Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have yet to resolve their divorce and custody issues. Earlier this week, I posted about a class action lawsuit over his Make It Right housing development. And now he’s making headlines over another legal situation involving Chateau Miraval, the property that he and Angelina bought together during their relationship. Curiously, however, there are no headlines about the OTHER legal situation related to this latest one, so this isn’t just about the Brange situation but also about how Brad Pitt can manipulate his Hollywood influence and weaponise it to great effect.
TMZ broke the story yesterday that Brad is suing Angelina for selling her Miraval shares claiming that they “always had an understanding…neither of them could sell of their interest without the other’s consent”. Per TMZ:
“Last July Angelina went to court and told the judge she had reached an agreement to sell her interest to an unnamed person. Pitt says in September he agreed to allow Angelina to pursue the sale but made it clear ... he was not consenting to the sale, but rather would give thumbs up or down to the proposed buyer.
Brad says in October he was shocked to learn a company called Tenute del Mondo -- a subsidiary of Stoli Group (the vodka co.) -- controlled by Russian oligarch, Yuri Shefler, bought her interest in the winery.
He says Angelina never sought his consent and intentionally kept the terms of the deal from him.
Brad says Shefler has wreaked havoc on his ability to run the winery.”
The detail about the Russian oligarch here is deliberately inflammatory. She sold her shares in a winery to a company that specialises in alcohol with alcohol-related business interests around the world. Which means they have experience in alcohol brand and production management. Which …could be an asset when running a winery?
Still, this is actually not the entire story. All of this first came to public attention last summer because Angelina had been trying to unload her Miraval shares for some time and claimed that Brad was trying to cockblock her. She initiated court proceedings asking a judge to allow her to sell, explaining that she was left out of the decision-making about the business and was losing money from the moves that Brad was making for the business without her input. A judge approved her request and she sold to Tenute del Mondo.
TMZ’s characterisation that Brad “agreed to allow” Angelina to pursue the sale, then, is misleading. He was fighting it. A court approved it. She didn’t need his permission, so whatever “understanding” he’s claiming they had is a generous description on TMZ’s part of this situation.
But there’s more…
Angelina exited the chat, and Tenute del Mondo is now Brad’s business partner. To simplify, when Angelina was still in business with Miraval, she owned it under a company called Nouvel. This is how the sale was done – she sold Nouvel to Tenute del Mondo. The reason I’m clarifying this is because…
In January, just last month, Nouvel – which is no longer Angelina’s company, but a subsidiary now of Tenute del Mondo – initiated court proceedings AGAINST BRAD PITT’S COMPANY. The court documents can be read here and part of Nouvel and Tenute del Mondo’s claim against Brad’s company, Mondo Bongo, is that:
“Nouvel and Tenute have repeatedly attempted to obtain information about Quimicum and Chateau Miraval from Mondo Bongo and Mr. Pitt and to communicate with them in an attempt to get the business affairs of Quimicum and Chateau Miraval in order. Mondo Bongo and Mr. Pitt have refused to cooperate, and have continued to act as if they were the controlling shareholders of both companies.”
This is all very complicated legal sh-t, and I’m not saying I know who’s actually in the wrong or in the right. My point is that TMZ is reporting on a story about Brange, so naturally it’s going to get play all over the place since they’re both so famous, and everyone has picked it up… but there are so many other important details that are missing.
Because it changes the complexion of the situation when you know that there was already a court filing AGAINST Brad on the books related to Miraval and his alleged mismanagement of the business. But when a large majority of the people learning about this situation are only getting the “Brad sues Angelina” part of it, the motivation behind the omission of the other details comes into question.
TMZ somehow got their hands on the court documents about Brad suing Angelina but they didn’t include publicly filed court documents about a court proceeding involving Brad related to the same property?
And on the subject of TMZ and their reporting, if you’re at all familiar with TMZ’s role in the celebrity industrial complex, you know they love legal sh-t. They are always out here reporting on celebrity legal drama, big or small. If you’re looking for related celebrity alcohol business legal content at TMZ, just yesterday they posted about Kendall Jenner’s tequila company getting sued. So you would think that the new owners of Nouvel, Tenute del Mondo, suing Brad would be kinda newsworthy?
You would think that the homeowners who bought into Make It Right mounting a class action lawsuit against Brad would be newsworthy? That story hasn’t gotten any play at TMZ either.
It’s also interesting that TMZ back in May of 2021 reported that Brad won “50/50 joint custody” of their children, calling it a “big loss for Angelina” but did NOT give an update on the situation two months later, in July 2021 when an appellate court in California disqualified the judge who had ruled in Brad’s favour for not disclosing his conflict of interest. The decision in appeals court to disqualify that judge voided the judge’s decisions in their custody case. No mention of this at TMZ. And further, there was no mention in October 2021 when the California Supreme Court UPHELD the appellate court’s decision…
Which was a BIG win for Angelina.
Again, no mention at TMZ.
Now, six months later, they’re getting exclusives about Brad suing Angelina but the full picture isn’t presented here …although Brad’s position is certainly being well represented in entertainment media. Coincidence or conspiracy?