Brad Pitt “Still Isn’t Ready to Give Up on His Children,” Despite Increasingly Strained Relations

Pitt and his ex, Angelina Jolie, share six children together—many of whom have formally or informally removed “Pitt” from their prior surname of “Jolie-Pitt.”

los angeles, california september 18 brad pitt attends the premiere of 20th century foxs ad astra at the cinerama dome on september 18, 2019 in los angeles, california photo by matt winkelmeyergetty images
(Image credit: Matt Winkelmeyer)

Brad Pitt’s daughter Shiloh has certainly taken the lion’s share of the headlines amongst the six children he shares with ex Angelina Jolie—specifically her decision to, on her 18th birthday last week, hire a lawyer (and apparently pay for said attorney herself) to file paperwork to legally change her name from Shiloh Jolie-Pitt to simply Shiloh Jolie. (Indicative, no doubt, of a strained relationship with her father.)

Shiloh Jolie-Pitt

Shiloh filed court documents on the occasion of her 18th birthday to legally drop "Pitt" from her surname.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

But Shiloh is far from the only one of Pitt’s brood to drop “Pitt” from their surname—though she does appear to be, so far anyway, the only one to file paperwork to do so legally. Back in November, Us Weekly reports, daughter Zahara introduced herself as “Zahara Marley Jolie” while joining the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority at Spelman College: “Coming all the way from the Golden State in the city that is full of angels, Los Angeles, California,” she said in a clip shared by Essence at the time. “I am this line’s number seven.” So, no “Pitt” in sight.

american actress angelina jolie and her children shiloh nouvel jolie pitt and zahara marley jolie pitt during the european premiere of the disney film maleficent lady of evil at the auditorium della conciliazione rome, october 7th, 2019 photo by marilla siciliaarchivio marilla siciliamondadori portfolio via getty images

Shiloh and Zahara, seen here with their mom in 2019.

(Image credit: Mondadori Portfolio)

Then, last month, Us Weekly confirmed that Vivienne—who, with twin brother Knox, rounds out the youngest of Jolie and Pitt’s children—listed her name as “Vivienne Jolie” in the Playbill for The Outsiders: A New Musical, which Vivienne is working on, and which her mother, Jolie, is producing.

Maddox, the ex-couple’s eldest child, has also reportedly dropped “Pitt” from his last name; no word on Pax and Knox, the other two Jolie-Pitt children.

After becoming a couple in 2005, Jolie and Pitt married in 2014, but separated in 2016 following an alleged incident on a plane; because of battles over custody of their youngest children, Knox and Vivienne (who are still just 15 years old) and their shared winery, Chateau Miraval, Jolie and Pitt’s divorce continues to be argued in courts today, though they were both declared legally single in 2019. Even so, “After years of legal battles, Brad still isn’t ready to give up on his children,” a source told Us Weekly. “But knowing his children are dropping his last name is upsetting.” 

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

The couple were together for a total of 11 years before splitting in 2016.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

News of Shiloh’s requested name change comes on the heels of Pitt’s security guard, Tony Webb, claiming that “Jolie encouraged their children to ice out the actor during custody visits,” Us Weekly writes. In court documents obtained by the publication earlier this month, Webb alleged that a former employee, Ross Foster, told him “about statements he overheard that Ms. Jolie made to the children, encouraging them to avoid spending time with Mr. Pitt during custody visits.”

Though their divorce has been in motion for the better part of eight years, Us Weekly reports that it could end soon, and could see Jolie receive primary custody of Knox and Vivienne, the only two of the couple’s six children that are still underage. (The twins will turn 16 next month.) Pitt apparently (and not surprisingly) “isn’t thrilled” with the agreement, but has reportedly agreed to it. 

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

The way they were.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“He wishes their relationship was stronger and wants to work on that,” they said, adding that Pitt is disappointed he “doesn’t see the kids” as often as he’d like to.

Speaking of ongoing legal issues, Shiloh’s name change request—which was just filed on May 27—hasn’t been approved just yet.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.