American actress, Angelina Jolie has requested for the removal of the private judge presiding over her divorce from Brad Pitt over claims he has business dealings with her ex-husband’s attorney.
In a filing made in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday (10 August), Jolie requested that Judge John W Ouderkirk be disqualified from the case four years after she first filed for divorce in 2016.
The Salt actress claims that Ouderkirk had “failed to disclose the cases that demonstrated the current, ongoing, repeat-customer relationship” he had with Anne C Kiley, one of Pitt’s attorneys who he has worked with on multiple cases.
The document also states that Kiley had “actively advocated for Judge Ouderkirk´s financial interests in moving – over the opposing party’s opposition – to have his appointment (and his ability to continue to receive fees) extended in a high profile case.”
So far, Ouderkirk and Kiley have not passed any comment regarding the issue.
Arguing that private judges should be bound by the same rules as other judges when it comes to impartiality, the document states: “It doesn´t matter if Judge Ouderkirk is actually biased … all my client is asking for is a fair trial based on facts, with no special favours extended to either side.”
Jolie and Pitt were together for fourteen years, two of which they spent married, before the Maleficent actress filed for divorce in 2016.
The couple have six children together.