The FBI is now handling allegations that Brad Pitt was involved in an incident of child abuse on a private jet last week.
“The FBI is continuing to gather facts and will evaluate whether an investigation at the federal level will be pursued,” FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller told press in a statement late on Thursday night.
Since the alleged incident occurred on a flight from France to the United States, the charges fall under the special aircraft jurisdiction of the US.
Earlier on Thursday, spokespersons for the Los Angeles Police Department and LA County Department of Children and Family Services denied there was any investigation underway on Pitt.
Following their denials, TMZ was the first to report that since the alleged incident occurred during a flight, the charges were out of the departments’ jurisdiction and referred to the FBI.
Citing anonymous sources, TMZ previously reported on Thursday morning that Pitt was suspected of being “verbally abusive and physical with his children” during a trip last Wednesday on the family private jet. The actor was supposedly intoxicated. The news site said the incident prompted Angelina Jolie to file for divorce the following Tuesday.
Both TMZ and People magazine‘s anonymous sources said that an anonymous tip from a witness on the airport tarmac prompted the investigation.
TMZ’s sources said that Jolie and the couple’s children were on the jet with Pitt and that he attempted to exit the scene in an airport fuel truck.
According to the divorce filing, Jolie cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the filing and she’s seeking sole custody of the couple’s six children. She is reportedly requesting that a judge grant Pitt visitation rights as opposed to joint custody. Robert Offer, an attorney for the family, said Jolie’s decision was made “for the health of the family,” according to an Associated Press report.
Business Insider has reached out to the attorneys for both Jolie and Pitt for comment.
Steven Tweedie contributed to this report.
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