For much of the past two weeks, tensions between Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have been back in the news.
This is surprising for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that Angelina filed for divorce from Brad way back in 2016.
But amazingly, the couple's custody situation is still being hashed out in court.
And folks, it seems that the bad blood between the former couple has not subsided at all in the years since they separated.
If anything, it seems they're more at each other's throats than ever before.
The reports of increased tension between the exes began last week when Brad accused Angelina of hurting their children by drawing out the court proceedings.
Not surprisingly, Jolie turned this around and insisted that it was Pitt who was hurting the kids.
At issue was a filing from Angelina in which she requested a new judge, alleging that the current one is biased in favor of Brad.
Ever since, both sides have been debating Jolie's reason for doing this -- but as they quibble two things remain certain:
1. Angelina has indeed requested a new judge for her custody case against Brad.
2. This means that all evidence and arguments will need to be presented again, which means the case could indeed drag on for several more months.
Those who have been watching the case closely seem to agree that the request for a new judge is a bizarre move from a legal standpoint.
And that fact has raised a whole host of questions about why Jolie has settled on this strategy.
“The longer she does this, the more damage she does to the kids,” one insider told Page Six.
“This is a game she’s playing. She still has the kids for more of the time than he does and she’s trying to maintain that as long as possible.”
Another source went so far as to suggest that this might all be part of an effort on Jolie's part to convince Brad to give her a second chance.
“On some level she doesn’t want this [the divorce] to end,” said one source. “She’s trying to hold on.”
That seems a little counter-intuitive, but regardless of Angelina's intentions, the move to replace the judge -- who was reportedly hand-picked by Jolie to officiate her wedding to Pitt -- may turn out to be a major blunder.
Already, the judge has shredded Jolie and her lawyers for waiting until this late in the process to request a whole new trial.
“The judge excoriated her legal team’s hail-Mary attempt to delay the process again,” says one attorney with ties to the case.
On top of that, insiders tell Page Six that by attempting this ethically dubious maneuver Jolie may have actually helped hide the "skeletons in Brad's closet" by bolstering his "good guy image."
To be fair, whether the goal is to draw this thing out in hopes of a reconciliation, or to make sure Brad never sees his kids again, Pitt's image is probably the furthest thing from Angelina's mind.
Besides, if she were sitting on information that could result in the end of her ex's career, she probably would have used it by now.