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Brad Pitt Skipped the BAFTAs to Be with His Daughters During Their Surgery

Updated March 9, 2020, 3 p.m. ET:

On Sunday, Angelina Jolie penned a moving essay for Time revealing that two of her daughters (Zahara and either Vivienne or Shiloh) had both recently undergone surgeries. She recounted the emotional experience of watching her daughters care for each other, and we’ve no learned that their dad Brad Pitt also rushed to their side for this scary moment.

The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star cited a family emergency and bailed on the BAFTAs in February, sending co-star Margot Robbie to take his place. At the time, we believed Pitt was going to see estranged son Maddox, but we’ve now learned he was staying in LA to be there for his daughters. “The children come before anything,” a source close to the family told Page Six

Was Brad Pitt’s reason for skipping the BAFTAs to reconcile with his estranged son, Maddox? According to one U.K. newspaper, that’s precisely why the star bailed on the awards show at the last minute. Pitt was expected to be in attendance at the event on Sunday, so public curiosity was piqued when his Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood co-star Margot Robbie accepted his award for best supporting actor on his behalf. And details about the “family obligation” he cited for his absence are surfacing.

Per The Sun, Pitt wasn’t planning to go MIA the night of the BAFTAs. But life happens and, in this case, that involved a rare opportunity to make things right with his child. “Maddox gave Brad the chance to talk and he dropped everything,” a friend of Pitt’s allegedly told The Sun‘s Simon Boyle. “Being a father is the most important thing in his life and he would do anything to repair their relationship.”

Maddox, 18, left last year for his first year of college in South Korea. And since various reports claim the teen hasn’t been receptive to reconciling, it makes sense that Pitt would seize the chance. “Maddox has been away at university so when Brad found out he was going to be around and they could have a conversation, he canceled the UK trip,” the friend explained.

By most accounts, Pitt and Maddox have spent virtually no time together since an alleged fight on a private plane back in 2016 — a row that allegedly served as the catalyst for Angeline Jolie’s divorce filing from Pitt. (The FBI was called in to investigate, but Pitt was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing.)

And last fall, Maddox seemed to allude to his strained relationship with his father when asked by a reporter if his dad would be visiting him at Yonsei University. “I don’t know about that [or] what’s happening,” Maddox said in a video shared by In Touch Weekly, adding when pressed about whether his relationship with Pitt was completely severed, “Well, whatever happens, happens.”

In addition to Maddox, Jolie and Pitt share five children: Pax, 15, Zahara, 14, Shiloh, 13, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 11. Since their split, the couple seems to have reached a fairly amicable custody arrangement that allows Pitt time with his younger children. So, here’s hoping that — if the Sun is right about Pitt’s reason for bailing on the BAFTAs — the relationship between the dad-of-six and his oldest child benefitted from this spontaneous burst of quality time.

A version of this article was originally published February 2020.

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