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Brad Pitt Demands Russian Oligarch Sit For Deposition In $250 Million Battle With Ex-Wife Angelina Jolie Over 'Hostile' Takeover Of French Winery

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Source: MEGA

Feb. 1 2023, Published 2:00 p.m. ET

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Brad Pitt has rushed to court demanding an emergency hearing as part of his legal battle with his ex-wife Angelina Jolie over their $164 million French estate — demanding he is allowed to depose the Russian Oligarch who the actress sold her stake in the company, has learned.

As previously reported, last year, Pitt sued Jolie accusing her of breaching a deal they had not to sell their stake in a French estate, that they purchased while married, without the consent of the other party.

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In his lawsuit, Pitt explained they purchased a winery named Chateau Miraval S.A. He said the two had purchased the property to turn into a family business for their children.

Pitt said he spent a substantial amount of time and money on building the brand. Jolie filed for divorce in 2016 after an incident on a private plane. She accused him of assaulting her and a couple of their children. He denied the claims and was never criminally charged despite an investigation.

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In 2021, Pitt said Jolie told him she wanted to sell her stake in the company. He said they started to find a third party to take her spot. However, he said an unfavorable ruling came down in their custody battle which lead to Jolie backing out of talks with him.

Instead, he claimed she sold her interest in Chateau Miraval S.A to a company called Tenute del Mondo which is owned by Stoli Group. Tenute del Mondo is “indirectly owned and controlled” by a Russian oligarch named Yuri Shefler. Following the sale, Pitt said Shefler and his company attempted a "hostile" takeover of his business. His lawsuit seeks to void the sale Jolie made.

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Tenute and Stoli are defendants in the lawsuit. They have yet to respond to the lawsuit and plan on arguing that California is not the proper venue for the dispute since they are foreign companies.

Jolie’s company filed a $250 million countersuit against Pitt accusing him of wasting company assets. In addition, Jolie personally called his lawsuit “frivolous” and “malicious.” She called it “part of a problematic pattern.”

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For the past couple of weeks, Pitt has been attempting to collect documents from Jolie, her company, and other parties involved. The actor claimed he was being stonewalled and the defendants were refusing to turn over key evidence.

Now, in a recent motion, Pitt has asked for an emergency hearing to be held later this month. He wants the judge to hear his argument on why the companies, including Stoli and Tenute run by the Russian oligarch, should turn over documents immediately.

Brad Pitt

Further, he wants them to be deposed to answer questions regarding the jurisdiction of the case.

Pitt’s lawyer argued, “The Stoli Parties, along with the other defendants to this action, are refusing to produce documents that are foundational to this case and the Court’s jurisdiction over the Stoli Parties: the bulk of the negotiating history for the transaction under challenge, and documents concerning the Stoli Parties’ direction and control of Nouvel, the California entity the Stoli Parties purported to buy from Jolie.

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Pitt said he needs the information before another hearing goes down in March to determine if the case will continue to be fought in California.

In response, the Russian oligarch and the various Stoli defendants demanded Pitt be shut down in his plea for an emergency hearing. They said Pitt is demanding documents 10 days before a hearing. The defendants claim they are willing to grant an extension to the March hearing which makes Pitt’s request for an emergency hearing moot.

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Further, in their motion, the Russian oligarch and the other defendants argue Jolie never promised Pitt she wouldn’t sell her stake in the estate without his permission.

“Ms. Jolie denies that any such agreement exists, and has alleged in a counterclaim that Mr. Pitt specifically rejected any such right of first refusal, in writing,” the motion said. “After initially attempting to negotiate a sale of her shares in Nouvel to Pitt, Ms. Jolie became fed up with conditions that Mr. Pitt wished to place on the transaction and eventually sold those shares to one of the Foreign Defendants, Tenute del Mondo.”

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Shefler and the other defendants said they agreed to turn over documents to Pitt but refused to sit for depositions at this stage in the case calling the request “unduly burdensome.”

The judge has yet to rule on the matter.



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