Angelina Jolie offered Brad Pitt the option of jointly filing for divorce, but he declined - and he has reportedly been left horrified by the way her allegations about the state of their marriage have allegedly been funnelled to certain US media outlets, bolstering her case for full custody.
The actor knew their marriage was in trouble, but was still surprised when she hit him with her desire to divorce just two days before the legal moves hit the headlines, say sources.
'She sat down, talked to Brad and offered to file [for divorce] together,' a source close to Angelina told People magazine.
'She said, "This is what I'd like to do." She explained everything. Angelina did what she felt she needed to do.'
But Brad - who friends say has been left 'wrecked' by the events of the past few days, begs to differ. He feels the divorce and the way things are playing out now are not in the best interests of the kids. His team reportedly believe that Angelina is playing a calculated game to get full custody, so she can leave LA for good and take up a role with the United Nations. Sources close to the actress say that's rubbish, and her concerns about Brad and her wish to move on for the 'health' of the family are entirely based in reality.
'He was appealing to her to do this quietly – not to save the marriage but to consider the well-being of the children – and it was ignored,' a Brad source told People. 'He is just wrecked by this.'
Recent leaked claims about Brad's allegedly abusive behaviour towards son Maddox are raising some eyebrows about purported tactics and the way the pair's custody battle is shaping up.
For his part, Brad says he was willing to do anything at all to save the marriage but his promises were apparently ignored.
'He was willing to do anything, change any habit, change any lifestyle, to do what had to be done to make this work. And by "make this work," that means doing what has to be done to make even a split one that is amicable and in the best interests of the children.'