The headlines leading up to Brad Pitt’s 60th birthday weren’t great. From ex Angelina Jolie, 48, bemoaning her inability to move and travel “as freely” amid their drawn-out divorce, to daughter Zahara, 18, dropping his last name and son Pax, 20, labeling the Benjamin Button actor a “world class a–hole” in a resurfaced Instagram post, “it’s been a really difficult time for him,” an insider exclusively tells Life & Style. “But he is looking ahead.”

So rather than wallow in the fractured state of his family, Brad — who officially turned the big 6-0 on December 18 — “rang in his milestone birthday with some low-key dinner parties,” notes the insider, adding that girlfriend of over a year Ines de Ramon, 33, also joined him on a trip to Paris, where the duo stayed in a luxury hotel and attended an Asaf Avidan concert.

“They just spent time together and with their mutual friends. Of course, Brad would have loved for each of his six kids to be a part of his B-day week, too. But he is dedicated to working on their strained relationships and excited about the future.”

The Bright Side

Ines has given him reason to be hopeful. The pair, who were first spotted together at a Bono show in November 2022 and packed on the PDA all night at the LACMA Art+Film Gala in L.A. a year later, on November 4, “are going strong,” confirms a source. “She pushes Brad to follow his dreams, both personally and professionally.”

And there’s a surprising item on his wish list, according to the insider: making peace with Angie. Since she blindsided him with divorce papers in 2016 — and threw around shocking accusations of physical abuse that inspired Brad to get sober — he and his Mr. & Mrs. Smith costar have warred over everything from their French winery, Château Miraval, to custody of kids Maddox, 22, Zahara, Pax, Shiloh, 17, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 15. (Three of the children are no longer subject to a judge’s custodial decisions, having reached the age of 18.)

“Their court battle is finally winding down, and extending an olive branch to Angelina is the right thing to do,” says the source. “His goal is to have his kids see him and Angie get along. He’s putting their family first.”

By acknowledging his own deep scars, Brad’s mused, he’s at last been able to be his “authentic self.” “He is always working on himself and attempting to expand his horizons,” says the insider, noting that the Oscar-winning producer discovered a passion for sculpture and launched a skincare line in recent years. “At 60, Brad isn’t afraid of change.”