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Earlier today, alleged details of the child abuse case against Brad Pitt began to emerge.

Sources claim that Pitt and his estranged wife, Angelina Jolie, were arguing aboard a private jet when their eldest son, 15-year-old Maddox, intervened on his mother’s behalf and confronted Brad.

Exact details of the altercation remain unclear, but an insider from Jolie’s camp says that Pitt became “verbally and physically abusive” toward Maddox.

It may be quite some time before a clear picture of what exactly happened on that plane emerges.

Right now, there are only two things we know for certain:

1. Whatever happened on that plane was upsetting enough to Jolie that she filed for divorce from Pitt just days later.

2. The altercation prompted an anonymous phone call to police, which has resulted in Pitt being investigated for child abuse by the FBI.

The fact that the FBI is involved may make the matter seem more severe than it is.

Pitt’s actions were initially investigated by the Department of Child and Family Services, who handed the matter over to federal investigators, because it occurred mid-flight, thus placing it in their jurisdiction.

Brad Pitt: Child Abuse Investigation Underway
(Getty Images)

The bureau will likely report its finding some time next week.

And in the meantime, the rumor mill keep right on churning.

Moments ago, Us Weekly reported that the confrontation between Brad and Maddox was actually videotaped by another passenger on the plane.

“He got drunk and was fighting with Angie,” a source who claims to have seen the footage tells the tabloid.

“Maddox stepped in to defend Angie and got in Brad’s face.”

The insider insists, however, that while the argument between Pitt and his son became intense, there was never any physical contact:

“Brad is seen yelling a lot during it, but nothing physical,” says the source, adding that Brad can be seen “looking drunk” in the footage.

This corroborates earlier reports that Pitt’s drug use was a major factor in Jolie’s decision to end their marriage. 

“He got drunk and was fighting with Angie,” the source claims.

“Maddox stepped in to defend Angie and got in Brad’s face.

“Teenagers have fights with their parents, especially when you have teens who are strong-willed and confident. You’re going to have back and forth.” 

A witness who spoke with People magazine offers a similar version of events:

“There was a parent-child argument which was not handled in the right way and escalated more than it should have,” says the source.

“He is emphatic that it did not reach the level of physical abuse, that no one was physically harmed.

“He did not hit his child in the face in any way. He did not do that; he is emphatic about that. He put his hands on him, yes, because the confrontation was spiraling out of control.” 

The insider adds that he believes what occurred on the plane is being manipulated to suit Jolie’s best interests:

“They have taken the overall smallest kernel of truth – that a fight got out of hand and reached a regrettable peak, and that as a result DCFS is looking into it – and they are manipulating it to best suit their attempts to gain custody.” 

We’ll have further details on this story as more information becomes available.