Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s divorce proceedings just hit a roadblock. In new court documents obtained by HollywoodLife, the actress requested that the judge overseeing their divorce case be removed.
UPDATE: (8/27/20, 9:10 PM ET) — Judge John W. Ouderkirk has responded to Angelina Jolie’s request that he be removed from the case. Stating he can remain impartial, the judge said, “I will continue to consider accepting other cases as other additional cases may arise from time to time while the Jolie/Pitt case is still pending. Such other cases might involve party, lawyer‚ law firm and/or witnesses involved in the Jolie/Pitt matter,” according to court documents obtained by Entertainment Tonight. “Such other cases might involve party, lawyer‚ law firm and/or witnesses involved in the Jolie/Pitt matter,” he also said in the documents.
UPDATE: (8/13/20, 5:19 PM ET) — Angelina’s attorney Samantha Bley DeJean provided HollywoodLife with the following statement: “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,” DeJean concluded.
ORIGINAL: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt‘s divorce negotiations continue to drag on. The Maleficent actress, 45, is requesting that the private judge overseeing the divorce case, Judge John W. Ouderkirk, be replaced — as stated in new court documents obtained by HollywoodLife on August 10. Angelina’s reasoning for filing the new court papers in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, August 7, is due to Ouderkirk’s previous alleged relationship with Brad‘s attorney, Anne C. Kiley. HollywoodLife has reached out to attorneys for both Brad and Angelina.
Angelina asked for Judge Ouderkirk to be replaced, claiming he “failed to disclose the cases that demonstrated the current, ongoing, repeat-customer relationship between the judge and Respondent’s counsel,” according to the court documents. Angelina further alleges that Brad’s attorney, Kiley “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 goes on to state 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.”
Angelina and Brad’s divorce proceedings have been going on for four years. Though it’s unclear why the matter is still ongoing, as Angelina previously filed to have their court documents sealed to ensure privacy.
Angelina and Brad went through a very public split in 2016, after a 12-year relationship. Brad, 56, and Angelina were married from 2014 until 2016, when she filed for divorce. The exes share six kids together: Maddox, 19, Pax, 16, Zahara, 15, Shiloh, 14, Vivienne, and Knox, both 12. Angelina and Brad adopted Maddox, Zahara and Pax. Shiloh, along with twins Vivienne and Knox are Brad and Angelina’s biological children. Following their split, Brad was investigated for alleged child abuse, which he was later cleared of all allegations.
Angelina opened up about her relationship with Brad in a recent interview, while discussing World Refugee Day. “I separated for the wellbeing of my family,” Angelina told Vogue in a rare statement about the split. “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,” she explained, adding, “In fact, they are six very brave, very strong young people.”