According to court documents obtained by Us, the 45-year-old Maleficent actress claims that Judge John W. Ouderkirk, who was hired to oversee the exes’ case in 2017, failed to disclose “ongoing business and professional relationships” between him and the team representing the 56-year-old Fight Club star. Ouderkirk also happened to officiate the former couple’s August 2014 nuptials in France.
“All my client is asking for is a fair trial based on facts, with no special favors extended to either side,” Jolie’s lawyer, Samantha Bley DeJean, tells Us. “The only way litigants can trust the process is for everyone involved to ensure that there’s transparency and impartiality.”
Neama Rahmani, president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, adds that the Salt actress believes that the judge handling her divorce is “biased in Brad’s favor” given their personal connections. Pitt’s legal team fired back at Jolie’s apparent attempt to further delay their case.
“Unfortunately, the individuals hurt most by Jolie’s transparently tactical gambit are the parties’ own children, who continue to be deprived of a final resolution,” the court documents claim.
Jolie and the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star share six children: Maddox, 19, Pax, 16, Zahara, 15, Shiloh, 14, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 12. The exes split in September 2016 after two years of marriage, and despite their back-and-forth, have always made their children a priority.
“Brad is seeing the kids but everything involved in their process of resolving legal matters between Angelina and Brad, including the courts, is slowed down because of COVID,” a source previously revealed in July. “With the pandemic, it has been hard for everyone, including them. The legal process is slowed because of that. They are continuing regular visits but there has not been a lot of progress in terms of resolving anything.”
Despite their brief respite from legal drama, Jolie and Pitt are picking up where they left off with their upcoming custody trial, set to begin in October.
“They’re at a total impasse,” an insider tells Us. “And there’s no end in sight.”
For more on Jolie and Pitt’s legal battle, watch the video above and pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.
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