Just one glance at the latest picture of Brad Pitt since his split from Angelina and you can see the pain etched on his gaunt face, writes AMANDA PLATELL

Just one glance at the first picture of Brad Pitt since his split from Angelina Jolie and you can see the pain etched on his face.

Two months on, he has lost weight, is gaunt and has the haunted look common to men going through an acrimonious divorce and who have been separated from their children.

He has been cleared in an investigation into whether he was abusive to his eldest son Maddox. Yet Angelina is still demanding that the courts give her sole custody of their six children.

Just one glance at the first picture of Brad Pitt since his split from Angelina Jolie and you can see the pain etched on his face

Brad Pitt with Angelina Jolie for the Hollywood premiere of 'By the Sea' in 2015

Under such an arrangement, Dad would be allowed only ‘therapeutic’, supervised visiting rights.

Brad is said to be so terrified of losing his children he has been unable to sleep.

What is only too clear in this bitter custody battle is that Brad and Angelina’s money and celebrity have not spared them the heartbreak suffered by every divorcing parent. Nor have they spared the children, the ultimate victims in any split.

When they were Hollywood’s hottest couple, Brangelina had three biological children together — Shiloh and twins Knox and Vivienne. Brad also became legal father to Angelina’s three adopted children — Maddox from Cambodia, Zahara from Ethiopia and Pax from Vietnam.

Angelina married Brad only two years ago and used to call him her soulmate

By most accounts, Brad is a devoted father. The wrench for his rainbow children must be unbearable, just as it is for him. 

Although we cannot tell what really went on in this family, for someone who portrays herself as defender of the world’s most vulnerable children, Angelina’s apparent determination to squeeze Brad out of the family seems unbearably callous towards her kids.

This is a woman who’ll travel to the ends of the earth to burnish her image as a great humanitarian, who nurtures and protects children in war-torn countries. 

Yet her demands for sole custody of her children are creating misery and warfare in her own home.

What makes this so baffling is that Angelina, of all people, should understand the lasting damage on children. Since her father, Jon Voight, left her mother when Angelina was less than a year old, she has struggled to have a normal relationship with him. Why would she wish that upon her own children?

Children from broken homes are three times more likely to suffer mental health problems. Surely she must realise family stability and continued contact with both parents are the cornerstones of a happy life.

She married Brad only two years ago and used to call him her soulmate. How could he have suddenly become such a monster that he can no longer be trusted with their children?

Jolie is a UN ambassador who has done fine work for those fleeing persecution throughout the world. It’s time she showed some compassion in her own backyard.


Fast-forward 27 years, she’s nearly 55 and, despite claims of ageing naturally, she looks as though she’s injected a tub of Polyfilla into her face

When Harry blanked Sally... 

Meg Ryan was 28 when she starred alongside Billy Crystal in the ultimate romcom, When Harry Met Sally. 

Fast-forward 27 years, she’s nearly 55 and, despite claims of ageing naturally, she looks as though she’s injected a tub of Polyfilla into her face. 

These days, Harry wouldn’t recognise her.


Surely the greatest additions to this year’s I’m A Celebrity have to be Carol Vorderman’s magnificent bottom, her gravity-defying breasts and a waistline that makes Jessica Rabbit look homely. The question is, will Carol, 55, be able to take her Spanx into the jungle? 


Harry Potter actress Emma Watson has stamped her size-six slipper and demanded that her iconic big, puffy, golden fairy tale dress in the new movie Beauty And The Beast be slimmed down.

She thinks Disney-princess frocks are ‘anti-feminist’.

Silly sausage. Her ‘fairy tale’ movie is about an unemployed, put-upon girl with horrible sisters who gets rescued from her miserable life only when the beast conveniently turns into a handsome prince and they live happily ever after in his palace.

Hardly a sacred script for the sisterhood, dear.


The former Bond girl has spoken out in favour of women's pay 

For 18 years, Mark Woods and his whippet Walnut were inseparable, yet the dog’s ill health means they will take their last walk together today on Walnut’s favourite beach in Cornwall before he is put to sleep.

Mr Woods posted a Facebook message for dog lovers to join them and has got thousands of replies. Anyone who has loved and lost a pet will be with them in spirit even if they don’t get to the beach.

Bond star Gemma is no Moneypenny 

It was Equal Pay Day on Thursday and £750,000-a-movie actress Gemma Arterton was urging women everywhere to leave work at 3.34pm.

The former Bond girl says this is the point when women’s labour effectively becomes ‘free’ compared to men’s, as a result of the 18.1 per cent pay gap between female and male earnings.

If working women had taken up this soppy actress’s silly advice, they’d see the pay gap stretch to 100 per cent. 

They’d all be out of a job.


Emboldened by his newly-launched online channel which plays music to calm down animals, Noel Edmonds has had another brainwave — a radio station for plants. If it includes a playlist for potato-heads, he’d do well to listen to it himself.


As it's my birthday today, I’d like to mark the moment with a thank-you to my parents.

My mum is very ill, which is why I was away last week. Dad has been heroically caring for her for six years at home.

Her advanced Alzheimer’s means that she no longer knows I’m her daughter, but in one of her rare lucid moments last week she said she loved me very much and was very proud of me.

I’d simply like to return the sentiment, Mum, even if you can’t read this any more.


Labour's Yvette Cooper has come underfire

Westminster Noticeboard... 

- Lefty women are the first to take offence when their appearance is commented on, so how rich of Yvette Cooper to take the mickey out of Trump’s bouffant hair on BBC1’s Question Time.

Voters can’t bear this kind of hypocrisy, which explains why so few preachy feminists — take note Hillary Clinton — get to hold truly powerful positions. And why women who don’t endlessly bang on about their rights and being subjugated — Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May, for example — do reach the top.

- Jimmy Young's death was sad, but what a life. He was an interviewer to be underestimated at a politician’s peril, as I found while working as William Hague’s spin doctor before the 2001 General Election.

Hague dismissed the thought of prepping for an interview with Young, saying the avuncular broadcaster was no Paxman. Young made mincemeat of Hague — and never once stopped smiling as he slowly and agonisingly dismembered him.


Prince Harry on Thursday marking events in the lead up to Remembrance Sunday

Royal 'ex' factor 

After Prince Harry’s impassioned plea to protect the privacy of his new love, Meghan Markle, the divorced 35-year-old TV actress surprisingly popped up not far from his Kensington Palace home.

She was carrying groceries in a bag from posh supermarket Whole Foods with the slogan ‘Alleviating Poverty Worldwide’.

Her trademark sunglasses had gone, replaced by a baseball cap, waxed jacket, wellies and leggings — and she was looking comfortably at home in London, which is surely a positive omen for her new relationship.

I sincerely hope that for both their sakes, they find lasting happiness. And that Meghan doesn’t get spooked by Prince Andrew’s once-racy ex Koo Stark’s advice after their affair nearly two decades ago:

‘Keep quiet. Say nothing. Don’t answer the door ... Because of my association with the Royal Family, people are still interested in me decades after the headlines fade.’

Koo who? No, we’re not.


Star-mangled banner  

- The Today programme showed its typical bias by letting ranting Left-wing historian Simon Schama compare Trump with Hitler and say his victory was a good day for the Ku Klux Klan. That was followed by a pundit predicting U.S. economic collapse. One day later, the dollar was up and the Dow Jones rose to a new high. As Cliff Richard knows, the BBC never does apologies.

- The next First Lady, Melania Trump, wants to model herself on Jackie Kennedy. Odd choice, given that JFK was killed, after humiliating her with numerous affairs before she ended up in a miserable marriage with the billionaire Aristotle Onassis.

- Not to be outdone by Hillary’s thunder-thigh pant-suits, Mrs Trump turned up for Donald’s acceptance speech in a white jumpsuit. It was Ralph Lauren and cost £3,172, but wouldn’t it be nice if, for once, we had a First Lady who didn’t want to wear the trousers? 

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