Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt announced that they were splitting up back in September 2016 and while their divorce is final, they are still dealing with legal issues.
Pitt is now accusing Jolie of intentionally hurting him and the reputation of their wine company by selling her shares to a “stranger with poisonous associations and intentions.”
In 2008, Pitt and Jolie bought a French wine business, Chateau Miraval, for about 25 million euros. The company had a huge home and vineyard in France, which was where Pitt and Jolie were secretly wed in 2014.
They divided their ownership of the wine company 60/40 and Pitt was given the majority share. Eventually they became equal shareholders in 2013 when Pitt gave 10% of his shares to Jolie. They were still together at that point.
They promised, reportedly, to never sell their respective shares without consulting each other, but that didn’t happen, according to Pitt.
In September, Pitt accused Jolie of breaking this agreement after she tried to sell her stake without giving him a buy out or refusal option at all. Reports then came in that she had been approved to sell her shares to another person entirely.
Pitt has now filed a legal complaint stating that Jolie’s sale of the stakes to a Luxembourg spirits manufacturer, which is controlled by a Russian oligarch, was illegal because it was done without Pitt’s knowledge.
The legal documents were filed late last week and claim that Jolie’s actions were intentional and an attempt to damage the company and Pitt’s reputation by aiding a “hostile” takeover of Miraval.
“Jolie pursued and then consummated the purported sale in secret, purposely keeping Pitt in the dark, and knowingly violating Pitt’s contractual rights,” claim Pitt’s lawyers. “Through the purported sale, Jolie sought to inflict harm on Pitt.”
Pitt’s lawyers also said that Jolie’s decision to sell to a Russian oligarch came out of an attempt to hurt the company and Pitt by forcing him to work with “a stranger with poisonous associations and intentions.”
The oligarch, Yuri Shefler, they claim “has gained notoriety through cut-throat business tactics and dubious professional associations” and this partnership would hurt the brand.
“Jolie knew and intended that Shefler and his affiliates would try to control the business Pitt had built and to undermine Pitt’s investment in Miraval,” the legal filings stated. “All of this is the direct result of Jolie’s unlawful and tortious conduct.”
Pitt, the suit says, grew Miracle “into a multimillion-dollar global business and one of the world’s most highly regarded producers of rosé wine” while Jolie “contributed nothing”.
The lawsuit also says that given the pair’s supposed agreement, Jolie should have given Pitt the right to refuse the deal. The sale, therefore, infringes on that right and was unlawful.
Pitt has requested a trial by jury and is asking for an undeclared amount in damages and for the sale to be nulled.