It was reported late on Friday that a three-judge panel in California has disqualified Judge John Ouderkirk from the ongoing Brange divorce case, “citing a violation of his ethical obligations”. PEOPLE reported that the “Second District Court of Appeal in California sided with Jolie's argument that Ouderkirk, who had been serving as their temporary judge, could be biased in his rulings considering he had failed to disclose his business relationships with Pitt's attorneys”. Brad was previously awarded “more time” with his children and this latest decision has now reversed that, which means they now have to appoint a new judge.
What’s interesting to me about how this information is being presented. This is what Angelina and her legal team wanted. She’d been asking for Judge Oudenkirk to be removed for almost a year and initially that request wasn’t granted – which is why she took it to the appeal court. She’d also been asking for the court to hear testimony from the minor children about their custody arrangement, and that was also not approved under Judge Oudenkirk. So, moving forward, that may now be back on the table. This latest court decision then represents a win for her. But her team is not supplying any commentary, at least not to PEOPLE.
It’s Brad’s representatives and a “source close to him” who are quoted twice in the article. Needless to say, their position is pro-Pitt. But my point is… it could be that Angelina’s team didn’t have to be on the offensive since the court had already called in their favour. Or it could be that Team Pitt wanted to get ahead of how this information was presented to the public to make sure that he doesn’t look bad, what with the judge having certain other situations and cases and maybe deals going on with his legal team.
You know what’s also curious though?
For over 15 years, TMZ has been the online destination for celebrity legal gossip, generating all kinds of internet traffic. When it comes to legal and law enforcement, especially in California, they are always up in everyone’s business – but they haven’t yet, at the time of this writing, made mention of this court decision that happens to be a legal win for the Jolie.
They were all over it in May though when Judge Oudenkirk ruled in favour of Brad and more custody calling it a “huge victory”. You could say the same in this case with Judge Oudenkirk’s disqualification. Just a simple editorial decision? Or is there something to the non-mention? Will be interesting to see how and when Brad and/or Angelina show up on next on TMZ…and in what context.