Angelina Jolie Wins Legal Bid to Have Judge Removed From Custody Battle With Brad Pitt

Private judge John Ouderkirk has been removed from the bitter custody battle between the 'Maleficent' actress and her ex-husband due to prior business dealings with the actor's lawyers.

AceShowbiz - Angelina Jolie has won her legal bid to have a private judge removed from her contentious child custody battle with estranged husband Brad Pitt.

On Friday (23Jul21), lawmakers at California's 2nd District Court of Appeal agreed with the "Maleficent" star that John Ouderkirk should have disclosed prior business dealings with Pitt's lawyers.

"Judge Ouderkirk's ethical breach, considered together with the information disclosed concerning his recent professional relationships with Pitt's counsel, might cause an objective person, aware of all the facts, reasonably to entertain a doubt as to the judge's ability to be impartial," court officials ruled, adding, "Disqualification is required."

The ruling, a huge victory for Jolie, means the warring couple, officially divorced as of 2019, may be headed back to square one as they battle over custody arrangements for their five minor children.

Representatives for Jolie and Pitt have yet to comment on the ruling.

Brad Pitt's lawyer previously disputed Jolie's claims that she didn't know "anything that happened between counsel for Pitt and the judge."

"Here in a child custody case that's been going on for so long, the children are getting older," Pitt's lawyer said, "and to allow a delaying tactic like this would be extremely unjust." He added, "There were no surprises. Ms. Jolie and her counsel knew about the relationship and the grounds."

Besides custody battle, the former married couple are feuding over their property in French.

Jolie and Pitt bought Miraval Chateau in 2011 before they were married, staged their nuptials in a chapel on the grounds, and still own equal shares of the property and its wine business.

Rumor has it, Jolie wants to offload her share and has "exchanged many proposals" for a sale to her former husband over the past two years, but they have been unable to strike a deal.

Now she asks lawmakers to allow her to sell it to a third party because she is not allowed to enter an agreement without Pitt's consent.

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