Angelina Jolie “sought to inflict harm” on her former husband Brad Pitt by selling her stake in a vineyard they co-owned to a Russian oligarch, legal documents claim.
The sale helped launch a “hostile” takeover of the wine business that the Fight Club actor had “carefully built” and forced him into partnership with “a stranger with poisonous associations and intentions”.
The former Hollywood power couple bought a £20.8million controlling stake in Chateau Miraval SA, a French company comprising a home and vineyard in the south of France, in 2008.
The pair were married at the vineyard in 2014, but now Pitt is suing his ex-wife over the French property.
Pitt’s lawyers say that under his stewardship, the business had grown into a “multimillion-dollar international success story”.
They claim Jolie “contributed nothing” to the venture’s success.
According to the lawsuit, Jolie sold her stake to a Luxembourg-based spirits manufacturer controlled by Russian oligarch Yuri Shefler, without Pitt’s knowledge.
She reportedly informed Pitt of her decision to sell to Shefler in January 2021, saying she had reached a “painful decision, with a heavy heart”.
“Through the purported sale, Jolie sought to inflict harm on Pitt”, documents filed last week said.
“Jolie 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.”
It added that Shefler “has gained notoriety through cutthroat business tactics and dubious professional associations” and the association with him “jeopardises the reputation of the brand Pitt so carefully built”.
“All of this is the direct result of Jolie’s unlawful and tortious conduct.”
“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.”
Lawyers for Pitt have requested a trial by jury.
Jolie filed for divorce in 2016. The former couple have six children together – Maddox, Pax and Zahara, who are adopted, as well as Shiloh and twins Vivienne and Knox.