Brad Pitt is suing ex-wife Angelina Jolie after she sold her stake in their co-owned vineyard to a Russian oligarch.
The former Hollywood power couple purchased a controlling interest in Chateau Miraval SA, a French company comprising a home and vineyard in the south of France, in 2008.
Lawyers on behalf of the Fight Club star said the vineyard had “become Pitt’s passion” and, under his stewardship, grown into a “multimillion-dollar international success story”.
Both agreed never to sell their respective interests in the property, where they married in 2014, without the other’s consent, according to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on Thursday.
“The vineyard became Pitt’s passion – and a profitable one, as Miraval, under Pitt’s stewardship, has grown into a multimillion-dollar international success story and one of the world’s most highly regarded producers of rose wine,” legal documents stated.
According to the lawsuit, Jolie sold her stake to a Luxembourg-based spirits manufacturer controlled by Russian oligarch Yuri Shefler, without Pitt’s knowledge.
“She sold her interest with the knowledge and intention that Shefler and his affiliates would seek to control the business to which Pitt had devoted himself and to undermine Pitt’s investment in Miraval,” the lawsuit claimed.
Lawyers said the move had intended to cause “gratuitous harm” to Pitt, who had “poured money and sweat equity into the wine business”.
The Miraval estate is located in the village of Correns in south-eastern France, and was bought by the couple for around €25m (£20,875,500).
According to the legal documents obtained by the PA news agency, Pitt contributed 60% to the purchase price, with Jolie paying the remaining 40%.
Lawyers also said the wine business at the property continues to flourish and “though she benefited from Miraval’s success, Jolie had no involvement in these efforts”.
She filed for divorce in 2016.
Jolie reportedly informed Pitt of her decision to sell to Shefler in January 2021, saying she had reached a “painful decision, with a heavy heart”.
Lawyers for Pitt have requested a trial by jury.