Following his ex’s request to have their judge “disqualified,” Brad Pitt claims Angelina Jolie’s custody trial delay will only ‘hurt’ their kids more. The 56-year-old Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood actor’s attorneys reportedly called the 45-year-old Maleficent star’s actions “preposterous” and reeking of “desperation” (just to cite a few), in new court documents obtained by HollywoodLife.
On August 7, Angelina filed a request to have Judge John W. Ouderkirk removed from presiding over her divorce and custody case with Brad. The actress alleged that Ouderkirk had a conflicting relationship with Brad’s own attorney, Anne C. Kiley (although it’s also worth noting that Ouderkirk was the same judge “hand-picked” by Angelina to preside over the couple’s nuptials back in 2014, according to recent court documents). Within days, Brad’s legal team shot back at Angelina’s request, calling it an “abrupt cry of judicial bias” that undermines the court’s own procedural selection process.
“Jolie’s abrupt cry of judicial bias reeks of bad faith and desperation, not to mention careless disregard for the procedural rules intended to root out legitimately conflicted judicial officers,” read the legal documents exclusively obtained by HollywoodLife. Brad’s attorneys go on to suggest that “the individuals hurt most by Jolie’s transparently tactical gambit are the parties’ own children, who continue to be deprived of a final resolution to these custody issues. Jolie’s motion should therefore be denied.”
The pair share six children together—Maddox, 19, Pax, 16, Zahara, 15, Shiloh, 14, Vivienne, and Knox, both 12—some of whom have been rather distant from Brad. Brad’s relationship with Maddox, for example, has been described as “nonexistent,” according to a Us Weekly source. But Brad’s latest court documents stipulate that his strained relationship with his children may only become worse due to Angelina’s “thinly veiled attempt” to delay “the adjudication of long-pending custody issues.”
The court documents go on to say, “It is disingenuous for Jolie to now take umbrage to Judge Ouderkirk’s participation in matters involving Respondent’s counsel when (1) — she has been well aware of this fact since January 2017 and (2) her own attorneys have likewise served as counsel in other matters before Judge Ouderkirk — both before and during the pendency of this case,” the legal team writes. “However, for Jolie to now claim that such participation is disqualifying grounds for Judge Ouderkirk is simply preposterous.”
Brad’s legal team is referencing the actress’s latest filing with the Los Angeles Superior Court, in which she suggests that Judge Ouderkirk “failed to disclose the cases that demonstrated the current, ongoing, repeat-customer relationship between the judge and Respondent’s counsel.” Angelina further suggests that there’s meddling on behalf of Brad’s attorney who “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.”
Brad and Angelina were together for a total of 12 years. Their wedding was held in August of 2014 and they remained married for two years before Angelina filed for divorce in late 2016 following an “explosive” fight between the couple.