April 12, 2024

Angelina Jolie’s motion fuels the lawsuit against Brad Pitt

Angelina Jolie’s legal team filed a motion Thursday to enforce Brad Pitt’s disclosures stemming from a “comprehensive” non-disclosure agreement he sought that allegedly prevented the sale of his ex-wife’s share of their Chateau Miraval winery would hinder him.

The former Hollywood power couple’s long-running legal dispute over the winery — and its legacy for their six children — took another turn when Jolie’s team asked a judge to force Pitt and his company, Mondo Bongo, to hand over documents about related to his call for a “more onerous NDA” to buy Jolie’s stake in the southern French winery.

The documents Jolie is seeking are “highly relevant,” according to the filing Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, and are also likely to provide admissible evidence in the case, her team argued.

Her lawyer, Paul Murphy, also accused the Oscar winner of “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” of “relentless attempts to control and financially drain Jolie,” and of “attempting to of abuse, control and cover-up’. .”

A legal representative for Pitt did not immediately respond Thursday to The Times’ requests for comment on the new filing and allegations of past abuse.

Pitt has accused Jolie and her company Nouvel of secretly selling her stake in their winery and family home to “grab profits she didn’t earn and a return on an investment she didn’t make.” He alleged in a February 2022 lawsuit and subsequent amended complaints that his investment in the company “exceeded Jolie’s by nearly $50 million” and that Jolie had reneged on the exclusive buyout negotiations they agreed to in early 2021, when she originally said that she wanted to get out. Company.

Pitt is seeking a jury trial and the reversal of Jolie’s October 2021 sale to the Tenute del Mondo wine group, a subsidiary of the Stoli Group.

In October 2022, Jolie filed a cross-complaint alleging that the couple had not reached an agreement on the consent of two parties to the sale of each party’s interest in the property. She also detailed allegations of abuse that led her to file for divorce from Pitt in 2016, ending their two-year marriage and highly publicized 10-year romantic relationship. (The actors, although legally unmarried as of 2019, have not yet finalized their lengthy divorce.)

The “Inglourious Basterds” star has also complained that he can no longer enjoy his private home in France because it is now co-owned by strangers; Jolie claimed Thursday that she and their children have not returned to the French estate since leaving it and boarding the ill-fated September 2016 flight that led to Jolie filing for divorce five days later.

In her Thursday lawsuit, reviewed by The Times, lawyers for the “Girl, Interrupted” Oscar winner again sought responses from Pitt to help them determine why he backed out of their implicit agreement to buy Jolie’s share of the winery to buy. . Pitt’s decision to withdraw from the sale, her lawyer said, “nearly bankrupted” Jolie.

“If that sale had been completed, this lawsuit would never have happened. But at the last minute, Pitt “backed out” of its agreement to buy Jolie’s stake in Miraval, and the deal collapsed. The question at the heart of this case – and at the center of this motion – is why,” the motion states.

The answer, her lawyer said, has to do with sealed documents Jolie filed in the ex-couple’s separate but concurrent custody dispute. The new filing referenced sealed documents from March 2021 – titled “Domestic Violence Testimony” – that apparently infuriated Pitt and led him to “step back” from the sale.

“When Jolie submitted the evidence in the custody case, she made sure it was kept sealed so that no member of the public could see it. But Jolie’s sealed files, which contained emails, summaries of the family’s expected testimony and other evidence, caused Pitt to fear that the information could eventually become public,” the document said.

Pitt then decided he could no longer rely on Jolie’s voluntary efforts to keep things private and demanded that she “contractually bind herself to that silence,” according to her filing.

In doing so, her team indicated there was abuse against Jolie that predated the controversial 2016 private plane flight. Pointing to that sealed file in the custody case — as well as another titled “Testimony of Minor Children” — her team argued that Pitt tried to impose a more sweeping non-disclosure agreement on Jolie to cover his alleged “personal misconduct, whether related to Miraval or not.”

Her team is seeking Pitt’s communications with the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the LA County Department of Children and Family Services and the Los Angeles Police Department regarding the private flight. She is also seeking information from DCFS regarding her investigation, drug and alcohol testing and a safety plan Pitt was reportedly required to undertake to address his behavior.

“While Pitt’s history of physical abuse of Jolie began well before the family’s September 2016 plane trip from France to Los Angeles, this flight marked the first time he also directed his physical abuse toward the children,” the new motion said.

Pitt was never charged in connection with the plane incident, either by the U.S. attorney’s office or the Department of Children and Family Services, which investigated the incident — and the child abuse allegation — before the FBI became involved. The FBI decided to close the investigation in November 2016 without filing any charges against the actor. People magazine reported that he was drunk during the incident, which “escalated more than it should have,” and claimed that “no one was physically injured.”

Jolie never filed charges, the filing said, “because she believed Pitt could best take responsibility and help the family recover from the post-traumatic stress he caused.” It also alleged that Pitt refused to seek advice about domestic violence.

Pitt’s legal team alleged last summer that Jolie “vindictively” sold her stake in the winery behind his back, claiming she was “trying to harm Pitt,” before revealing more details about the former’s relationship breakdown power couple. Jolie’s camp insisted at the time — and continues to do so in the new filing — that Pitt refused to complete a Miraval sale with Jolie “unless she agreed to remain silent” about his alleged abuse.

Now her team claims Pitt tried to cover up the alleged abuse by objecting to the children testifying about their custody preferences. The filing includes a May 2021 text message from Jolie to a friend (in exhibit) in which she says she tried to sell the winery to Pitt per their agreement, but he “really wasn’t fair” and “demanded a lot of punitive damages.” ” The filing also outlined for the first time the language of the “heavier non-disclosure agreement.”

These restrictions, according to the motion, were raised in a “comprehensive” nondisclosure agreement that stated the parties could not make any statements or take actions that would “disparage the goodwill, name, brand or reputation of Miraval Provence, in would discredit or endanger. all affiliated or direct and indirect shareholders,” including Jolie, Pitt, Pitt’s business partner and close friend Marc Perrin, and Familles Perrin SAS.

It also stated that the parties could not take “any other action likely to harm, hinder or disrupt the business, business relationships or goodwill of Miraval Provence, its subsidiaries or its direct and indirect shareholders.” Jolie refused to sign it and “on June 3, 2022, the deal was dead,” the motion said.

Jolie accused Pitt of duping her and signed a power of attorney authorizing her European lawyer, Laurent Schummer, to take over the sales process, according to the documents.

“Mr. Pitt refused to assume Ms. Jolie’s interest if she were not silenced by his non-disclosure agreement,” Jolie lawyer Murphy, managing partner at law firm Murphy Rosen LLP, said in a statement to The Times on Thursday.

“By refusing to purchase her stake but then suing her, Mr. Pitt directly challenged why that NDA was so important to him and what he hoped it would bury: his abuse of Ms. Jolie and their family. After eight months of delay, this motion asks the Court to compel Mr. Pitt to finally produce that evidence.”

A person close to Jolie who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter told The Times that Pitt is “getting all this out of Angelina.”

“She doesn’t want to be here, she doesn’t want to come forward with these facts, and she’s only doing it because Pitt’s lawsuit against her forces her to defend herself. It’s incredibly sad and she just wishes he could move on and leave her alone,” the person said.

The person added that Jolie’s lawyers have emails, photos and testimony presented under seal in the custody case that could help her in the case. However, the person said that if the case goes to trial, she “will be forced to use that evidence in the trial whether she wants to or not.”

Times assistant editor Christie D’Zurilla contributed to this report.

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