Angelina Jolie has asked a superior court to remove the private judge overseeing her prolonged divorce from Brad Pitt, claiming that the judge has a business relationship with the attorney of her ex-husband.
The 45-year-old actress made the filing in a Los Angeles Superior Court on Aug. 10, requesting for the disqualification of Judge John W Ouderkirk. The request comes four years after she made the divorce filing in 2016.
Jolie claims that Ouderkirk did not “disclose the cases” that demonstrated his “current, ongoing, repeat-customer relationship” with Anne C Kiley, who has been pone of Pitt’s attorney, working with him on multiple cases.
The documents filed by Jolie also state that Kiley has been an active advocate of Ouderkirk’s financial interest “in moving – over the opposing party’s opposition – to have his appointment (and his ability to continue to receive fees) extended in a high profile case."
The court documents argue that private judges in cases ought to be bound by the same regulations as other judges for the sake of impartiality.
“It doesn't matter if Judge Ouderkirk is actually biased … all my client is asking for is a fair trial based on facts, with no special favors extended to either side,” the court document reads.
However, according to a source who has been close to the case, the request is just a delay tactic used by Jolie as she believes things aren’t quite going in her favor. According to Page Six, the source stated that the primary issue in the matter is the custody of the children, with Jolie requesting more child support.
The source said: “Jolie is basically trying to fire the private judge overseeing their divorce case. She has every right to do this, but if she thought she was in a good place in this legal proceeding, she wouldn’t need to do it. This is a classic case of someone expecting a bad decision trying to delay the process by asking for a new referee.”
The source adds that Jolie’s recent move, in this case, is quite unusual and that Pitt’s team is seeking to have the same judge in the case, trying to ensure that the personal details that cross paths in the case are kept private.
As per the source, Jolie’s move to bring a public court in the matter only delays matters from getting resolved.
“Jolie is basically trying to fire the private judge overseeing their divorce case. She has every right to do this, but if she thought she was in a good place in this legal proceeding, she wouldn’t need to do it. This is a classic case of someone expecting a bad decision trying to delay the process by asking for a new referee,” said the kids.
Jolie and Pitt were together for 12 years and married for two years. After 14 years of togetherness, the couple parted ways in 2016 when the Maleficent actress filed for a divorce.
Together, the pair have six children.