Angelina Jolie doesn’t have the social life she once had and is still healing from her divorce from Brad Pitt, but she has her six children to lean on – and that’s all she needs. She recently opened up about the tight-knit relationship they share with one another and how they find strength in their many differences.

“They are the closest people to me and my life, and they’re my close friends. We’re seven very different people, which is our strength,” she said in a recent cover story with The Wall Street Journalpublished on Tuesday (December 5). “We had to heal. There are things we needed to heal from,” she later continued.

Angelina Jolie Opens Up About the Relationships She Shares With Her Six Children: “They’re My Close Friends”

Jolie and Pitt started dating in 2005 and got married in 2014, but their union came to a screeching halt in 2016 when Jolie filed for divorce. They had six children together – three biological children (Shiloh, 17, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 15) and three adopted children (Maddox, 22, Pax, 20, and Zahara, 18.)

The divorce came just a few days after Angelina Jolie accused Brad Pitt of abusive behavior (both verbal and physical) towards her and several of their children while intoxicated on an airplane. While the FBI declined to press charges, his relationship with his then-wife and children has been damaged forever.

Angelina Jolie Opens Up About the Relationships She Shares With Her Six Children: “They’re My Close Friends”

That’s why the past seven years have been a bit of a healing journey for the Jolie family – one that has seen its fair share of ups and downs. Jolie has kept herself and her family guarded ever since the divorce. And while she still lives in Los Angeles, she says the divorce is the only thing keeping her in Hollywood.

“It’s part of what happened after my divorce. I lost the ability to live and travel as freely. I will move when I can,” Jolie said in her WSJ interview – she wants to move to Cambodia someday. “I grew up in quite a shallow place. Of all the places in the world, Hollywood is not a healthy place. So you seek authenticity.”

Angelina Jolie Opens Up About the Relationships She Shares With Her Six Children: “They’re My Close Friends”

Meanwhile, Brad Pitt has reportedly invested a lot of time into repairing his relationships with his children – according to InTouch Weekly. He’s in constant contact with his three biological children and on good terms with two of his adopted children (Pax and Zahara), but Maddox has no interest in reconnecting.

Angelina Jolie Says Her Children ‘Saved’ Her

In September, Angelina Jolie sat down for an interview with Vogue and raved about how her children ‘saved’ her at a time when she needed it the most. She talked about how she became a mother at just 26 years old and how she feels her life would’ve taken a much ‘darker’ turn if it weren’t for her children.

Angelina Jolie Opens Up About the Relationships She Shares With Her Six Children: “They’re My Close Friends”

“My entire life changed. Having children saved me — and taught me to be in this world differently,” the 48-year-old said. “Of course I’m the mother, and hopefully that safe place for them and that stability. But I’m also the one that they laugh at — and I see them taking over so many different aspects of our family.”

Angelina Jolie Opens Up About the Relationships She Shares With Her Six Children: “They’re My Close Friends”
via Shutterstock (Gennaro Leonardi Photos)

Jolie also opened up about her children in a 2021 interview with PEOPLEwhere she gushed over the relationship she and her kids have with one another. She described them as ‘great people’ who have had a ‘very significant effect on each other,’ and described her parenting style as ‘honest’ and ‘human.’

“I have six very individual human beings in my home. I am so excited about all the different stages and feelings and curiosities that they go through,” she told PEOPLE. “We’re supposed to help them figure out who they are. And you can’t figure out who they are if you don’t enthusiastically develop with them.”

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