In her interview with the BBC, Angelina Jolie described the weeks since she filed for divorce from Pitt in September as “a very difficult time,” according to Mail Online.
The actress is locked in a custody battle with her estranged husband over their six children.
She is in Cambodia with her kids for the premiere of her film First They Killed My Father, about the genocide under Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge.
Jolie adopted eldest child Maddox, 15, from Cambodia in 2002.
Angelina Jolie has opened up for the first time in public about the “difficult” breakup of her marriage to Brad Pitt and the effect it has had on their six children.
The Hollywood star is in Cambodia with the kids promoting her new film and appeared to tear up when asked about her personal life.
“I don’t want to say very much about that, except to say it was a very difficult time and we are a family, and we will always be a family,” she said, visibly emotional.
“It was very difficult,” the actress, 41, added. “Many people find themselves in this situation. My whole family have all been through a difficult time.”
A bitter custody battle initially played out in the media after Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt last September and sought full custody of their children following an alleged incident on board a private jet as the family returned to Los Angeles from France.
But the celebrity couple eventually reached an agreement in early January to seal the custody documents as they endeavor to resolve their issues and reach a divorce settlement.
“My focus is my children, our children,” she said.
“We are and forever will be a family and so that is how I am coping. I am coping with finding a way through to make sure that this somehow makes us stronger and closer,” she said.
On Saturday, Jolie made her first official appearance in Siem Reap, Cambodia, for the premiere of First They Killed My Father, about life in Cambodia under Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge as seen through the eyes of a child.
She was joined by her children Maddox, 15, Pax, 13, Zahara, 12, Shiloh, 10 and eight-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne.
Maddox was adopted in 2002 from an orphanage in Cambodia, where Jolie filmed the Tomb Raider movie.
She acknowledged that in a way she has come full circle since first traveling to Cambodia 17 years ago for Tomb Raider and where she first became a mother with the adoption of her oldest son.
She went on to adopt Zahara from Ethiopia and Pax from Vietnam.
She also gave birth to three biological children with Pitt – Shiloh, who was born in Namibia, and Vivienne and Knox who were born in France.
Jolie has embraced a role as a humanitarian and UNICEF ambassador traveling to visit refugees and touring some of the most impoverished areas of the globe.
She has often taken one or more of her children with her.
Asked where she sees herself being in five year time, she replied: “I would like to be traveling around the world visiting my children, hoping that they’re just happy and doing really interesting things and I imagine in many different parts of the world and I’ll be supporting them.”
She added: ‘Everything I do I hope … I represent the right things to my children and give them the right sense of what they’re capable of and the world as it should be seen. Not through the prism of Hollywood or through a certain kind of life but really take them into the world where they have a really good sense and become rounded people.”