Pitt is demanding a 'trial by jury' over the sale of Jolie's shares in their Chateau Miraval Winery to a Russian oligarch.
In court documents filed on June 1 and obtained by ET, Pitt accuses Jolie of "secretly" selling her share of their Chateau Miraval Winery, which Pitt remains part owner of, in order "to seize profits she had not earned and returns on an investment she did not make." Calling Jolie "vindictive," Pitt's legal team claims that she "also sought to inflict harm on Pitt."
As ET previously reported, Jolie is accused of selling her share of the winery to Yuri Shefler, billionaire who owns the conglomerate Stoli Group, amid contentious divorce negotiations with Pitt. According to the newly-filed court docs, Shefler is designated as an "oligarch in the Russian Federation" by the U.S. Treasury Department.
"By 2019, Pitt and Jolie were finalizing their divorce, and Jolie wanted out of Miraval. In recognition of the contractual rights she and Nouvel owed Pitt and Mondo Bongo, and the promises she made Pitt even after their separation, Jolie acknowledged that there were only 'two ways forward.' Pitt and Jolie could sell Miraval jointly, or Pitt could buy her out. The former couple thus began exclusive buyout negotiations," the new docs claim.
Moreover, the docs allege that Angelina "stood by as Pitt invested money and sweat equity into the home and business in reliance on her promise to hold Miraval together, as well as the contractual rights her holding company Nouvel owed his. Even after the couple separated in 2016, she reassured Pitt that she still saw Miraval as "an investment and business [their children] will inherit."
That all changed, the docs allege, "in the summer of 2021, amid a heated child custody dispute with Pitt, Jolie terminated those discussions and secretly purported to sell a 50 percent stake in the family home and family business to Tenute del Mondo. Tenute del Mondo is part of the Russia-affiliated spirits conglomerate Stoli Group," which is owned by Shefler.
Pitt's team says he learned of Jolie’s putative sale to Stoli by way of a press release announcing that Stoli was "thrilled to have a position alongside Brad Pitt as curators" of Miraval rosé.
The docs allege that "Stoli has attempted a hostile takeover of the wine business -- destabilizing Miraval’s operations, seeking access to Miraval’s confidential and proprietary information for the benefit of Shefler’s competing enterprise, and trying to tear apart the winemaking partnership between the Pitt and Perrin families that is at the heart of Miraval and key to its success."
Pitt is demanding "a trial by jury."
Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt in September 2016, and it was finalized in 2019. Along with an ongoing custody battle, Pitt first sued Jolie over the sale of Chateau Miraval in February 2022. In June of that year, he doubled down on accusations of Jolie of intentionally trying to "inflict harm" on him and his business interests. In September 2022, Jolie's former company, Nouvel, countersued, claiming that Pitt "masterminded a so-far-successful plan" to seize control of Chateau Miraval and used the business as his "personal fiefdom."
A source tells ET that Pitt's new filing comes as he remains committed to his business partnership with winemaker Marc Perrin.
"Brad is left once more fighting for his family to protect their assets and his partnership with Marc Perrin," the source tells ET. "Brad won't back down from bullies and won't abandon his [business] partner."
Meanwhile, a source close to Jolie now tells ET: "No matter how many times Mr. Pitt amends his complaint, he cannot escape from the fact that he verbally and physically assaulted Ms. Jolie and their children -- even choking one of the children and striking another."
Those accusations stem from an alleged incident on a jet in 2016, which became the subject of an FBI report that was released last year. The case agent wrote at the time that "it was agreed by all parties" not to pursue criminal charges. Pitt has never been charged in connection with the allegations.
"Still today and in the seven years since that fateful plane ride, he personally has never publicly denied that it happened. Mr. Pitt saying that he is suing his ex wife to protect his family is hard to understand because he is well aware the children have not felt able to return to the house in France for almost seven years now due to the events that led to Ms. Jolie filing for divorce," the source continues.
"The reality is that Pitt refused to complete the Miraval sale with Jolie unless she agreed to being silenced about the abuse as he demanded that $8.5 million be held back to force her to keep quiet," the source adds. "Ms. Jolie had no interest in speaking about what happened, in fact she has not done so even once, and instead she devoted her life to helping the children heal and to advocating to fix the very broken domestic violence response system in America. The only reason any of this has come out now is because Mr. Pitt decided to sue her for not agreeing to keep quiet."
The winery, which was purchased by the former couple in 2008, is known for the rosé wine it produces on the 1,300-acre country estate located in the south of France. The property consists of a manor house, vineyards and numerous other buildings.