Brad Pitt was reportedly shocked to learn through a 2021 press release that his ex-wife, Angelina Jolie, had sold her 50% stake in their shared French vineyard, Chateau Miraval, to a Russian oligarch.
This revelation marks a new chapter in the ongoing conflict between the famous exes, who have been in legal battles since their split in 2016.
The $160 million vineyard, which was also the setting for their 2014 wedding, was believed to be a mutually cherished asset by both Pitt and Jolie.
According to a document filed by Pitt’s lawyers, the former couple had a ‘mutual and binding commitment’ to the vineyard and had agreed not to sell their share without the other’s consent.
However, Jolie’s move to sell half of the vineyard to an oligarch linked to a Russian vodka conglomerate has intensified the feud.
It’s alleged the buyer is part of a Russian vodka conglomerate led by a billionaire oligarch, which, according to a new legal filing, would leverage the Hollywood connection to enhance the oligarch’s reputation.
Pitt, known for films such as Fight Club, has accused Jolie of damaging him and unlawfully enriching herself through her actions.
His lawyers stated that her sale linked the vineyard, renowned for its rosé, to Russia’s homophobic laws and the invasion of Ukraine, thereby potentially staining its reputation.
The legal battle has also involved accusations of unproven domestic violence allegations against Pitt, with the actor accusing Jolie of leveraging privileged court documents to repeat these claims.
Pitt’s lawyers insist he had the right to first refusal on Jolie’s share of the vineyard, which is located in Correns, a village in the South of France.
In her $250 counterclaim, Jolie has accused Pitt of pressuring her into selling to his company, Mondo Bongo, on ‘unreasonable terms’, and spreading false claims that the buyer was an ally of Vladimir Putin.
She also alleged Pitt concealed assets and used the chateau’s funds for vanity projects.
Pitt, who poured resources into renovating the estate and building a successful wine business, claims his investment exceeded Jolie’s by nearly $50 million. He states that he trusted his then-wife’s promise to maintain the vineyard together.
This ongoing dispute has even more complexities with accusations of Pitt’s violation of contractual rights and a secret collaboration between Jolie and the oligarch, Yuri Shefler, owner of Stoli Group and part of Russia-affiliated spirits conglomerate.
Allegedly, Shefler, who Pitt had previously refused to sell to, had plotted a hostile takeover and destabilized the winery’s operations.
Adding to the tension are allegations from Jolie that Pitt was physically abusive towards her and their six children during an incident in 2016 after consuming alcohol.
Pitt has firmly denied these claims. Jolie’s filings suggest that this incident made her uncomfortable continuing in an alcohol-related business.
However, authorities including the FBI and reportedly the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services declined to take further action against Pitt.
This ongoing conflict demonstrates the complexities of disentangling shared assets after a high-profile marriage.
As the drama unfolds, it’s clear that the couple’s financial and legal battles are far from over, with their six children caught in the middle of this unfortunate saga.
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