Brad Pitt has accused ex-wife Angelina Jolie of intentionally inflicting harm on him over a wine business they co-owned before splitting up.
Back in 2008, the former couple bought a controlling stake in the vineyard and home Château Miraval, located in the village of Correns in the Var department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in south-eastern France.
The pair also went on to get married there in 2014, and enjoyed numerous holidays at the site, before they were officially divorced five years later after Jolie cited ‘irreconcilable differences’.
In February this year, Pitt sued Jolie for selling her stake in the winery, alleging she violated a previous agreement not to sell their interests unless the other person approved.
In a new court filing, Pitt claims Jolie intentionally ‘sought to inflict harm on’ him by selling her interests in Château Miraval without obtaining his consent.
Citing documents filed on Friday (3 June) at Los Angeles County Superior Court, People reports that Pitt’s legal team are claiming Jolie had planned to sell her interest in October to Tenute del Mondo, the wine division of Stoli Group.
They argued that Tenute del Mondo is ‘bent on taking control of Miraval’ and is ‘indirectly owned and controlled by Yuri Shefler, the Russian billionaire who controls the Stoli Group’.
The filing continued: "Jolie pursued and then consummated the purported sale in secret, purposely keeping Pitt in the dark, and knowingly violating Pitt's contractual rights.”
According to Pitt, Jolie owed him the right of first refusal, meaning the sale infringed on this.
Shefler, Pitt’s lawyers claim, also has ‘cutthroat business tactics and dubious professional associations’, which ‘jeopardizes the reputation of the brand Pitt so carefully built’.
"Jolie has sought to force Pitt into partnership with a stranger, and worse yet, a stranger with poisonous associations and intentions,” the court documents said, alleging that Shefler launched a hostile takeover, and is trying to get hold of ‘confidential and proprietary information for the benefit of his competing enterprise’.
Pitt’s team says Miraval became the actor’s ‘passion’ project, claiming the winery grew into a ‘multimillion-dollar global business and one of the world's most highly regarded producers of rosé wine' through his work.
On the flipside, he alleges that Jolie contributed ‘nothing to Miraval’s success’.
Not only is Pitt calling for Jolie’s purported sale to be declared ‘null and void’, he is also seeking damages ‘in an amount to be proven at trial’.
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