NEW YORK: Angelina Jolie has opened up about her split from Brad Pitt, confessing to having "the hardest time" and claiming to have spent months as a homemaker, doing dishes and cleaning up dog poop.
Jolie, 42, filed for divorce last September, citing irreconcilable differences. She accused her Oscar-winning ex of hitting their teenage son on a flight from France to Los Angeles, sparking tabloid gossip and an FBI probe.
The 53-year-old was cleared by the FBI and social workers and wants joint legal and physical custody of Maddox, 15, Pax, 13, Zahara, 12, Shiloh, 11, and twins Vivienne and Knox, nine, while Jolie is demanding sole guardianship.
Jolie told Vanity Fair that "things got bad" in the summer of 2016.
"It's just been the hardest time, and we're just kind of coming up for air," she told the magazine, shortly after moving into a $25 million, six-bedroom, 10-bathroom home with her children in Los Angeles neighborhood Los Feliz.
She sought to portray herself as focused on homemaking in the aftermath of the split despite a legendarily itinerant life which has seen her buy homes and travel with her children all over the world.
"I'm just wanting to make the proper breakfast and keep the house. That's my passion. At the request of my kids, I'm taking cooking classes," she said.
"I've been trying for nine months to be really good at just being a homemaker and picking up dog poop and cleaning dishes and reading bedtime stories. And I'm getting better at all three," she told the magazine.
Having joked to her youngest son Knox about pretending to be normal, Jolie recounted with pride that he replied: "'Who wants to be normal? We're not normal. Let's never be normal.'"
She also said she had been determined to shield the children.
"I do not want my children to be worried about me. I think it's very important to cry in the shower and not in front of them."
Pitt admitted in his first post-split interview in May that heavy drinking contributed to the breakdown of his marriage, and said he was now a teetotaler. He and Jolie had been a couple since 2004, and got married in 2014.
Jolie, who underwent a double mastectomy and removal of her ovaries in 2013 to prevent an aggressive form of cancer that killed her mother, grandmother and aunt, also told Vanity Fair that she had developed Bell's palsy.
Acupuncture, she said, led to a full recovery.
The actress won an Oscar in 2000 for portraying a young woman with psychiatric problems in "Girl, Interrupted".
Her most recent project was to direct "First They Killed My Father" about the Cambodian genocide, a Netflix original.