In what is beginning to seem like a neverending stream of lawsuits, Brad Pitt is suing his ex-wife Angelina Jolie over the sale of the former supercouple’s share in the winery, Chateau Miraval. The pair bought a share of the property in 2008, three years into their relationship, and were later married on the grounds of the Chateau in a private ceremony on August 23, 2014. The estate has been estimated to be worth $164 million.
According to Entertainment Tonight, Jolie appears to have sold Chateau Miraval, located in Correns, France, to Russian oligarch and billionaire, Yuri Shefler, in October of last year. Pitt is seeking damages, legal fees, and for the sale to be voided. Pitt contends that, though Jolie paid 40 percent of the initial $28.4 million purchase price for the estate, the success of the winery itself was solely due to his own effort. The filing claims Jolie ceased contributing money to the business after 2013. In addition, Pitt claims the pair had an understanding that neither of them could sell their interest in the winery without mutual consent per the terms of their recent divorce.
According to Sky News, the legal documents claim, “The vineyard became Pitt’s passion – and a profitable one, as Miraval, under Pitt’s stewardship, has grown into a multimillion-dollar international success story and one of the world’s most highly regarded producers of rose wine. She sold her interest with the knowledge and intention that Shefler and his affiliates would seek to control the business to which Pitt had devoted himself and to undermine Pitt’s investment in Miraval.”
In a previous suit, filed in July of 2021, Jolie disclosed that she had found a prospective buyer, and Pitt agreed to consider the deal in September. Pitt claims that his right of first refusal, again by terms of their understanding, was not respected. According to ET, Pitt found out Jolie had sold to Tenute del Mondo, a subsidiary of the SPI Group, an alcoholic beverage consortium that manufactures over 160 brands, including Stolichnaya vodka. SPI Group is owned by Russian businessman Yuri Sheffler, a billionaire often described as an oligarch, with a reported net worth of over $2.5 billion according to Forbes. Russia, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium have all banned the sale of Stolichnaya vodka after his 1997 purchase of state-owned VVO Soyuzplodoimport. The transaction was deemed illegal by Russia’s Supreme Court in 2001.
Entertainment Tonight has reported that Pitt claims he has been unable to operate Chateau Miraval under Shefler’s rules. Pitt’s legal representatives state that “the purported sale deprives Pitt of his right to enjoy his private home and to oversee the business he developed from scratch.”