The collapse of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's marriage spells the end of the portmanteau term "Brangelina". No doubt a phrase to conflate the next mega couple will surface soon, but for now we await the unravelling of the glitziest celebrity alliance of the decade. It threatens to be messy.

The testy exchanges since a lawyer announced that Mrs Jolie Pitt was clearing the decks suggests that a bonfire was lit under the A+ listers some time ago. She has hired Laura Wasser, who charges over $1000 an hour, insists on a $30,000 retainer, and mostly represents high net worth types with at least $10 million in the bank.

Wasser acted most recently for Johnny Depp in his nasty divorce from Amber Heard. Pitt has already felt a taste of what's in store with a gossipy website - the same one which broke the news of his split with Jolie - suggesting that the actor was verbally and physically abusive to the couple's six children.

Police in Los Angeles swiftly rubbished the story, but the script for this break-up could run for some time. In the aftermath of the unexpected news, the hashtag #Brangelina became the top trending item on Twitter, and sparked complaints that the Tinsletown news was getting more attention than Barack Obama's final address to the United Nations.


For those hungry for the sequel, there is another hashtag. Every twist and turn is running, naturally, under #Brangelexit.