In 2014, after being romantically involved for eight years, Mr. and Mrs. Smith stars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt got married, but just two years later, the former filed for divorce from the latter. By 2019, Jolie and Pitt’s were legally declared single, but the former couple are still locked in legal conflict, particularly over the custody of five of their six children. The latest development on that front brings a win for Jolie, as the judge that was previously overseeing that case has been disqualified.
For those out of the loop, last year, Angelina Jolie requested that Judge John W. Ouderkirk be taken off her divorce case because he hadn’t disclosed that he’d previously worked on cases involving one of Brad Pitt’s attorneys, Anne C. Kiley. Then this past May, Jolie and her legal team filed new papers asking that Ouderkirk be disqualified from the same case, the reasoning this time around being that he refused to hear evidence that Jolie’s side believed was “relevant to the children’s health, safety, and welfare, evidence critical to making her case.” Two months later, an opinion submitted by three appellate judges (via People) has ruled that Ouderkirk will indeed be disqualified after being found to have “violated his ethical obligations.”
This update comes after John Ouderkirk allowed Brad Pitt more time with his kids Pax (17), Zahara (16), Shiloh (14), and twins Vivienne and Knox (12) (Maddox, who is 19, is no longer part of the custody case), but that ruling is now void. This decision form the three appellate judges reverses a previous ruling allowing Ouderkirk to stay on the case, meaning he’s no longer allowed to serve as its temporary judge.
It was also noted that John Ouderkirk failed to make “mandatory disclosures” about other legal proceedings involving Pitt’s lawyers that “might cause an objective person, aware of all of the facts” to doubt his impartiality. There’s no word yet on who the new judge will be to oversee this case.
Back in March, Angelina Jolie alleged back that she had documents that would prove that Brad Pitt committed acts of domestic violence against her and their children. However, no charges were filed against the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star following investigations. As far as Jolie and Pitt’s custody battle is concerned, an unnamed source who spoke with People claimed that joint custody of the kids itself isn’t the issue she objects to; “there were other issues of concern, but the court proceedings are closed and sealed.” It’s also worth noting that John Ouderkirk presided over Jolie and Pitt’s wedding in 2014 as one of its 20 guests.
In summary, Angelina Jolie’s won this round, but the legal battle between her and Brad Pitt still goes on, and it doesn’t look like it will end anytime soon. We’ll keep you apprised as more developments come in. As far as their professional work goes, Jolie will star later this year as Thena in the Marvel movie Eternals, and Brad Pitt appear next year in the action flick Bullet Train.