Brad Pitt says Angelina Jolie's 'thinly-veiled attempt' to delay custody trial will only 'hurt' their kids
There has been a new development in the messy custody battle that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been embroiled in. On August 7, Jolie made a legal request for the judge overseeing the custody case of her six children to be "disqualified" and Pitt has fired back at her. Jolie had filed legal documents alleging that Judge John W Ouderkirk had a previous relationship with Pitt's attorney, Anne C Kiley, and was subsequently delaying the legal process.
In documents obtained by HollywoodLife, Pitt claimed that his ex's "Hail Mary" filing will negatively affect their kids. Pitt and Jolie share six kids together: 19-year-old Maddox, 16-year-old Pax, 15-year-old Zahara, 14-year-old Shiloh and 12-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox. "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," Pitt's attorneys' state in the legal documents.
"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. Jolie's motion should, therefore, be denied," his attorneys claim.
The documents further state that Jolie's "belated request" for Judge Ouderkirk's removal was a "thinly-veiled attempt" to delay the adjudication of the long-pending custody issues in the case. The trial is slated to start in October 2020 and documents state that Jolie has agreed to Judge Ouderkirk's appointment as early as three years ago.
The documents also state that Jolie had "hand-selected" the judge to preside over their nuptials in 2014. Pitt's legal team also claimed that Jolie had "never objected" to Ouderkirk's "continued involvement" in the case until August 7 before which she stipulated to extend the judge's appointment three times.
The court documents further explain, "It is disingenuous for Jolie to now take umbrage to Judge Ouderkirk's participation in matters involving Respondent’s counsel when (1) — she has been well aware of this fact since January 2017 and (2) her own attorneys have likewise served as counsel in other matters before Judge Ouderkirk — both before and during the pendency of this case," Pitt’s legal team claims. "However, for Jolie to now claim that such participation is disqualifying grounds for Judge Ouderkirk is simply preposterous."
This filing was a response to Jolie's legal documents to remove Judge Ouderkirk from the case claiming that he, 'failed to disclose the cases that demonstrated the current, ongoing, repeat-customer relationship between the judge and Respondent’s counsel.” Jolie further claimed that Pitt’s attorney, Kiley “actively advocated for Judge Ouderkirk's financial interests in moving — over the opposing party’s opposition — to have his appointment (and his ability to continue to receive fees) extended in a high profile case.”
After Pitt's attorneys filed a counter-request on his behalf to deny Jolie's motion, her attorney Samantha Bley DeJean shared a statement with HollywoodLife which read, "It is unfortunate that Mr Pitt's team has sought to intervene ahead of Judge Ouderkirk’s response." The statement added, "One can only conclude that this is an attempt to obstruct or influence Judge Ouderkirk's answer. Any delay in these proceedings is due to their zealous attempt to create an unrecognized special exception for their client’s benefit."
Pitt and Jolie were together for 14 years. They married in 2014 and Jolie filed for divorce two years later, in the fall of 2016.