Brad Pitt says Angelina Jolie ‘sought to do harm’ with vineyard sale
NEW YORK — Angelina Jolie “sought to harm” her former husband Brad Pitt when she sold her stake in their co-owned vineyard to a Russian oligarch, according to new legal documents. Pitt is suing his ex-wife for selling her stake in the French vineyard they bought together in 2008.
He said his decision to sell his share to a Russian oligarch forced him to partner with “an outsider with toxic associations and intentions”. Jolie has yet to comment publicly. The couple acquired a majority stake in Château Miraval SA, a French company comprising a house and vineyard in the south of France, in 2008. The high-profile couple married there six years later. Pitt says he and his ex-wife have agreed not to sell their shares in the venue without each other’s permission.
In legal documents obtained by the PA news agency, it is alleged that Jolie sold her share to a Luxembourg-based spirits maker controlled by Russian oligarch Yuri Shefler, without Pitt’s knowledge.
The lawsuit claims the sale helped launch a ‘hostile’ takeover of the wine business which the actor had ‘carefully constructed’.
Pitt’s attorneys said that under his leadership the business had become a “multi-million dollar international success”, although Jolie had “contributed nothing”.
“Through the alleged sale, Jolie sought to harm Pitt,” according to the documents, which were filed last week. “Jolie knew and intended that Shefler and his affiliates would try to control the business Pitt had built and undermine Pitt’s investment in Miraval.”
He added that Shefler “has gained notoriety through cutthroat business tactics and questionable professional associations” and that the association with him “jeopardizes the reputation of the Pitt brand so carefully built.”
“All of this is a direct result of Jolie’s unlawful and tortious conduct.
“In violation of the parties’ agreement, Jolie sought to force Pitt to associate with an outsider, and even worse, an outsider with toxic associations and intentions.”
The Miraval estate is located in the village of Correns in south-east France and was bought by the couple for around €25m (£21.3m). Pitt reportedly contributed 60% of the purchase price, with Jolie paying the remaining 40%.
The lawyers also said the property’s wine business continues to thrive and “although she has benefited from the success of Miraval, Jolie has not been involved in these efforts.” The actress filed for divorce in 2016.
Jolie reportedly informed Pitt of her decision to sell to Shefler in January 2021, saying she made a “painful decision, with a heavy heart”. Pitt’s attorneys have requested a jury trial. Jolie’s representatives have yet to respond to the BBC’s request for comment.