Actor Angelina Jolie has lost her battle to have Judge John W Ouderkirk removed from her bitter divorce proceedings with ex-husband Brad Pitt. Ouderkirk is the same judge who married the actor couple in 2014.
Jolie had previously claimed that Ouderkirk failed to disclose 'ongoing business and professional relationships' that he had with Pitt's legal team, thereby causing a conflict of interest. She had said that it wasn't 'fair' for him to preside over the divorce proceedings.
Court documents obtained by the Daily Mail show that Ouderkirk will remain on the case. The report quoted a source as saying, "This was the judge who was originally brought in by Angie's team. He married them, for heaven's sake. It's a prime example of someone who tried to get the referee removed late in the game because they weren't going to like the outcome."
The former couple is also involved in a custody battle over their kids -- Maddox, 19, Pax, 16, Zahara, 15, Shiloh, 14, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 12.
The court documents reveal that the judge had disclosed his ties to Pitt's legal team previously, and that Jolie has been aware of Ouderkirk's appointment and connections to Pitt's legal team since 2018. Earlier this year, Pitt's legal team had accused her of attempting to delay the proceedings. Her team had responded by noting that she wanted a 'fair' trial.
"All my client is asking for is a fair trial based on facts, with no special favors extended to either side," Jolie's lawyer, Samantha Bley DeJean, told UsWeekly in a statement last month. The statement added: "The only way litigants can trust the process is for everyone involved to ensure that there's transparency and impartiality."
The Daily Mail quoted another source as saying, "Angelina has fought tooth and nail to get what she wants in this divorce, when it comes to her kids she won't back down. She's paying her legal team a fortune, so if she believes one of her lawyers needs to go she won't hesitate to pull the trigger."