Brad Pitt has the story all wrong, according to a new counterclaim by Nouvel, a company founded by his ex-wife, Angelina Jolie. It is she who is the victim in the legal wrestling match over Château Miraval, the 1,300-acre Provence wine estate the couple purchased together in 2012.
Quick recap: Early in 2022, Pitt filed a lawsuit against Jolie for selling her share of Miraval to the Stoli Group, owned by Russian businessman Yuri Shefler, without Pitt’s knowledge or consent. In June, Pitt upped the ante, adding new allegations to the suit, including that Jolie tried to intentionally sabotage Pitt’s business and accusing Shefler of gaining “notoriety through cut-throat business tactics and dubious professional associations.”
Yet according to the countersuit filed by Angelina Jolie's former company Nouvel, it was Pitt and his allies—including winemaking partner Marc Perrin of Famille Perrin—whose actions were illegal and malicious. Although Miraval generates tens of millions of dollars in profits, Pitt ensured “Jolie would never see a dime.” He shut her out of managing the growing wine business and intentionally devalued her investment, states Nouvel's claim, which seeks damages of at least $250 million.
“In retaliation for the divorce and custody proceedings, Pitt embarked on a multifaceted, years-long campaign to seize control of Château Miraval and appropriate the company’s assets for his benefit and that of his own companies and friends,” the new suit claims.
The new filing also seeks to correct “false and inflammatory allegations” made about Stoli Group’s owner, Yuri Shefler, namely, a false narrative that he supports Vladimir Putin. “Ever since Shefler rebuilt Stoli from the ashes of its Soviet predecessor into a profitable business, he has been in open conflict with Putin and Russia,” it states. “Shefler and Stoli have repeatedly and publicly denounced the Putin regime and its reprehensible invasion of Ukraine.” The filing also alleges that “Putin’s people once even tried to kidnap Shefler.”
The suit also alleges that Pitt wasted millions in Miraval profits on “vanity projects,” including a $1 million pool and a recently restored recording studio. It claims he then “attempted to turn over 50 percent of the ownership of Château Miraval’s most valuable assets, the Miraval trademarks, to his good friend Marc Perrin—for free.”
The sale of Jolie’s shares of Miraval in late 2021, after “Pitt ignored Jolie’s final offer to sell her interest in the winery,” her lawyers say, “would increase the prestige, distribution and profitability of Château Miraval, making Pitt a substantially richer man.” Yet Pitt “refused to work with” the new partner, and then filed his suit. Therefore, Jolie had no choice but to seek legal action to protect her investment, including criminal claims in Europe.
Pitt, Perrin and other defendants have until Oct. 6 to file a response to Nouvel's suit.
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