LOS ANGELES — A producer says “we all respect his privacy” as Brad Pitt skipped his first public appearance after last week’s split with Angelina Jolie Pitt. He didn’t attend the premiere of Terrence Malick’s new documentary Wednesday night as scheduled.
Pitt, who narrates “Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience,” said in a statement Wednesday that he’s grateful to have been part of the project, but is “currently focused on my family situation and don’t want to distract attention away from this extraordinary film.”
Producer Sophokles Tasioulis said outside the California Science Center IMAX Theatre that he understood Pitt’s absence.
“Right now, he’s in a very difficult situation personally. And we want people to come here for the movie, not for what is going on behind the scenes in Brad’s personal life,” Tasioulis said. “So I think it was a good decision by him. And we all respect his privacy.”
Pitt is also credited as producer on the film. Malick directed him in the Oscar-nominated 2011 family drama “Tree of Life” and producer Sarah Green said the two are “great friends.” Tasioulis said producers had not been in direct contact with Pitt for more than two weeks.
“We last spoke to him when he was still in France. Because the 90-minute (version of “Voyage of Time”) premiered in Venice, so it was like a one hour hop over from the south of France to Venice. (We asked) whether he would like to come or not,” Tasioulis said. “And he wanted to focus on his family. So he didn’t come there as well.”
Pitt has yet to file a response in the divorce case. Jolie Pitt cited irreconcilable differences in her Sept. 20 filing to end their two-year marriage, and she is seeking sole custody of the couple’s six children.
The FBI says it’s continuing to evaluate whether to investigate Pitt’s reported involvement in a fight aboard a private jet carrying his family on Sept. 14. The incident led to allegations that Pitt was abusive to his 15-year-old son, and several media outlets have also reported the actor is under investigation by a child welfare agency.
The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services will not say whether it is investigating the incident.
Jolie Pitt’s divorce filing lists the day after the flight as when the couple separated. Her lawyer said the actress decided to divorce “for the health of the family.”
Pitt’s next film after “Voyage of Time” is Robert Zemeckis’ World War II drama “Allied,” set for release in November.
Entertainment writers Sandy Cohen and Anthony McCartney also contributed to this report.