Angelina Jolie is responding with her own counterclaim against former Brad Pitt for the wine business they previously co-owned together.
Jolie’s company, Nouvel, is demanding more than $ 250 million in damages, accusing Pitt of “waging a vengeful war against” Jolie since filing for divorce in 2016.
“These counter-arguments lay bare the true nature of Pitt’s egregious misconduct. To be clear, it is Pitt, and not Jolie, Nouvel or any of the other defendants, who have acted in a hostile, destructive and illegal manner. Pitt caused serious damage to Nouvel, “reads the documents obtained by PEOPLE.
Lawyers say Pitt, 58, “has come up with a hitherto successful plan to take control” of Château Miraval, the vineyard and southern French home that, in 2008, the couple, who share six children, bought a controlling stake in They claim that Pitt has now “frozen Nouvel out of Château Miraval and treats it as his personal fiefdom” and has “wasted his possessions, spending millions on vanity projects, including more than $ 1 million in works of renovation of swimming pools and other funds for the restoration of a recording studio. “
The legal filing states that Jolie, 47, would have negotiated for months with Pitt’s side to sell him his half of the winery, but “made an eleventh hour of demand for onerous and irrelevant terms, including a provision designed to forbid Jolie from speaking publicly about the events that led to the breakup of their marriage. ” According to the filing, Jolie was unwilling to accept the “silence clause” and instead sold her stake to Tenute del Mondo, a subsidiary of the Stoli Group, in October 2021.
A source close to Pitt tells PEOPLE, “This is just the latest in a series of deliberate efforts to misdirect, recycle, and reposition the truth about what has happened in the past six years, thinking that reasonable people would be deceived by these obvious misrepresentations. “
“It’s hard to figure out how leaving a legacy of 40 percent of something is better than 100 percent of something, and it’s just as inexplicable as continuing to revisit the same spots over and over again is somehow beneficial to this family,” adds the source. .
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Amy Sussman / WireImage; Steve Granitz / WireImage
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In his own lawsuit in June, Pitt accused Jolie of damaging the winery’s reputation by selling her half to a “stranger,” saying she intentionally “tried to inflict harm on him” by selling her interests in the winery. Pitt said they had agreed to never sell their interests in the family business without the other’s consent.
His legal team wrote in the documents that Miraval has become his “passion project” that has grown “into a multi-million dollar global business and one of the most respected rose wine producers in the world” through his work. The actor said Jolie did not contribute “to Miraval’s success at all”.
“Jolie pursued and then consummated the alleged sale in secret, purposely keeping Pitt in the dark and knowingly violating Pitt’s contractual rights,” Pitt’s team statement at the time read.
Ethan Miller / WireImage Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in March 2014
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Pitt’s lawsuit alleged that Jolie Nouvel’s business owed his company Mondo Bongo the right of first refusal and the sale violated that right. Jolie was previously cleared to sell her share of the property in September. He is asking for damages “in an amount to be proved at trial” plus the alleged sale made by Jolie to be declared “void”.
The new document from Jolie’s legal team states, “Pitt is gaslighting, claiming to be the victim to cover up the damage he intentionally caused to his ex-wife (by excluding her from the business and holding the most significant portion of his value network hostage. ) and business (dispossession of goods and crazy expenses). But Pitt should look in the mirror because it is he, and not the Stoli Group, who carries the luggage, some of the latest front-page news, to harm the commercial activity of Château Miraval. “
Explaining why she wanted to leave the winery, the documents add, “Jolie was already becoming increasingly uncomfortable about participating in a liquor business. Also, given the events that led to her filing for divorce, neither she nor any of the children felt able to return to the castle “.
He also claimed that “over the years,” Pitt – who has been open about sobriety and past alcoholism – “has developed an addiction to alcohol, which has led to increasingly destructive behaviors towards Jolie and the rest of her. their family “.