- Last week, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's divorce case stalled after Jolie requested the judge overseeing the case, Judge John W. Ouderkirk, be removed.
- Pitt hit back in new court documents, accusing Jolie of attempting to "delay the adjudication of long-pending custody issues in this case."
- Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt almost four years ago, in September 2016.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's divorce proceedings hit a roadblock earlier this month, after Jolie requested the removal of the private judge overseeing the case, Judge John W. Ouderkirk, alleging that he did not disclose other cases he was working on with Pitt's attorney, Anne C. Kiley. Pitt's legal team subsequently hit back, as People reports, calling the removal request "a thinly-veiled attempt by Jolie to delay the adjudication of long-pending custody issues in this case."
In papers filed last Monday, according to the Associated Press, Jolie said that Ouderkirk, who also married the two actors in 2014, "failed to disclose the cases that demonstrated the current, ongoing, repeat-customer relationship between the judge and Respondent’s counsel." She further claimed "she was never afforded the opportunity to even raise a concern or to object to the ever-increasing business relationships between Judge Ouderkirk and [Pitt’s] counsel."
The following Thursday, Pitt's legal team filed documents stating that while "accepted additional new engagements involving opposing counsel," these engagements were "fully disclosed to Jolie." Pitt further argued that Jolie "has never objected to [Ouderkirk's] continued involvement in this proceeding until now." He further noted, as People reports, that Ouderkirk had disclosed previous occasions in which he worked with both Pitt and Jolie's lawyers, adding that Jolie and her counsel had requested to extend Ouderkirk's work on the divorce case on three occasions.
"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," Pitt's lawyers wrote in the court filing.
In a statement given to People, Jolie's lawyer Samantha Bley DeJean said the filing was "an attempt to obstruct or influence Judge Ouderkirk's answer, adding, "Any delay in these proceedings is due to their zealous attempt to create an unrecognized special exception for their client's benefit."
In response, an anonymous source described as "close to Pitt" told the magazine, "This is the Judge who married them, someone who her team knew well and who her team actually introduced to the couple. Her lawyers have also worked with him, so the only excuse for their filing is that her team knew they were likely to lose and they needed to stall by changing the referee in the fourth quarter."
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.
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