Turn of events. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s divorce is delayed because of the judge’s connection to the Maleficent star’s estranged husband. According to court documents obtained by HollywoodLife, Jolie requested that the private judge overseeing her and Pitt’s divorce case, Judge John W. Ouderkirk, be replaced because of the official’s past alleged relationship with Pitt’s attorney, Anne C. Kiley. Jolie filed a documents in the Los Angeles Superior Court for Judge Ouderkirk to be removed on Monday, August 7.
According to HollywoodLife’s documents, Jolie claimed that Judge Ouderkirk “failed to disclose the cases that demonstrated the current, ongoing, repeat-customer relationship between the judge and Respondent’s counsel.” The Oscar winner also alleged that Pitt’s attorney “actively advocated for Judge Ouderkirk’s financial interests in moving—over the opposing party’s opposition—to have his appointment (and his ability to continue to receive fees) extended in a high profile case.” The filing also states that “it doesn’t matter if Judge Ouderkirk is actually biased. Under California law disqualification is required so long as a person aware of the facts ‘might reasonably entertain a doubt’ about Judge Ouderkirk’s ability to remain impartial.”
In a statement to the Associated Press, Jolie’s attorney, Samantha Bley DeJean, confirmed the Girl Interrupted star’s request to have the judge removed. “As is set forth in the filing, all my client is asking for is a fair trial based on facts, with no special favors extended to either side. The only way litigants can trust the process is for everyone involved to ensure that there is transparency and impartiality,” the statement read.
Pitt and Jolie separated in 2016 after a 12-year relationship. The couple were married from 2014 to 2016 but started dating in 2005 soon after the Fight Club star’s divorce from Jennifer Aniston. Jolie and Pitt share six kids together: Maddox, 19, Pax, 16, Zahara, 15, Shiloh, 14, and twins Vivienne, and Knox, 12. Prior to her marriage with Pitt, Jolie was married to Jonny Lee Miller from 1996 to 1999 and Billy Bob Thornton from 2000 to 2003.
In an interview with Vogue India in June 2020, Jolie opened up about her separation and revealed that she split from Pitt to protect her family. “I separated for the wellbeing of my family,” she said at the time. “It was the right decision. I continue to focus on their healing. Some have taken advantage of my silence, and the children see lies about themselves in the media, but I remind them that they know their own truth and their own minds. In fact, they are six very brave, very strong young people.”
Jolie told Harper’s Bazaar in June 2019 that she’s choosing to live in the United States at the moment because of her children and her estranged husband. “I would love to live abroad and will do so as soon as my children are 18. Right now I’m having to base where their father chooses to live,” she said at the time. “My body has been through a lot over the past decade, particularly the past four years, and I have both the visible and invisible scars to show for it.”