Brad Pitt is "very saddened" by his divorce from Angelina Jolie.

The By The Sea star has spoken out for the first time since it was revealed that the 41-year-old actress has filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.

In a statement, he said: "I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the wellbeing of our kids.

"I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time."


Read more: Angelina Jolie files for divorce from Brad Pitt after 12 years together

Jolie reportedly decided to end her two-year marriage from the 52-year-old actor after growing "extremely upset" with how Brad was parenting their children.

In documents filed to the court, Jolie is asking for joint legal custody of their six children - Maddox, 15, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, and twins Knox and Vivienne, eight - but is seeking sole physical custody. Jolie has stated in court papers that she is happy to allow visitation rights.

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Meanwhile, it was previously claimed that Jolie was more focused on their family life than Pitt was.

A source said: "Angelina wasn't into wasting time on frivolous things. Brad felt it was important for them to live life to the fullest, but as the months passed, Angelina seemed to withdraw, making the children and her work with the UN a priority.

"Angelina wasn't really interested in doing any project that took her away from the children and home, but Brad was still wanting the wanderlust, adventure-filled life that first attracted him to her.

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"Angelina did not approve of this movie [World War Z 2] because she knew it would once again take him away from her and the family when she felt they needed to spend more time together."

- Bang! Showbiz