitts team running to every outlet inciting Angelina Jolie hatred just to deflect attention away from his abuse towards her and the children. Why isn’t Brad Pitt just stopping to think what he’s doing to his own family, smearing her publicly for daring to protect their children and wanting justice from an abusive corrupt system. And yet women and men idolise this man is sickening to see

  23. Christine says:

    Wow. WOW.

    Good for you, Angelina Jolie. I can’t believe we are in 2022, after “Me Too”, and a woman with the resources of Angelina Jolie has had to hound the FBI to make her extremely obvious case. This is embarrassing, for everyone other than Angelina Jolie.