Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt‘s divorce proceedings have been stalled after Jolie requested that the judge who was originally scheduled to preside over their court proceedings be removed. According to WUSA 9, Jolie wants the judge disqualified from the case because of “insufficient disclosures of his business relationships with one of Pitt’s attorneys.”
Jolie originally filed for divorce in 2016 following two years of marriage. In her reasons why Judge John W. Ouderkirk should no longer preside over their divorce proceedings, the actress also said that 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.”
Angelina Jolie Wants Private Judge Removed From Her and Brad Pitt’s Divorce Proceedings
Judge Ouderkirk has reportedly hired by Pitt’s attorney Anne C. Kiley before but neither were forthcoming about their alleged professional relationship. WUSA9 reports that an email to Kiley and Pitt’s lead attorney Lance Spiegel and an email to Ouderkirk seeking comment from either party regarding Jolie’s motion to have the judge removed were not immediately returned.
“It doesn’t matter if Judge Ouderkirk is actually biased,” the mom of six said in the court filing. “Under California law disqualification is required so long as a person aware of the facts ‘might reasonably entertain a doubt’ about Judge Ouderkirk’s ability to remain impartial.”
WUSA 9 also reported that the actress’s legal team attempted to Ouderkirk disqualify himself, but Pitt’s side has insisted on keeping him. “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 said in an email to The Associated Press. “The only way litigants can trust the process is for everyone involved to ensure that there is transparency and impartiality.”
However, while the specifics of their divorce have yet to be determined through the subsequent court proceedings, Jolie and Pitt have been declared divorced since April 2019. Despite only being married for two years before calling it quits, the couple was together for a total of 12 years and have a total of six children together.