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Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in Mr. and Mrs. Smith

It seems like ages ago that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were an item, and that is true... to an extent. The two actors separated from one another in 2016, but they remain locked in divorce proceedings. Today brings word that now Jolie has requested that the private judge who’s been overseeing said proceedings be removed.

As reported by the Associated Press, in a filing sent to the Los Angeles Superior Court, Angelina Jolie argued that John W. Ouderkirk should be taken off the divorce case because “failed to disclose the cases that demonstrated the current, ongoing, repeat-customer relationship between the judge and Respondent’s counsel.” To put it more simply, Ouderkirk had worked on previous cases that involved one of Brad Pitt’s attorneys, Anne C. Kiley.

Furthermore, Angelina Jolie’s filing claims that Anne Kiley “actively advocated for Judge Ouderkirk’s financial interests in moving — over the opposing party’s opposition — to have his appointment (and his ability to continue to receive fees) extended in a high profile case.” The filing goes on to say that it doubts John Ouderkirk’s ability to remain impartial, and while Jolie’s attorneys sought to privately get Ouderkirk to disqualify himself, supposedly Brad Pitt’s side have insisted he stay on the case. Jolie’s attorney, Samantha Bley DeJean, said the following in an email to AP:

As is set forth in the filing, all my client is asking for is a fair trial based on facts, with no special favors extended to either side. The only way litigants can trust the process is for everyone involved to ensure that there is transparency and impartiality.

It’s unclear how things will move from here, but clearly this is a hot button issue for Angelina Jolie and her team. Anne Kiley and Brad Pitt’s lead attorney, Lance Spiegel, did not comment on the matter to AP, nor did Ouderkirk.

Meeting each other while working on the 2005 action flick Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were a couple for 12 years and married in 2014, and they have six children together. Technically speaking, the two of them were declared divorced in April 2019 after their legal teams requested a bifurcated judgment. This means that Jolie and Pitt can be labeled as single.

However, there are still some issues to be worked out, although it’s unclear exactly what those are due to most of the documents being sealed. That said, Angelina Jolie claimed in 2018 that Brad Pitt wasn’t paying sufficient child support, which Pitt’s lawyers disputed.

As for why Angelina Jolie decided to divorce Brad Pitt, the actress disclosed back in June that it was for the “well-being of her family” and the “right decision” to make. There’s still a ways to go before this legal affair is behind the two actors, but fortunately, as of last month, Jolie and Pitt are reportedly on friendly terms as they inch closer to reaching a resolution.

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on how Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s divorce case is coming along. In the meantime, Jolie can next be heard in Disney+’s The One and Only Ivan, while Pitt is set to star in the action movie Bullet Train.

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