'Just sour grapes': Angelina Jolie's former company Nouvele sues Brad Pitt for $250M claiming he 'secretly moved assets'

Nouvele LLC claims that Pitt allegedly used a scheme to ensure Jolie 'never see a dime' of the winery's 'tens of millions of dollars in profit'

'Just sour grapes': Angelina Jolie's former company Nouvele sues Brad Pitt for $250M claiming he 'secretly moved assets'
In 2008, Jolie and Pitt bought a majority stake in Château Miraval and married there in 2014 (Gerald Matzka, Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
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LOS ANGELES: Brad Pitt is being sued for $250 million by Angelina Jolie's former company for allegedly stealing their wine business. In response to Pitt's lawsuit against Jolie for allegedly selling her ownership interest in Chateau Miraval, a French castle and wine company, Nouvele LLC filed a cross-claim on Tuesday, September 6.

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In 2008, Jolie and Pitt bought a majority stake in Château Miraval and married there in 2014. Despite getting divorced, the couple had kept up their collaboration at Miraval, a wine brand known for its rosé made from grapes grown on the site. The actress owned stock in the wine company through her business, Nouvel. Still, in October 2021 she sold it to Tenute del Mondo, the wine division of the Stoli Group. Which is indirectly owned and controlled by Yuri Shefler, the Russian oligarch who runs the Stoli Group and whose flagship vodka, Stolichnaya, has come under criticism during that nation's invasion of Ukraine.

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According to Nouvel's filing, Pitt tried to "secretly move assets" from their co-owned company to friends and other businesses, spent "millions on vanity projects," including $1 million on a swimming pool and more on a recording studio, and gave away half of the company's trademarks for free to a friend. The lawsuit seeks at least $250 million in damages. Jolie's former company also claims that Pitt allegedly used a scheme to ensure that she "never see a dime" of Chateau Miraval's "tens of millions of dollars in profits."

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The lawsuit says that in retaliation for the divorce and custody proceedings, Pitt embarked on a multi-faceted, years-long campaign to seize control of Chateau Miraval and appropriate the company's assets for his benefit and that of his own companies and friends. Appointing himself the rightful owner of Chateau Miraval, his twin objectives were to usurp the value of Jolie's company, Nouvel, and to obtain sole ownership of Chateau Miraval.

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The lawsuit says, that Pitt's allies, including Chateau Miraval directors Gary Bradbury, Roland Venturini, and Warren Grant, and his business partners, Marc Perrin, Familles Perrin, and Miraval Provence, assisted his scheme to hive off the wine company. According to the cross-complaint, Nouvel has also filed a criminal complaint in France against Pitt's business partners Bradbury and Venturini for using Chateau Miraval's assets in a way they knew was against the corporation's interest, in bad faith. 

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Pitt and Jolie originally purchased shares in Qimicum in 2008. Quimicum is the company that controls Chateau Miraval. At that time, Pitt held 60% of the company and named it Mondo Bongo while Jolie held 40% and named it Nouvel. Pitt filed a lawsuit against her in June, claiming that she "sought to inflict harm" on him and that she had promised not to sell her share without his permission. He asserts that Jolie had "nothing to do with Miraval's success" and that her buyer Shefler was "bent on taking control of Miraval." According to his lawsuit, "Jolie has sought to force Pitt into partnership with a stranger, and worse yet, a stranger with poisonous associations and intentions."

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But, according to a counter-claim filed on Tuesday, September 6 in a Los Angeles court by Jolie's ex-company, that's "just sour grapes."

Her suit even accuses Pitt and his colleagues of squandering company funds. "Pitt, Bradbury, and Venturini improperly diverted millions in dividends paid to Chateau Miraval from the Miraval Provence wine business to personal projects with no justifiable business reason, spending millions of euros on a swimming pool and almost three million on garment works," according to her lawsuit.

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Additionally, Pitt used Chateau Miraval's funds for personal endeavors, ostensibly to the advantage of Pitt and Mondo Bongo's other portfolio investments, such as a recording studio on the Miraval property that Pitt set up so that Nouvel has no direct ownership interest.

A source close to Nouvel told Daily Mail, "What Brad’s doing is out of spite for his ex-wife, Most of the world would consider this theft, although Nouvel isn’t claiming theft here. He’s basically just seized control of Chateau Miraval and is doing whatever he wants, including spending the profits that should’ve gone up to Jolie when she owned Nouvel, wasting them on his own pet vanity projects."

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