Brad Pitt says Angelina Jolie 'sought to inflict harm' over winery sale

Legal documents claim deal helped launch 'hostile' takeover of wine business

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Angelina Jolie "sought to inflict harm" on her former husband Brad Pitt by selling her stake in their co-owned vineyard to a Russian businessman, new legal documents have claimed.

The sale helped launch a "hostile" takeover of the wine business that the actor had "carefully built" and forced him into partnership with "a stranger with poisonous associations and intentions".

The former Hollywood power couple purchased a controlling interest in Chateau Miraval SA, a French company comprising a home and vineyard in the South of France, in 2008.

Lawyers on behalf of the Fight Club star said under his stewardship, the business had grown into a "multimillion-dollar international success story" though Jolie had "contributed nothing".

According to an ongoing Los Angeles lawsuit, Jolie sold her stake to a Luxembourg-based spirits manufacturer controlled by Russian oligarch Yuri Shefler, without Pitt's knowledge.

"Through the purported sale, Jolie sought to inflict harm on Pitt," documents filed last week and obtained by the PA news agency said.

"Jolie knew and intended that Mr Shefler and his affiliates would try to control the business Pitt had built and to undermine Pitt's investment in Miraval."

It said Mr Shefler had "gained notoriety through cut-throat business tactics and dubious professional associations" and the connection with him "jeopardises the reputation of the brand Pitt so carefully built".

"All of this is the direct result of Jolie's unlawful and tortious conduct.

"In violation of the parties' agreement, Jolie has sought to force Pitt into partnership with a stranger, and worse yet, a stranger with poisonous associations and intentions."

The Miraval estate in the village of Correns, south-eastern France, was bought by the couple for around €25 million ($26.7m).

The legal documents claim that Pitt contributed 60 per cent to the buying price, with Jolie paying the remainder.

Lawyers said the wine business at the property continues to flourish and "though she benefited from Miraval's success, Jolie had no involvement in these efforts".

She filed for divorce in 2016.

Jolie had reportedly informed Pitt of her decision to sell to Mr Shefler in January 2021, saying she had reached a "painful decision, with a heavy heart".

Lawyers for Pitt have requested a trial by jury.

Updated: June 07, 2022, 5:46 PM
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