Odile Soudant took the couple to court in France in April for not paying her for the extensive work she had done on their Provence estate Chateau Miraval and for damaging her reputation by not crediting her for the job she had already done.
“I am an artist and this is my work. When someone tries to steal my work it is something else,” she told The Guardian. “This is all very painful for me.”
Pitt, 53, had hired Soudant to light several buildings on the sprawling estate he and Jolie, 42, shared.
“He wanted to make it an exceptional place and believed that light should be at the heart of this,” said Soudant, who claimed Pitt gave her “carte blanche” on the project.
Soudant employed 17 experts for the project and billed her famous employees monthly, but after costs ran over and the work behind schedule, Pitt reportedly stopped paying.
The designer’s pleas to Pitt to pay up were of no use, and she had to close shop after she couldn’t pay her contractors and subcontractors for the work already completed.
Despite not paying, Pitt continued to ask Soudant for her help, according to court records.
“Odile, I need you. Come here please. I need you to finish,” Pitt emailed the designer.
“I don’t know how things happen in France but in the United States, friends don’t attack friends,” he also blasted by email. “I’ve been nothing but a fan of your work. Do not attack. Let’s finish the project and be proud of it. The work is too good to end on a bad note. Life is too short, my friend.”
Pitt wrote in another email: “Don’t waste time with legal action. Follow your artistic journey and don’t worry about the rest.”
A French appeal court ruled in the spring that the work stoppage was not Soudant’s fault and awarded her over $700,000.
However, insisted Soudant, the damage was done and she now wants to be officially recognized for the Miraval project, which she was forced to hand off to someone else to complete.
“Of course, people think Brad Pitt is right, that ‘he’s the good guy and she is wrong,’” she blasted.
“I am an artist and this is my work. When someone tries to steal my work it is something else,” she said. “This is all very painful for me.”
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