Battle of the exes. Brad Pitt filed a lawsuit against his ex-wife Angelina Jolie in February 2022, claiming that she illegally sold her shares of Miraval, a French company including a chateau and vineyard that the former couple purchased together in the south of France.
The Mr. and Mrs. Smith stars first gained a controlling interest in Miraval in 2008. They began selling their own rosé in March 2013 and got married at the chateau in August 2014. Pitt alleges that when Jolie filed for divorce in 2016, they both agreed not to sell their Miraval shares without each other’s permission.
However, in 2021, the Girl Interrupted star sold her portion of the business to Tenute del Mondo, the wine division of the Stoli group, owned by Russian businessman Yuri Shefler. In his filing, Pitt argues that his ex-wife made the business decision without his knowledge or consent.
“She sold her interest with the knowledge and intention that Shefler and his affiliates would seek to control the business to which Pitt had devoted himself and to undermine Pitt’s investment in Miraval,” the lawsuit claims. The February 2022 filing refers to Shefler as “an aggressive third-party competitor.”
Us Weekly reported in February that the Burn After Reading actor tried to purchase his ex-wife’s stake in the company before she sold it. A source exclusively explained that the Maleficent star “made the negotiations difficult and was not being fair.” According to the insider, Pitt was “blindsided” when he learned that Jolie had sold her shares in October 2021. “He assumed they’d work it out because she knows how important the winery is to him,” the source said.
In June 2022, the Fight Club actor’s lawyers claimed that Jolie made the decision to sell her shares knowing it would negatively impact her ex-husband‘s business standing.
“Through the purported sale, Jolie sought to inflict harm on Pitt. Jolie knew and intended that Shefler and his affiliates would try to control the business Pitt had built and to undermine Pitt’s investment in Miraval,” the filing alleged. It continued to claim that Shefler “has gained notoriety through cutthroat business tactics and dubious professional associations” and that the association with the Russian oligarch “jeopardizes the reputation of the brand Pitt so carefully built.”
The Ocean’s Eleven star is seeking damages and requesting that Jolie’s sale to Shefler be declared illegal.
Pitt and Jolie met on the set of their film Mr. & Mrs. Smith in 2004 when the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star was still married to Jennifer Aniston. The costars wed in 2014 at an intimate ceremony attended by close friends and family. They were both declared legally single in 2019, three years after Jolie filed for divorce. The exes share six children together: Maddox, born in 2001, Pax, born in 2003, Zahara, born in 2005, Shiloh, born in 2006, and twins Knox and Vivienne, born in 2008.
In addition to the ongoing legal battle regarding the winery, the former couple are also still working out the details of a custody arrangement.
“It’s very clear to him [Pitt] that Angie has gone out of her way to delay and stall the process,” a source exclusively told Us in February 2022. “All he can do is work with his legal team and file the paperwork whilst responding to her claims. Month after month goes by with one piece of red tape after another, endless jumping through hoops and bickering between their lawyers with no resolution.”
Scroll through for a rundown on the Miraval saga thus far: