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ENTERTAINMENT

How much is the Chateau Miraval winery worth, the reason for the fight between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie?

Could the battle for the vineyard simply be a proxy conflict in the war for custody of their children? A question worth answering.

Update:
Angelina Jolie ha abordado el incidente de 2016 que sufrió con Brad Pitt en un vuelo de avión y alega que el actor estranguló y golpeó a sus hijos.
Getty Images

Though it’s not the only legal front on which they are fighting, the one-time Hollywood power couple’s most bitter battle, appears to be centered on a vineyard and which of them owns it.

What’s Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie’s vineyard worth and why’s it a problem?

It’s been more than five years, since their now infamous separation sent ripples around the entertainment world, but rest assured Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are still very much engaged in a number of legal battles. One of those, however, has been consistently in the headlines in recent weeks and is related to a vineyard by the name of Château Miraval, which is located in the Correns region of France. Acquired by the then couple in 2011, it is understood, they were also supported by the Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel fame, who joined the project to assist with production of the wine itself.

Regarding why the couple have been fighting over the ownership, we should probably backtrack a little. Back in February, news broke declaring that Pitt was suing his x wife, following her decision to sell her 50% stake in the vineyard to Russian oligarch Yuri Shefler - owner of Russian Vodka brand Stolichnaya. At the time, Pitt’s lawyers claimed that the sale of Jolie’s interest in Miraval had intended to cause “gratuitous harm” to Pitt, who had “poured money and sweat equity into the wine business.” Cue the legal battle. Interestingly, business at the vineyard valued at $167 million, has continued as usual and not just in terms of production. Recent reports indicated that the delightful Sade is recording her new album at the site.

Pitt vs Jolie: A chronology of events

One factor to note in this saga, is that Pitt claims he had no idea that Jolie intended to sell her stake, which would seem to support the idea that there was definitely no agreement between the former couple. Indeed, Pitt has been seeking damages and for Jolie’s sale of her shares to be declared illegal. Unfortunately for the ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ star, things got complicated in July of this year when the presiding judge denied his request to withhold business documents and correspondence from Jolie’s legal team.

The next twist in the plot occurred this past September when a company owned by Jolie sued Pitt for what the suit claimed was an attempt by Pitt to “seize control” of the vineyard in the name of “retaliation” for his “divorce and custody proceedings.” Needless to say, Pitt’s representatives had a response. “Sadly, this is yet another rehash and repackaging of old material to try and distract from the other party’s own behavior.” This brings us to the latest and it’s not pretty.

The infamous NDA: Does Brad Pitt want Angelina Jolie’s silence?

In a complaint filed earlier this month, has now claimed that her former husband was in fact given an opportunity to buy out her share in the vineyard. The complaint elaborates, by alleging that Pitt would only agree to the deal if she in turn agreed to sign a nondisclosure agreement “that would have contractually prohibited her from speaking outside of court about Pitt’s physical and emotional abuse of her and their children.” It is alleged that when Jolie refused his offer, Pitt “walked away from the deal.”

Is Brad & Angelina’s fight really about a vineyard or custody?

As mentioned before, Pitt and Jolie are in the middle of several legal battles of which the fight for Miraval is just one. There is, however, another one that is worth much more and that’s the custody battle for their children. With that in mind, consider in the context of Pitt’s claims about intentional damage and Jolie’s denial and subsequent filing of a complaint, the inclusion of the following text in said document:

“When one of the children verbally defended Jolie, Pitt lunged at his own child and Jolie grabbed him from behind to stop him. ...To get Jolie off his back, Pitt threw himself backwards into the airplane’s seats injuring Jolie’s back and elbow. The children rushed in and all bravely tried to protect each other. Before it was over, Pitt choked one of the children and struck another in the face. Some of the children pleaded with Pitt to stop. They were all frightened. Many were crying.”

It appears there’s a lot more under the surface here, than simply which of the two stars gets to hold on to a vineyard in France. Sadly, this looks likely to get way uglier before it’s all over.

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