Just when you thought the award for Messiest Celebrity Divorce: Wine Lover Category was all locked up, another nominee is getting some industry buzz! Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are back in the spotlight with their heated clash over Provence wine estate Château Miraval, which the couple purchased in 2012. In Pitt’s most recent legal complaint against his ex-wife, he claims that by selling her shares of their jointly-owned Château Miraval to Yuri Shefler, the Soviet-born British and Israeli billionaire who controls Stoli Group, she aims to “intentionally jeopardize the reputation” of the business.
Filed by Pitt’s legal team on Friday, June 3, in Los Angeles, the charges mark the latest chapter in this ongoing lawsuit in which Pitt also complains that Jolie acted unlawfully by selling her shares without his knowledge. According to Pitt, the couple had agreed to never sell their respective interests in the company and estate—where they were married in 2014—without consulting the other. According to Pitt’s suit, he and their business partners, France’s Perrin family, built Château Miraval into a leading global rosé brand worth $164 million, while Jolie “contributed nothing” to its success.
The new accusations more specifically claim that Jolie knowingly and secretly sold her shares to a “stranger with poisonous associations and intentions” in order to sabotage Pitt’s business. Shefler, claims the suit, “has gained notoriety through cut-throat business tactics and dubious professional associations,” and his involvement will harm the reputation of Château Miraval, adding that Shefler is “bent on taking control of Miraval.” Pitt is requesting a trial by jury.
If Shefler's name rings a bell, that might be because he was in the news earlier this year, when his Stolichnaya Vodka brand (now officially known as Stoli) faced boycotts over Russia’s war on Ukraine, despite that the brand is made in Latvia and Shefler fled Russia more than two decades ago. "While I have been exiled from Russia since 2000 due to my opposition to Putin, I have remained proud of the Stolichnaya brand," Shefler, who is Jewish, said in a statement issued in March. "Today, we have made the decision to rebrand entirely, as the name no longer represents our organization. More than anything, I wish for Stoli to represent peace in Europe and solidarity with Ukraine."
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