Angelina Jolie Asked That the Judge in Her Brad Pitt Divorce Case Be Removed

Angelina Jolie requested that the judge appointed to the divorce case be removed, claiming he failed to disclose his relationship with Pitt's attorney.

hollywood, ca november 05 writer director producer actress angelina jolie pitt l and actor producer brad pitt attend the after party for the opening night gala premiere of universal pictures by the sea during afi fest 2015 presented by audi at tcl chinese 6 theatres on november 5, 2015 in hollywood, california photo by michael kovacgetty images for afi
(Image credit: Jason LaVeris)
  • Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's divorce proceedings have hit another complication, after Jolie requested that the private judge on the case be removed, claiming that he failed to disclose his relationship with Pitt's attorney.
  • Jolie filed papers in Los Angeles Superior Court Monday, as the Associated Press reports, alleging that Judge John W. Ouderkirk did not reveal he had worked on other cases involving Pitt's attorney, Anne C. Kiley.
  • Jolie’s attorney, Samantha Bley DeJean, told AP, "All my client is asking for is a fair trial based on facts, with no special favors extended to either side."

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's divorce proceedings have hit a roadblock, with Jolie requesting that the private judge overseeing the case, Judge John W. Ouderkirk, be removed due to his prior relationship with Pitt's attorney, Anne C. Kiley. As the Associated Press reports, Jolie and Pitt hired a private judge to manage the case, in order to keep many of its filings sealed. However, in papers filed in Los Angeles Superior Court Monday, Jolie asked for Judge Ouderkirk to be replaced, claiming that he was insufficiently forthcoming about cases he'd worked on with Kiley.

Jolie and Pitt were declared divorced in April 2019, but the couple are yet to resolve other issues in the case, which could include custody of their children, child support, or other financial issues (because the case's filings are sealed, it's unclear what the former couple are still working out.)

Jolie's Monday filing says that Judge Ouderkirk "failed to disclose the cases that demonstrated the current, ongoing, repeat-customer relationship between the judge and Respondent’s counsel." Jolie further alleges that Kiley, Pitt's attorney, "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."

"As is set forth in the filing, all my client is asking for is a fair trial based on facts, with no special favors extended to either side,” Jolie’s attorney Samantha Bley DeJean, told AP. "The only way litigants can trust the process is for everyone involved to ensure that there is transparency and impartiality."

Neither Judge Ouderkirk nor Pitt's attorneys, Kiley and Lance Spiegel, responded to AP's request for comment.

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Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.