The legal battle between exes Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt rages on. After the Maleficent actress filed new court docs requesting to disqualify the judge in their custody trial, the Ad Astra actor’s lawyers fired back and alleged it is simply a “thinly veiled attempt” at delaying the already-long process.
Jolie, 45, sought to have Judge John W. Ouderkirk removed from their divorce case in new paperwork submitted at Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, August 10.
The mother of six’s legal team claimed the judge “failed to disclose the cases that demonstrated the current, ongoing, repeat-customer relationship between the judge and Respondent’s counsel,” in court docs obtained by In Touch. “The purpose of the disclosure requirement is to prevent not only actual bias, but even doubts about impartiality,” one section read.
Ouderkirk’s professional relationship with one of Pitt’s attorneys, Lance Stephen Spiegel, was addressed and the actress’ legal team argued that was unethical because it could persuade the judge to lean in the Moneyball star’s favor.
Pitt’s attorneys questioned why Jolie “never objected” to Ouderkirk until this point, noting the humanitarian “hand-selected” the judge to marry them at their 2014 wedding and always had a “well-documented history” with the exes.
“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,” his lawyers claimed in the docs.
“Unfortunately, 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,” they added about the former couple’s six kids, Maddox, 19, Pax, 16, Zahara, 15, Shiloh, 14, and Knox and Vivienne, both 12. “Jolie’s motion should therefore be denied.”
In the wake of Pitt’s response, Jolie’s attorney Samantha Bley DeJean shared a statement with Us Weekly, claiming it’s “unfortunate [his legal team] sought to intervene ahead of Judge Ouderkirk’s response.” She speculated it could be an “attempt to obstruct or influence Judge Ouderkirk’s answer.”
Pitt, 56, and Jolie’s legal battle began in 2016 when she first filed for divorce. Because of their different points of view, it has yet to be finalized in matters of custody, child support and finances.
In Touch has reached out to Judge Ouderkirk for comment.
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