Does Maddox Jolie-Pitt suddenly want to live with Brad Pitt and not his mom Angelina Jolie? Reports published this week claim the teen has changed allegiances and now wants to move in with his father. But after spending several days investigating, Gossip Cop can confirm this narrative was made-up.
On Wednesday, RadarOnline and the National Enquirer published virtually identical stories claiming Maddox has made a "defiant demand" to live with Pitt, leaving Jolie "reeling." According to the sister outlets, the 16-year-old had a change of heart and decided he was "through living" with his famous mom after Jolie supposedly "visited and prayed at the grave of Pol Pot," who was responsible for what became known as the Cambodian genocide. It's specifically alleged that after Maddox found out Jolie "visited the monster's grave during a trip... he immediately called his estranged dad [and] begged to go live with him."
Both publications quote a "source" as saying, "Brad tried to soothe him, saying Angie is interested in the history of the country where she found Maddox." This alleged tipster goes on to contend that Pitt warned his oldest son, who was born in Cambodia in 2001, that he "needs to be careful while the pair's lawyers work out custody of all their kids," but he would "speak" with Jolie about the situation. Notably, though, it's not said just when the actress supposedly made this visit to Pol Pot's grave.
Gossip Cop could not find any supporting documentation that would prove Jolie recently made such a trip. It's also telling that the stories don't mention that Jolie directed First They Killed My Father, which exposed the atrocities of Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge regime. As has been widely reported for more than a year, Maddox himself served as a producer on the movie. It's not like he's been unaware that she has been exploring Cambodian history, and she certainly hasn't been doing projects that portray Pol Pot positively. In fact, Jolie actually spoke at length about the need to step "lightly" and show respect for the genocide's victims in a number of interviews last year.
The blog and the tabloid do acknowledge the "irony" of Maddox allegedly now wanting to live with Pitt after their father-son fight onboard an airplane in September of 2016 prompted Jolie to file for divorce. But the two reports maintain he "now understands how Jolie's bizarre behavior ignited problems within the family," with the source claiming Maddox has come to realize his mom is supposedly "the instigator of many of their family woes." Adds the alleged tipster, "Whether Maddox winds up with Brad is still in question, but this certainly doesn't help Angie's custody chances."
But again, the premise of this storyline hinges on Maddox supposedly finding out about a recent trip Jolie made to Pol Pot's grave when there's no proof of such visit. And even if she has visited the site in the past, that would make considerable sense given the amount of research required for a project such as First They Killed My Father. The notion that Maddox now wants to align himself with his dad because his mom is suddenly showing disrespect to his Cambodian ancestry is unsupported and implausible.
Rather, it seems simply because Jolie and Pitt are still working on a divorce settlement and custody agreement, the blog and the magazine teamed up to manufacture a sensational, but unsubstantiated, twist. It certainly wouldn't be the first time. In March, these same outlets tried to make waves by falsely claiming Jolie was taking the kids and moving to England full-time, a development Pitt's rep confirmed to Gossip Cop wasn't actually happening.
In regards to these latest claims, a rep for Pitt declined to comment on any specifics, and a spokesperson for Jolie could not be reached. That said, a family contact, who was not authorized to speak on the record about custody matters, tells us the new allegations are made-up.
Gossip Cop believes there to be elements of truth, but the story is ultimately misleading.