For Brangelina, Talk Ain't Cheap

Apr. 9 2008, Published 7:05 a.m. ET

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Journalists the worldover were outraged over reports that Mr. and Mrs. Smith co-starsBrad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have beenbrandishing contracts threatening legal action against interviewers who ask themabout their personal lives. But sources say the contracts may have more to dowith protecting Pitt during his impending divorce from JenniferAniston than a newfound desire for privacy. If either leaks word that a liaison took place prior to Pitt's formalseparation from Aniston, the chisel-cheeked actor may be at risk of losing not only hisinnocent mystique but a nice chunk of the couple’s estimated $190 millionfortune.

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Their joint assets include a production company, Plan B Entertainment (whichis releasing Charlie and The Chocolate Factory next month), severalhomes, and Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s old yacht, worth anestimated $5.7 million. Aniston, who ranked 17th last year on theForbes Celebrity 100 list—19 slots above her soon-to-beex—banked $26 million last year and took home $1.25 million an episode in herlast season of Friends (there were 233 episodes in the sitcom’s10-year run.) Under California statutes, everything the couple acquired during their marriagewould be divided in family court and any evidence of an affair could be used against Pitt.“There’s no question that this information could be entered into adivorce trial as evidence,” says famed New York divorce attorneyRaoul Felder. “It’s obvious they want to controlwhatever exposure they get, but I don’t understand how any journalistwould agree to be party to this. In fact, any journalist who signs thisagreement is in my mind a member of the oldest profession.”


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