LOS ANGELES (CNS) — A judge Tuesday gave Brad Pitt’s attorneys until early October to serve a revised complaint on two Russian businessmen recently added as parties to his Chateau Miraval winery lawsuit that also names the actor’s ex-wife, Angelina Jolie, as the primary defendant.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lia Martin ruled without hearing arguments that the extra time was warranted based on court papers filed Friday by Pitt’s lawyers, in which they said attorneys for Nouvel LLC have refused to accept service or provide addresses for Russian billionaire Yuri Shefler and his longtime associate, Alexey Oliynik. The Russians were added as defendants when Pitt’s amended complaint was filed June 3.
Under the judge’s order, service on the pair must be completed within 90 days with Oct. 3 the deadline.
The Pitt attorneys say they believe the Nouvel lawyers also are representing Shefler and Oliynik, who live in Great Britain and Switzerland, respectively.
The U.S. is a party to two international treaties regarding service of process abroad, one of them being the Hague Service Convention, the avenue Pitt’s lawyers state in their court papers that they will pursue. They say the proceedings could take months.
Jolie, 47, formed Nouvel as a vehicle for holding shares in Chateau Miraval. Before her alleged sale of Nouvel to the Stoli Group in 2021, Jolie was the sole member of the company and held 100% of its membership interest.
Pitt first sued Jolie on Feb. 17, alleging she wrongfully sold her shares in the winery and estate to Shefler.
According to the lawsuit, the then-couple purchased a controlling interest in the southern France winery in 2008, envisioning the chateau “as a home to share with their children and the vineyard as a family business.” The couple were married at the estate in 2014.
“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…,” the suit states.
Jolie sold her shares without telling Pitt, denying him the consent right she owed him, according to the complaint.
“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,” the suit states.