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The FBI is now handling allegations that Brad Pitt committed 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 said in a statement late on Thursday night.
Because the incident being investigated took place on a flight from France to the US, the charges fall under the special aircraft jurisdiction of the US.
Earlier on Thursday, representatives for the Los Angeles Police Department and the 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 because the investigation centers on activity during a flight, the accusations were out of the departments’ jurisdiction and referred to the FBI.
Citing anonymous sources, TMZ had 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 an anonymous tip from a witness on the airport tarmac prompted the investigation.
TMZ’s sources said 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 is reportedly seeking sole custody of the couple’s six children, 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.