Earlier this week, Brad Pitt lashed out at Angelina Jolie with a surprising court filing.
Through his attorneys, Pitt accused Jolie of hurting the former couple’s six kids by dragging out what has already been a protracted custody battle.
Jolie requested a new judge in the trial, and Pitt’s lawyers alleged that the move was part of an ongoing effort to drag the case out to the detriment of her own children.
She alleged that the judge is unfairly biased in favor of Brad, an accusation that Pitt’s lawyers slammed as absurd, as Jolie hand-picked the man to officiate the couple’s wedding ceremony.
“Jolie’s abrupt cry of judicial bias reeks of bad faith and desperation, not to mention careless disregard for the procedural rules intended to root out legitimately conflicted judicial officers,” Brad’s attorneys wrote in the legal documents filed earlier this week.
Not surprisingly, Jolie’s lawyers were quick to fire back with claims that it’s Pitt who’s being unnecessarily combative and drawing out the process.
"All my client is asking for is a fair trial based on facts, with no special favors extended to either side," their latest filing, as obtained by reads.
"The only way litigants can trust the process is for everyone involved to ensure that there’s transparency and impartiality."
Jolie’s lawyers claim that Judge John W. Ouderkirk has in some way benefitted financially from his relationship with Pitt.
"The problem here is two-fold," Jolie’s filing reads.
"First, there are multiple matters in the last two years where [Pitt’s] counsel indisputably has had a professional, and for Judge Ouderkirk financially‚ renumerative, relationship with Judge Ouderkirk," her lawyers continue.
"Second, this was kept from Petitioner. Ouderkirk failed to comply with his legal duty to disclose the ongoing and expanding nature of that relationship."
From there, the documents allege that Pitt and his team intentionally concealed the nature of the relatonship between the actor and the judge:
"It does not matter what other matters (especially past representations) had been disclosed," they read.
"What matters is what was not disclosed. What matters is the undisclosed recent relationships between Pitt’s counsel and Judge Ouderkirk."
Several sources with ties to the case have spoken with Entertainment Tonight about Team Jolie’s strategy.
One claims that Jolie has no interest in buying more time and is simply trying to ensure the fairest possible outcome:
"Angelina isn’t trying to delay the process — as the court papers state, she is trying to resolve an issue with the judge."
Another source says the move is part of a last-ditch effort by Jolie to tip the scales in her favor.
"These are just stall tactics and efforts to change the referee late in the game because they are clearly concerned about the outcome," the inside claims.
"This doesn’t seem to benefit anyone."
A third insider echoed those sentiments.
"It is unfortunate that Ms Jolie’s team is desperately trying to change a referee — of their own choosing — late in the fourth quarter to delay the end of an endless game because they are concerned that they might be losing," he said.
Whatever the outcome, it’s unlikely to put an end to the bad blood between the exes.
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.