Brad Pitt Alleges Angelina Jolie Wanted to 'Inflict Harm' on Him by Selling Winery Stake to Russian Oligarch
By Zach Seemayer
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Brad Pitt is accusing his ex of intentionally trying to "inflict harm" on him and his interests in their Chateau Miraval Winery. In new legal docs filed in Los Angeles on Friday, Pitt's lawyers claim Angelina Jolie sold her stake in their winery to Russian oligarch Yuri Shefler in an effort to damage Pitt's involvement in the company.
Pitt first sued Jolie over the sale of her shares of Miraval back in February and was seeking monetary damages, legal fees and for Jolie's sale of Miraval to Shefler to be voided.
In these latest docs, Pitt's attorneys claim that "Jolie sought to inflict harm on Pitt" and allege that she "knew and intended that Shefler and his affiliates would try to control the business Pitt had built and to undermine Pitt’s investment in Miraval."
"The vineyard became Pitt’s passion -- and a profitable one, as Miraval, under Pitt’s stewardship, has grown into a multimillion-dollar global business and one of the world’s most highly regarded producers of rosé wine," the docs claim. "Jolie, meanwhile, contributed nothing to Miraval’s success. Instead, she allowed Pitt to pour money and sweat equity into the business in reliance on the consent right she owed him and a right of first refusal her business entity owed his."
The new docs claim that, since obtaining a stake in Miraval, Shefler -- the owner of SPI Group, an international alcohol sales consortium -- has allegedly, "launched a hostile takeover of the wine business, destabilizing Miraval’s operations and seeking access to Miraval’s confidential and proprietary information for the benefit of his competing enterprise."
"In violation of the parties’ agreement, Jolie has sought to force Pitt into partnership with a stranger, and worse yet, a stranger with poisonous associations and intentions," the docs state, alleging that Shefler "also maintains personal and professional relationships with individuals in Vladimir Putin’s inner circle."
"Pitt -- through significant financial investment and years of sweat equity—has built a highly successful family-owned business. Miraval has correspondingly grown massively in value since 2008 and is now worth hundreds of millions of dollars," the docs claim. "Meanwhile, Jolie has not returned to Miraval since filing for divorce in 2016."
"Jolie pursued and then consummated the purported sale in secret, purposely keeping Pitt in the dark, and knowingly violating Pitt's contractual rights," the lawsuit alleges.
A source close to the situation tells ET that Pitt's lawsuit against Jolie "is an extension of a false narrative, and the truth of the situation has still not been made public."
"After the events that led to Ms. Jolie filing for divorce and her years devoted to caring for their children, Ms. Jolie and the children have not been able to return to the property, and she made the difficult decision to sell her stake in the business," the source added. "After making multiple offers to her ex-husband, and knowing the business will be inherited by their children, she found a business partner with experience in the alcohol industry. It’s unfortunate that after she properly and legally exited the business, Mr. Pitt is entangling her in multiple lawsuits."
According to Pitt's lawsuit back in February, the 58-year-old actor also claimed that per the terms of their divorce, which was finalized in 2019, the couple had a "mutual understanding" that neither of them could sell off their interest in the winery without the other's consent.
Last July, in a separate suit, when Jolie went to court, she told a judge she reached an agreement to sell her interest to an unnamed person, which Pitt agreed to consider in September. However, Pitt claims per their "mutual understanding," that he'd be given the right of first refusal, which he claims was not given to him by Jolie.
Per the docs, when Pitt found out in October that a company called Tenute del Mondo -- a subsidiary of the vodka company Stoli Group -- controlled by Shefler -- bought her interest in the winery, he was shocked.