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Angelina Jolie Says Judge In Brad Pitt Custody Battle Will Not Let Children Testify

May. 26 2021, Published 7:01 a.m. ET

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The battle still rages on! Angelina Jolie has reportedly slammed a judge deciding on custody arrangements in her divorce from Brad Pitt and claimed in a court filing that the judge refused to allow their kids to testify.

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In the filing, Jolie accused Judge John Ouderkirk of declining to hear relevant evidence pertaining to the children's safety and well-being before issuing a tentative hearing. The documents reportedly did not specify what the evidence was, AP reported.

"Judge Ouderkirk denied Ms. Jolie a fair trial, improperly excluding her evidence relevant to the children's health, safety, welfare, evidence critical to making her case," the filing in California's Second District Court of Appeal reads.

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angelina jolie judge brad pitt custody battle divorce will not let children testify
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The 45-year-old also reportedly said the judge "has failed to adequately consider" a section of the California courts code, which claims that it is detrimental to the best interest of the child if custody is awarded to a person with a history of domestic violence. The filing did not offer additional details, but her lawyers submitted a sealed document in March that reportedly contains additional information.

In the filing, Jolie said that the judge "refused to hear the minor teenagers’ input as to their experiences, needs, or wishes as to their custody fate," and cited a California code which says that children aged 14 and over should be allowed to testify if they want to.

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"Ouderkirk has conducted an extensive proceeding over the past six months in a thorough, fair manner and reached a tentative ruling and order after hearing from experts and percipient witnesses," Pitt's attorney shot back.

According to Pitt’s filing, the judge found that Jolie’s testimony "lacked credibility in many important areas, and the existing custody order between the parties must be modified, per Mr. Pitt’s request, in the best interests of the children." The filing says that Jolie’s objections and further delays in reaching an arrangement would "work grave harm upon the children, who will be further denied permanence and stability."

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Pitt originally sought joint custody, and Jolie sought primary physical custody — but changes have not been made public. One of Jolie's laywers, Peter Harvey, who is not directly involved but is close to the case, said that the Maleficent star "supports joint custody" but the situation is complicated and he could not share more as the details are under seal, according to AP.

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Jolie previously sought to remove Judge Ouderkirk from the case. Jolie alleged that Ouderkirk "failed to make timely mandatory disclosures of ongoing business and professional relationships between himself" and Pitt’s attorneys and claimed that he was "biased," but her request was denied.

Jolie and Pitt separated in 2016 after an alleged incident occurred on a private flight with their children from France to Los Angeles. Pitt was accused of being "verbally abusive" and getting "physical" with their son Maddox, and Jolie wanted to divorce "for the health of the family."

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As Maddox is now 19, he is not subject to the custody decision. The estranged couple also shares Pax, 16, Knox, 12, Zahara, 15, Shiloh, 14, and Vivienne, 12.

Pitt was cleared of child abuse allegations by the Los Angeles Country Department of Children and Family Services in 2016. "The case remained open out of an abundance of caution because the department took the matter seriously, and in the almost two years of monitored visitation, there was not one instance that caused any alarm bells to go off," an insider explained. 

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