Angelina Jolie wants her children with Brad Pitt to testify in the ongoing custody battle involving the two Hollywood stars.
Judge John Ouderkirk, who is handling the complex case, does not see things the same way. Jolie wants him to be disqualified for being unfair when it comes to hearing her arguments.
On Monday, Jolie, 45, dropped her request in front of California’s Second District Court of Appeal. The filing made by the mother of 6 reads: “Judge Ouderkirk denied Ms. Jolie a fair trial, improperly excluding her evidence relevant to the children’s health, safety, and welfare, evidence critical to making her case.”
Pitt’s lawyers hit back with: “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.”
They also said the following about Jolie’s testimony: “It 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.”
Jolie and Pitt split in 2016 after a 12-year relationship. However, their marriage only lasted two years.
In 2019, the divorce was finalized, and the two actors were declared single, but a custody agreement for their six children was never reached.
Initially, the two sides were fine with Judge Ouderkirk presiding over the case. This was done in order to keep details sealed. Jolie later soured on the judge and accused him of having a business relationship with one of Pitt’s lawyers.
The Those Who Wish Me Dead star has vowed to appeal any finalized decision from Judge Ouderkirk.
After Jolie filed for divorce, it was revealed that a tense exchange between Pitt and their son, Maddox, on a private flight was the reason for the split. Maddox was 15 at the time. Now 19, his situation is not included in the custody fight.
However, an agreement has to be reached for the other five children who are not adults yet — 17-year-old Pax, Zahara, 16, Shiloh, 14, and twins Vivienne and Knox, who are 12.
The FBI and child welfare services investigated allegations of abuse against Pitt, but no charges were filed. In subsequent interviews, Pitt did admit to a drinking problem.
The two sides did engage in a vicious PR battle over the years, and observers say Jolie was hoping to gain the upper hand with the children’s testimonies.
Pitt had asked for joint custody, while Jolie wanted primary physical custody. Some changes have been made in the different requests, but they were never made public.
A person close to Jolie said that she still supports joint custody. She is said to be very close to her six children, and they do take good care of her.
Jolie said that the divorce changed a lot of things for her family. Pitt is a bit less talkative when it comes to his relationship with the kids.
His fans say he does that because he is a very private person, while others say the custody battle has complicated his relationship with the young clan.