What Led Jill Schoelen to Dump Brad Pitt Post-Engagement?

Though Brad Pitt’s cinematic accomplishments are nothing to scoff at — Legends of the Fall, Troy, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Once Upon a Time in Hollywoodhis love life tends to draw more attention than his career choices. Today, Pitt is well known for two paparazzi-hounded marriages — to Jennifer Aniston from 2000 to 2005 and to Angelina Jolie from 2014 to 2016 (the latter of which ignited many years prior). 

Brad Pitt and Jill Schoelen
Actor Brad Pitt and actress Jill Schoelen | Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Though Jolie and Aniston receive much of the Pitt-focused attention, he was engaged to someone else many years before he met Aniston. While he was still climbing the Hollywood ladder, Pitt met Jill Schoelen. Schoelen and Pitt co-starred in Cutting Glass — a 1989 black comedy horror that premiered to critical condemnation. As for Schoelen, she did not rise to Pitt’s star status following the film; however, she is known for her roles in The Stepfather, When a Stranger Calls Back, The Phantom of the Opera (1989), and Popcorn.

As for the start of the couple’s romance, Cutting Glass featured Pitt and Schoelen as a high school couple. The two started dating shortly after the film, and their relationship moved rather rapidly. They got engaged. They were reportedly engaged for three months, as News24 notes, before Schoelen called it quits. Yet, why did Schoelen walk away from one of Hollywood’s soon to be most eligible bachelors? 

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Jill Schoelen left Brad Pitt for a director 

As CTVNews reports, Brad Pitt told The Sun a while back what happened between him and Schoelen. While she was working on a movie in Hungary, she called him and asked him to use a great deal of the only money he had to come and see her. Pitt said: 

“I got there, went straight to the set where she was filming and that night we went out to dinner. She told me that she had fallen in love with the director of the film. I was so shocked I said, ‘I’m outta here.’”

Based on the timeline and the filming location, Pitt is presumably referencing the 1989 version of The Phantom of the Opera, which was directed by Dwight H. Little. Little is known for his work on Murder at 1600, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Meyers, Marked for Death, and more. Schoelen began a romance with her director and Pitt returned home. 

Jill Schoelen married Anthony Marinelli in 1993; Brad Pitt dated Juliette Lewis following his split with Schoelen

Jill Schoelen’s romance with her director was not built to last, as they split up and Schoelen went on to meet and marry Anthony Marinelli. Schoelen and Marinell were married from 1993 until 2002. 

Marinelli is a musician, composer, and conductor. Early on in his career, he composed and performed accompaniment on the synthesizer for various major albums, including Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Jill Schoelen settled down with Marinelli, and Pitt soon struck up a romance with his Too Young to Die co-star Juliette Lewis. The two dated for about three years before calling it off.