Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s battle for a French wine estate has gone from nasty to nuclear.
A company founded by Jolie has filed a jaw-dropping $250 million lawsuit against her ex-husband, claiming he and a gang of pals launched a devious campaign to ‘take over’ the French winery they had purchased as a couple “in retaliation for the divorce and custody proceedings” and to “ensure that…Jolie would never see a dime” of her huge profits.
The lawsuit also claims that Pitt attempted to use Jolie’s large financial stake in the winery to force her to sign a “silence clause” that would prevent her from discussing the circumstances that led to their divorce and that Pitt has squandered millions of company money on “vanity projects,” including over a million dollars on a swimming pool.
Court documents filed Tuesday in Los Angeles claimed that after the couple purchased the 1,300-acre estate in southern France in 2008, they jointly invested tens of millions of dollars to improve it.
The suit states that Jolie and Pitt each owned 50% through a complicated network of holding companies, and that “much of Jolie’s personal wealth” was tied to the winery.
He says the couple had an agreement that the “Malificent” actress would oversee their humanitarian projects, including the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, while “oversight of the couple’s investment in Chateau Miraval was left in the hands of Pitt”.
The newspapers scathingly claim that although the winery has won awards and become an extremely valuable asset under their ownership, “all was not well”, adding: “Pitt developed a problem with alcohol abuse publicly recognised”.
He also discusses the infamous fight on a private flight in 2016, saying that “after a serious and internationally publicized incident between Pitt, Jolie and the couple’s children, Jolie filed for divorce.”
The lawsuit was brought by Nouvel, the company Jolie founded to retain her stake in the winery, which she recently sold to liquor giant Stoli.
He adds: “In retaliation for the divorce and custody proceedings, Pitt embarked on a multi-faceted, years-long campaign to take control of Chateau Miraval and appropriate the company’s assets for his own benefit and to that of his own businesses and friends.Designating himself as the rightful owner of Château Miraval, his dual purpose was to usurp the value of the company from Jolie, Nouvel, and to obtain sole ownership of Château Miraval.
Newspapers claim that after the divorce was filed, Pitt simply operated the winery without consulting Jolie, that when she tried to gain information and more control, he ‘pushed her off’ and that he improperly attempted “to prevent Jolie and Nouvel from obtaining information about or the management of Château Miraval.
He also claims that he “devised and executed a plan to secretly transfer assets from Chateau Miraval…to companies owned by him and his friends, thereby devaluing Jolie’s interest.”
The lawsuit also alleges that since the divorce, the directors of Pitt and Chateau Miraval have “wasted tens of millions of Chateau Miraval money on vanity projects that have little or no business justification,” including more than one million dollars on a swimming pool, and that, “Under Pitt’s direction, Chateau Miraval also commissioned a single staircase to the castle to be built and rebuilt a total of four times after being dissatisfied with the first three attempts.”
He claims that Pitt also “made Château Miraval spend [several million dollars] on the reconstruction of stone walls with the help of stonemasons from Croatia.
“These funds were spent over the objection of Jolie and Nouvel,” he says.
The lawsuit claims that Pitt was aided in the alleged chicanery “by his allies, including Château Miraval directors Gary Bradbury, Roland Venturini and Warren Grant, and his business partners, Marc Perrin, Familles Perrin and Miraval Provence.” Nouvel also pursues them.
“Although Jolie was under no obligation to sell [her stake] to Pitt, she nevertheless offers to sell him her stake and negotiates with him for months. As a deal approached,” the lawsuit claims, “Pitt’s hubris got the better of him: He demanded onerous and irrelevant terms at the last hour, including a provision to bar Jolie from speak publicly about the events leading up to the blackout. of their marriage. Pitt knew that much of Jolie’s wealth and cash was tied to [her stake in the winery] and used that fact to try to force Jolie to agree to his unreasonable terms.
The papers say that in October 2021 “after Pitt ignored Jolie’s final offer to sell her stake in the winery on the same terms Pitt had offered but without the silence clause”, she sold it to Stoli at the place.
The lawsuit states that Stoli was willing to put his experience and his distribution network at the service of Château Miraval, but that “not wanting to share control, Pitt refused to work with [Stoli] as an equal partner.
The couple have been locked in various legal skirmishes over the property for months. This latest filing is a countersuit against documents filed by Pitt’s attorneys.
The couple bought the estate three years after they started dating. They married in a chapel on his land in 2014.