Jennifer Aniston‘s then-husband Brad Pitt secretly checked into a hotel with Angelina Jolie — posing as a married couple — during promotion for Mr. & Mrs. Smith, a lawsuit filed by Jolie’s stunt double against the Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corporation has revealed.
Eunice Huthart — the godmother of Pitt and Jolie’s daughter Shiloh — sued the media giant in Los Angeles on June 13 alleging her mobile phone messages were intercepted by the now defunct News of the World and The Sun newspapers.
Chief among her allegations are that no-one knew about Pitt and Jolie’s secret romance on the set of the 2005 film Mr. & Mrs. Smith except for her, the pair’s bodyguards and personal assistants.
But after her phone was hacked, the information appeared in The Sun, it’s claimed.
The lawsuit charges: “On April 1, 2005, while Plaintiff [Huthart] was in Los Angeles, a story appeared in The Sun entitled ‘Brad’s 4M Pad Is Jolie Nice.’ Upon information and belief, no one except Brad Pitt’s bodyguard, Ms. Jolie’s bodyguard, their respective personal assistants and Plaintiff knew that Brad Pitt and Ms. Jolie were now an ‘item.’
“Yet at the end of The Sun, it is stated: ‘Yesterday The Sun exclusively revealed [Brad] and Angelina checked into a hotel posing as a married couple during a weekend trip to plug their new movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith.’”
Aniston and Pitt separated in January 2005 but didn’t finalize their divorce until October that year, after four-and-a-half years of marriage. Earlier, he’d met Jolie on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith and the pair was plagued by rumors that their fledgling relationship had caused the downfall of Pitt’s marriage to the Friends star.
In the court documents, obtained by RadarOnline.com, Huthart described she and Jolie as “close” friends who “often travelled and socialized together” and spent Christmas together in 2003 and 2004.
Jolie, Huthart said, once checked into a hotel under the pseudonym “Pocohontas” and had asked her to meet her, but the message was intercepted and deleted from her cell.
In another claim, Huthart, who also worked on Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, recounted how she arranged for a friend to teach Jolie how to ride a motorcycle on his farm in Kent, England, because the actress had “wanted to learn how to take motorbike trips with Brad Pitt.”
Soon after she coordinated the lessons, an article later appeared in The Sun entitled, Off Road Biking Is Jolie Fun which detailed how ‘Brad Pitt’s lover has been learning on a nippy 750 cc MV Augusta Brutale.’
The story also stated, ‘A source… said… she’s a natural.’
Huthart “believes that the quote ‘she’s a natural’ is attributable to Mr. [Ray] Da Haan’s leaving a message to that effect,” according to the lawsuit.
“Upon information and belief, this specific information about the motorcycle and the arrangement and the ‘natural’ remark were known only to the Plaintiff, Ms. Jolie and Mr. Da Haan. Those messages appear to be have been hacked and deleted before she heard them.”
The suit, filed in the United States District Court, cites another alleged incident of phone hacking, when Jolie “threatened to quit making movies for good” — a conversation she’d had with Huthart.
“On May 1, 2005, while Plaintiff was in Los Angeles, a story appeared in the News Of The World entitled ‘Pitt Stop For Jolie,’” the suit states.
“The News Of The World article began by stating, ‘Hollywood babe Angelina Jolie has threatened to quit movies for good.’ Ms. Jolie had communicated with Plaintiff on this subject prior to the article appearing in the newspaper and would leave messages on Plaintiff’s cell phone, some of which she did not receive.
“This was during the time Plaintiff believes her cell phone was hacked and the information contained in the article was privately shared with Plaintiff.”
Huthart’s civil complaint — she is seeking damages for violations of federal and California laws — is the first to hit News Corporation on United States soil after a rash of cases in Britain.
She accuses News Corporation of a surreptitious hacking scheme designed to “illegally extract, capture, obtain and exploit private information” from her and other targets in the United States for use in “boosting circulation of The Sun and News Of The World.”
“While living and working in Los Angeles, Plaintiff had an actual and objectively reasonable expectation that voice-mail messages left and stored on her cellular telephone system were intended solely for her and would not be accessed, interfered with, intruded upon, intercepted, hacked and/or re-recorded,” the suit states.
“The messages left and stored on Plaintiff’s cellular telephone system when she was living and working in Los Angeles concerned private matters, which Plaintiff was entitled to keep confidential.
“Plaintiff had an objectively reasonable expectation that this private and confidential information and communications were intended solely for her and would not become published and/or made public and the actions and conduct of the Defendants were offensive to a reasonable person.”
Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service first named her as a phone-hacking victim on July 24, 2012.
The CPS’ full charge sheet alleges Neville Thurlbeck, News Of The World‘s former chief reporter, and James Weatherup, the newspaper’s senior journalist, “conspired together and with [private investigator] Glenn Mulcaire and persons unknown, to intercept communications in the course of their transmissions, without lawsuit authority, namely the voice mail messages of persons associated with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, who included Eunice Huthart” between July 5, 2005 and May 4, 2006.