ENTERTAINMENT

Jolie-Pitt Divorce Judge Disqualified By Appeals Court

Jul 23, 2021, 1:41 PM

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 03:  Actors Brad Pitt (L) and Angelina Jolie arrive at the premiere of...

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 03: Actors Brad Pitt (L) and Angelina Jolie arrive at the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' and Spyglass Entertainment's "Invictus" at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Theater on December 3, 2009 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California appeals court on Friday disqualified a private judge being used by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in their divorce case, handing Jolie a major victory.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal agreed with Jolie that Judge John W. Ouderkirk didn’t sufficiently disclose business relationships with Pitt’s attorneys.

“Judge Ouderkirk’s ethical breach, considered together with the information disclosed concerning his recent professional relationships with Pitt’s counsel, might cause an objective person, aware of all the facts, reasonably to entertain a doubt as to the judge’s ability to be impartial. Disqualification is required,” the court ruled.

The decision means that the custody fight over the couple’s five minor children, which was nearing an end, could be starting over.

The judge already ruled the pair divorced, but separated the child custody issues.

Like many celebrity couples, Pitt and Jolie opted to hire their own judge to increase their privacy in the divorce proceedings.

Ouderkirk declined to disqualify himself when Jolie asked him to in a filing in August. A lower court judge ruled that Jolie’s request for disqualification came too late. Jolie’s attorneys then appealed.

The July 9 oral arguments in front of the appeals court focused on exactly which ethical rules should apply to private judges, who, like Ouderkirk, are usually retired superior court judges.

“If you’re going to play the role of a paid private judge you have to play by the rules and the rules are very clear, they require full transparency,” Jolie’s attorney Robert Olson said. “Matters that should have been disclosed were not disclosed.”

The panel questioned whether such an arrangement should be allowed in California at all, but their ruling applies only to Ouderkirk.

Attorneys for the two sides did not have an immediate comment on the ruling.

Jolie, 46, and Pitt, 57, were among Hollywood’s most prominent couples for 12 years. They had been married for two years when Jolie filed for divorce in 2016. They were declared divorced in April 2019, after their lawyers asked for a judgment that allowed a married couple to be declared single while other issues remained, including finances and child custody.

In May, Jolie and her attorneys criticized Ouderkirk for not allowing the couple’s children to testify in the proceedings.

The actress also said the judge “has failed to adequately consider” a section of the California courts code, which says it is detrimental to the best interest of the child if custody is awarded to a person with a history of domestic violence. Her filing did not give details about what it was referring to, but her lawyers submitted a document under seal in March that purportedly offers additional information.

The ruling does not address whether the children should be allowed to testify in the case.

KSL 5 TV Live

Entertainment

(From left) Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya in 'Dune: Part Two.'
Mandatory Credit:	Niko Tavernise/Wa...

Lindsey Bahr, AP Film Writer

‘Dune: Part Two’ brings spice power to the box office with $81.5 million debut

Movie theaters were looking for a savior and “Dune: Part Two” is delivering on the promise.

7 hours ago

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

KSL TV

Hillcrest High School theater performs “The James Plays”

An amazing feat by Hillcrest High School Friday night as the 7-time state champions present their show, "The James Plays."

2 days ago

Oprah Winfrey...

Jordan Valinsky, CNN

Oprah is leaving WeightWatchers, sending stock tumbling

Oprah Winfrey is leaving the board of WeightWatchers, ending a nearly decade-long stint as a director of the beleaguered company that has faced sudden competition from Ozempic.

3 days ago

FILE - Comedian Richard Lewis attends an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Dec. 25, 2012. Lewis...

Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press

Comedian Richard Lewis dies after suffering a heart attack

Richard Lewis, an acclaimed comedian known for exploring his neuroses in frantic, stream-of-consciousness diatribes while dressed in all-black, leading to his nickname “The Prince of Pain,” has died. He was 76.

4 days ago

The stage of the Tabernacle Choir as they perform in Manila. (Dan Rascon, KSL News)...

Dan Rascon

Tabernacle Choir performs unforgettable concert in Manila

It was a night not to be forgotten in the Philippines as the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square performed  its first major concert before thousands of Filipinos at the Mall of Asia’s 9,000 set arena.

5 days ago

students look at a screen...

Sam Herrera, KSLNewsRadio and Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Weber State offers new elective class all about Taylor Swift

Weber State University is offering a new course all about Taylor Swift, and students wasted no time signing up.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Jolie-Pitt Divorce Judge Disqualified By Appeals Court