This summer, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s divorce case and custody dispute took a swift turn in Jolie’s favor. After Judge Ouderkirk granted Brad Pitt more custody in a surprising ruling, Angelina appealed the decision to the California appeals court. The basis for her appeal was that Ouderkirk exhibited clear bias towards Pitt and his lawyers. Pitt’s lawyers had given Ouderkirk tons of work in other private divorce cases, and then Ouderkirk and Pitt’s lawyers failed to disclose those associations to Jolie’s lawyers, even when they were asked directly. In July, the California appeals court overturned Ouderkirk’s ruling and kicked him off the case, in what was a clear and resounding victory for Angelina. In September, Pitt filed a petition to the California Supreme Court, basically begging them to reinstate Ouderkirk, his bro, the same guy who exhibited clear bias. Well, the CA Supreme Court just laughed Pitt out of court.
The California Supreme Court has denied Brad Pitt’s appeal regarding the actor’s ongoing custody case with Angelina Jolie. In September, attorneys for Pitt petitioned the high court to review the case after Judge John Ouderkirk was disqualified, effectively voiding a previous ruling that granted Pitt more time with the former couple’s five minor children.
On Wednesday, the high court upheld the appellate court’s disqualification decision in a ruling obtained by PEOPLE, simply stating: “Petition and stay denied.” The custody arrangement now adheres to the Nov. 2018 agreement regarding their minor children — Pax, 17, Zahara, 16, Shiloh, 15, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 13.
A representative for Pitt tells PEOPLE that the appeals court’s previous decision “was based on a technical procedural issue and the Supreme Court’s decision not to review that procedural issue does not change the extraordinary amount of factual evidence which led the trial judge — and the many experts who testified — to reach their clear conclusion about what is in the children’s best interests. We will continue to do everything that’s legally necessary based on the detailed findings of the independent experts,” the representative tells PEOPLE.
In a statement Wednesday, Jolie’s attorney tells PEOPLE that the actress welcomed the decision.
“Ms. Jolie is focused on her family and pleased that her children’s wellbeing will not be guided by unethical behavior,” her attorney says. “As reinforced by California’s appellate courts, our judiciary prioritizes ethics and children’s best interests, and won’t tolerate judicial misconduct to reward the interests of a party. Ms. Jolie is glad for the family to now move forward cooperatively.”
Basically, Angelina’s legal team is like “your judge was suck-ass, let’s try this again with a fair judge who isn’t bought and paid for by your legal team.” And Brad’s legal team is like “But our BROOOOOOO!!” I don’t understand Pitt’s defense of “this was a mere procedural issue.” Ouderkirk lied to counsel and failed to disclose his financial connections to Pitt’s lawyers. That’s a HUGE issue. Especially when, as a consequence, Ouderkirk then denied at least three Jolie-Pitt children the opportunity to testify about their own custody.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid.
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