This post includes discussion of domestic violence and alcohol abuse.
Brad Pitt is one of the new faces of a gin brand, and the announcement comes six years after Pitt first opened up about his “problem” with alcohol.
Pitt, alongside partners Tom Nichol and the Perrin family, last week announced the launch of their new gin brand, The Gardener. Promotional images that first appeared in People show Pitt and Matthieu Perrin posing with the gin bottle, and The Gardener gin is set to debut at Cannes Film Festival, which began on May 16.
According to The Gardener Gin’s website, Pitt's reasoning for launching a new alcohol endeavor was he “desired to create a spirit reflective of the place with which he fell in love.”
Pitt first entered into the alcohol business in 2008 alongside his then-girlfriend Angelina Jolie through purchasing a controlling stake in the Château Miraval vineyard in the south of France. Miraval Rosé, which was also made with the Perrin family, debuted in 2013. The couple would go on to get married at the Château Miraval.
While Pitt is far from the only celebrity in the alcohol business, the idea of him as a face of an alcohol brand is notable considering his history with drinking.
According to 2022 court documents pertaining to a legal battle over their winery, which were obtained by the New York Times, Jolie accused Pitt of “physical and emotional abuse of her and their children” following a 2016 incident on a plane when Pitt was allegedly inebriated.
According to the court filings, Jolie claimed Pitt “grabbed [her] by the head and shook her” and then pushed "her into the bathroom wall.” She further alleged that Pitt poured beer and red wine on their children. When one of the children attempted to defend Jolie, he "choked one of the children and struck another in the face," she alleged.
The alleged incident was apparently a major reason why Jolie was interested in selling her shares in the Château Miraval wineries. In mid-October of last year, Entertainment Tonight obtained court documents that showed an email that Jolie reportedly sent Pitt in January 2021, in which Jolie outlined her disinterest in being part of an alcohol brand "when alcoholic behavior harmed our family so deeply.”
Less than a year after the alleged incident, Pitt addressed his drinking habits in a 2017 GQ cover story. "I'm really, really happy to be done with all of that. I mean I stopped everything except boozing when I started my family. But even this last year, you know — things I wasn't dealing with. I was boozing too much. It's just become a problem,” he said.
Also in 2022, Pitt revealed to GQ that he’d spent a year and a half attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. “I had a really cool men’s group here that was really private and selective, so it was safe,” he said. “Because I’d seen things of other people who had been recorded while they were spilling their guts, and that’s just atrocious to me.”
As for Pitt’s relationship with sobriety now, a source familiar with Miraval told BuzzFeed that Pitt is still sober and "has continued with sobriety now for many years." They noted that Brad will not be involved with any of the tastings for The Gardener.
"Miraval has been a growing business with partners with different expertise and this is one of those areas for growth, as his skincare line," the source continued. "There's multiple partners with various different expertise. And this is a natural expansion from the very successful and well-received line of wines. Business has also expanded into skincare products as well. Nothing's changed related to his sobriety, he's continued on that path."
BuzzFeed has reached out to representatives for The Gardener and Jolie, but did not receive a response at time of publication.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, you can call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) and find more resources here.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger as a result of domestic violence, call 911. For anonymous, confidential help, you can call the 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or chat with an advocate via the website.