The custody battle between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie has just escalated once again, as the actress has claimed in new court documents that three of their six children wanted to testify against their father.
“The children whose custody is at issue are old enough to understand what is going on,” read the document, which was obtained by US Weekly. “The trial is necessarily going to impact them emotionally. Three of the children have asked to testify. To make any of the children endure what may be a futile and void proceeding is beyond unjustified. It is cruel.”
Jolie filed this document as part of her ongoing attempt to have Judge John Ouderkirk removed from the case because of his alleged connections to Pitt’s legal team. Her attorney argued that the children should not have even been put in the position to want to testify because the judge should have been disqualified.
Jolie first tried to have Ouderkirk removed last summer after the judge failed to disclose “ongoing business and professional relationships.” Her request was denied two months later, and the judge remained on the case.
Earlier this year, Jolie filed documents once again claiming that the judge refused to hear evidence that she believed was pertinent to the case, including her children’s testimonies.
“Judge Ouderkirk denied Ms. Jolie a fair trial, improperly excluding her evidence relevant to the children’s health, safety, and welfare, evidence critical to making her case,” the documents alleged.
Jolie and Pitt’s oldest child Maddox, 19, testified against his father back in March.
“It wasn’t very flattering toward Brad,” a source said of the testimony. “He doesn’t use Pitt as his last name on documents that aren’t legal and instead uses Jolie. Maddox wants to legally change his last name to Jolie, which Angelina has said she doesn’t support.”
Last month, Ouderkirk issued a tentative custody order giving Pitt and Jolie joint custody of the kids. A source said at the time that Jolie was “bitterly disappointed” with the decision and planned to use “everything she’s got” to fight the arrangement.
A hearing has been scheduled for July 9 to handle Jolie’s appeal, which she hopes will “demonstrate clear, reversible, prejudicial legal error” on the part of Ouderkirk. The appeal is set to be heard by a three-justice panel and attorneys for both parties will be given time to present their arguments.