Brad Pitt’s 2016 seems to be ending on a pretty lousy note. Embroiled in an increasingly bitter custody battle with ex-wife Angelina Jolie, the actor accuses his former partner of denying him more generous visitation with their children — and of exposing confidential details about both their children and related legal proceedings.
Pause and take a deep breath, babes. This is quite an entanglement.
Are you set? Alright, let’s do this.
Pitt officially requested that all custody records be sealed after Jolie and her lawyer Laura Wasser filed an order referred to as the “October Stipulation.” Said stipulation includes information about their children’s therapy treatments, notes that Jolie and Pitt are attending group therapy with the children, and specifies that a child custody psychologist is deciding their visitation schedule. It also reveals that Pitt is submitting to drug and alcohol testing four times a month.
Pitt’s lawyer, Lance S. Spiegel, writes that Wasser and Jolie filed the October Stipulation as a response to Pitt’s desire for more visitation: “Based on Ms. Wasser’s email dated December 2, the unauthorized filing of the October Stipulation was caused by [Jolie’s] reaction to [Pitt’s attorney] having advised her counsel that [Pitt’s] time with the children should be increased.”
Spiegel moreover asserts that Jolie “previously refused to enter into a stipulation for such an order and has instead compromised the children’s privacy by disregarding a confidentiality agreement that was expressly designed to protect the minor children.”
Pitt and Spiegel claim that Jolie, in an effort to push her agenda, has made their children vulnerable by filing an order that she knew would become public.
“The minor children should be protected from embarrassment and stigma resulting from public access to information concerning their emotional status and their relationships with their parents,” writes Spiegel.
Pitt also submitted his own statement:
“[Jolie] and I have been unable to agree on a custody schedule, and I intend to file a Request for Orders to establish a schedule unless an agreement is reached...I am extremely concerned that if court records regarding custody are not sealed, information contained therein will cause irreparable damage to our children’s privacy rights...I am respectfully requesting that all custody-related pleadings be sealed.”
But in correspondence between Wasser and Spiegel, the former argues that she and Jolie were left with no choice but to involve the court in this manner. Her email reads as follows:
“Yesterday morning I sent you a letter regarding various custody issues and have yet to receive a response. We believe it is prudent to commence a child custody evaluation and to appoint minor’s counsel. You have made it clear that Brad intends to file an RFO for increased custodial time next week and that nothing the therapists say during our meeting on Monday will change Brad’s position. Therefore, we will be filing the Stipulation and Order Re Child Custody and Therapy. We have repeatedly attempted to avoid any court intervention. Brad’s position has made that impossible.”
Spiegel returned Wasser’s email emphasizing the “potentially damaging” impact of so much private information becoming publicly accessible — and that Wasser and Jolie were not “entitled” to file it in the first place. He and Pitt moreover obtained a statement from psychologist Philip M. Stahl explaining why it is crucial that court documents of this nature be sealed.
“In my experience, I have been involved in many high profile matters,” writes Stahl, “and in each one of them, either parties have stipulated or courts have ordered that information be sealed when potentially sensitive or damaging information could be discovered by children in family court matters.”
Stahl also notes that being so ensconced in their parents’ divorce proceedings can lead to emotional distress.
Although Pitt was granted an emergency hearing, efforts to argue for sealing the documents were unsuccessful. Jolie maintains primary custody, and the former couple’s court date is set for January. Let’s hope that this ugly tug-of-war will finally conclude early in the new year.
Bella Thorne nipped some sexist nonsense in the bud.
Ah, Strange Internet Men. So strangely confident that famous women—that all women, in fact—will heed their demands.
And wow, dude, those foot closeups are creepy as fuck. Reconsider your choices and general disregard for women.
The horror, the horror.
- Dakota Fanning held hands with a dude. Maybe they are kissing. [People]
- RHONJ’s Teresa Giudice has emerged from dire financial straits by settling her bankruptcy case. [Radar Online]
- La La Anthony + Kim Kardashian = BFFs 4Eva [Page Six]
- Meghan Markle did not go to a wedding. [People]
- Sherri Shepherd’s ex-husband, Lamar Sally, is demanding more child support. [Page Six]