AceShowbiz - Brad Pitt has accused Angelina Jolie of trying to damage him by secretly selling her stake in his French vineyard to a "Russian oligarch" with "poisonous intentions." In a new court filing, the "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" actor also alleged that there is a plan to seize total control of his multi-million dollar wine passion project.
Jolie sold half of the booming Chateau Miraval winery to a company run by Yuri Shefler, who owns the firm that produces flagship Russian vodka Stolichnaya, rebranded Stoli. Pitt's lawsuit over the sale started in February. Legal documents, which was obtained by DailyMail.com and filed on June 3, cited Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine and claim "the Stoli brand is now a massive international liability."
The lawsuit added that after Shefler's "desperate attempts to disassociate himself from the Putin regime" Stolichnaya "has been the object of boycotts throughout the world." Papers filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court said, "The US Treasury Department designated Shefler as an 'oligarch in the Russian Federation' in an unclassified report to Congress made pursuant to the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017."
Pitt and Jolie, who were dubbed Brangelina before their split, bought the winery in Correns, southeastern France, in 2008. When they divorced, the estate was said to be worth $164 million. The South of France chateau, where the couple married in 2014, became Pitt's "passion." Under his guidance, it has become one of the world's most highly-regarded producers of rose wine, the court papers said.
Yet in October 2021, the documents said Jolie "purported to sell her interest to Tenute del Mondo, a hostile third-party competitor bent on taking control of Miraval." They also alleged the "Maleficent" actress' motivation for the deal was to "inflict harm on Pitt." The papers accused Shefler of jeopardizing the "reputation of the brand Pitt so carefully built."
They went on, "All of this is the direct result of Jolie's unlawful and tortious conduct. In violation of the parties' agreement, Jolie has sought to force Pitt into partnership with a stranger, and worse yet, a stranger with poisonous associations and intentions." The case was further complicated by a labyrinthine dispute over the size of Jolie's stake.
Pitt and Jolie bought the chateau as a home to share with their six children as well as a vineyard to run as a family business, the papers said. The first wine by the joint venture, Miraval Rose 2012, sold out its first 6,000 bottles online within five hours of release.
Pitt and Jolie, whose six children are 20-year-old Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt, 18-year-old Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt, 17-year-old Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt, 16-year-old Shiloh Jolie-Pitt and 13-year-old twins Knox Leon Jolie-Pitt and Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, were embroiled in a hugely bitter custody battle over their brood.
Despite his 50/50 custody victory just before Jolie decided to sell her stake in Marival, Pitt was later stripped of having joint parental control. In October 2021, a judge denied his petition to review the ruling.
Shefler publicly criticized Putin regime following the invasion of Ukraine and said he was exiled from his homeland. The tycoon announced he was changing the name of his Stolichnaya vodka to Stoli due to Putin's war on Ukraine, which has left at least 14,000 people dead.
Pitt is demanding a jury trial and is accusing Jolie, Shefler, Oliynik, SPI Group and Tenute del Mundo in the lawsuit of two counts of breach of contract, breaching good faith, and tortious interference with contractual relations.