Brad Pitt has fired back at ex-wife Angelina Jolie, who asked for the removal of the private judge overseeing their messy divorce case. The 56-year-old actor is accusing Jolie of using the demand to delay the ruling for the settlement and custody arrangements of their six children, whom he claimed were being hurt the most by the stall tactics, according to legal documents obtained by People.
"Unfortunately, the individuals hurt most by Jolie's transparently tactical gambit are the parties' own children, who continue to be deprived of a final resolution to these custody issues," the documents filed on Thursday read.
Last week Jolie requested in a filing made in Los Angeles Superior Court that Judge John W. Ouderkirk be disqualified from the case over claims that he had business relationships with Pitt's attorney, Anne C. Kiley. The "Maleficent" star said the judge "failed to disclose the cases that demonstrated the current, ongoing, repeat-customer relationship between the judge and Respondent’s counsel."
Jolie added that she "was never afforded the opportunity to even raise a concern or to object to the ever-increasing business relationships between Judge Ouderkirk and [Pitt’s] counsel — relationships that were providing a steady stream of income to Judge Ouderkirk and the potential for future work."
Pitt slammed Jolie's move as "a thinly-veiled attempt by Jolie to delay the adjudication of long-pending custody issues in this case." He further noted that she "has never objected to [Ouderkirk's] continued involvement in this proceeding until now."
In a statement, Jolie's lawyer, Samantha Bley DeJean, said Pitt's filing was an attempt to sway Ouderkirk's answer.
"Any delay in these proceedings is due to their zealous attempt to create an unrecognized special exception for their client's benefit," DeJean said.
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