Brad Pitt says Angelina Jolie 'sought to inflict harm' with vineyard sale
Angelina Jolie "sought to inflict harm" on her former husband Brad Pitt when she sold her stake in their co-owned vineyard to a Russian oligarch, new legal documents have claimed.
Pitt is suing his ex-wife for selling her stake in the French vineyard they bought together in 2008.
He said her decision to sell her share to a Russian oligarch forced him into partnership with "a stranger with poisonous associations and intentions".
Jolie has not yet publicly commented.
The couple purchased a controlling interest in Chateau Miraval SA, a French company comprising a home and vineyard in the south of France, in 2008.
The A-list pair got married there six years later.
Pitt says he and his former wife agreed not to sell their stakes in the venue without the permission of the other.
In legal documents obtained by the PA news agency, it's alleged that Jolie sold her share to to a Luxembourg-based spirits manufacturer controlled by Russian oligarch Yuri Shefler, without Pitt's knowledge.
The lawsuit claims the sale helped launch a "hostile" takeover of the wine business that the actor had "carefully built".
Pitt's lawyers said that under his stewardship, the business had grown into a "multimillion-dollar international success story" though Jolie had "contributed nothing".
"Through the purported sale, Jolie sought to inflict harm on Pitt," according to the documents, which were filed last week.
"Jolie knew and intended that Shefler and his affiliates would try to control the business Pitt had built and to undermine Pitt's investment in Miraval."
It added that Shefler "has gained notoriety through cut-throat business tactics and dubious professional associations" and the association with him "jeopardises the reputation of the brand Pitt so carefully built".
"All of this is the direct result of Jolie's unlawful and tortious conduct.
"In violation of the parties' agreement, Jolie has sought to force Pitt into partnership with a stranger, and worse yet, a stranger with poisonous associations and intentions."
The Miraval estate is located in the village of Correns in south-eastern France, and was bought by the couple for around 25 million euros (£21.3m).
Pitt is said to have 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".
The actress 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.
Representatives for Jolie have not yet responded to the BBC's request for comment.