AceShowbiz - Brad Pitt has responded after Angelina Jolie was granted her request to have a judge overseeing their custody case removed. Insisting that "the facts haven't changed," the actor/producer vows to continue fighting in his kids' best interest.
"The appeals court ruling was based on a technical procedural issue," a spokesperson said in a statement released on behalf of the "Moneyball" star on Friday, July 23. "The facts haven't changed."
"There is an extraordinary amount of factual evidence which led the judge-and the many experts who testified-to reach their clear conclusion about what is in the children's best interests," the spokesperson added, referring to Judge John W. Ouderkirk's preliminary decision in May. "We will continue to do what's necessary legally based on the detailed findings of what's best for the children."
Earlier on Friday, the 2nd District Court of Appeal granted Jolie's request to have judge Ouderkirk disqualified from her custody battle with Pitt. "The person on the street might reasonably entertain a doubt as to Judge Ouderkirk's ability, consciously or subconsciously, to remain impartial in the upcoming, hotly contested custody dispute," the court said in its ruling. "None of Pitt's arguments that a reasonable person would not have cause to doubt Judge Ouderkirk's impartiality withstands scrutiny."
"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. Disqualification is required," the court concluded.
The ruling means Judge Ouderkirk's previous ruling, which granted Pitt joint custody over his five minor children with Jolie, is now void. They're now back to square one, with the "Eternals" star retaining full-time custody, while the "Ad Astra" actor is granted visitation rights.
Judge Ouderkirk declined to disqualify himself when Jolie asked him to in a filing in August. A lower court judge later ruled that the 46-year-old actress' request for disqualification came too late, but her attorneys appealed it.