World Court removes judge from Jolie-Pitt divorce case
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Angelina Jolie has clinched a victory in her legal battle with Brad Pitt after a judge they hired was disqualified from their divorce case.
The actors have been locked in court fight for custody of their children since Jolie filed for divorce in 2016.
A private judge, John Ouderkirk, made.
But on Friday, a California court agreed with Jolie's appeal to remove the judge from the case.
In its ruling, the appeals court said Judge Ouderkirk did not disclose his business relationships with Pitt's lawyers.
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This was an "ethical breach" that may cast doubt on "the judge's ability to be impartial", the court said.
The ruling means the legal battle over the couple's five minor children may have to be restarted before a new judge.
Private judges are often hired in the US to mediate disputes between divorcing celebrities for privacy reasons.
A spokesperson for Pitt said the ruling was based on a technical issue.
The "factual evidence" that led Judge Ouderkirk to make his custody ruling in May had not changed, the spokesperson said.
Jolie's representatives are yet to comment on Friday's ruling. But following May's custody ruling, a source told AFP news agency that Jolie believed that she and the children had been "denied a fair trial".
Pax Jolie-Pitt dons casual ensemble to grab a bite to eat
The 17-year-old son of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt was spotted heading to an In-N-Out Burger restaurant with a friend on Friday. Pax kept his outfit low-key as he made his way to the restaurant, donning a simple white T-shirt and similarly coloured bucket hat.On his lower half, Pax wore a pair of hot pink shorts featuring a shark-print pattern all over.He also wore a pair of cream-coloured trainers and white sport socks on his feet, as he carried his keys in his hand on his way to grab a bite to eat.
Jolie has criticised Judge Ouderkirk's decision not to allow their children to testify in custody hearings.
The custody dispute concerns the five youngest children of the pair; Pax, 17, Zahara, 16, Shiloh, 15 and 13-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox.
The oldest, 19-year-old Maddox, is not subject to the custody decision.
A custody settlement Jolie and Pitt announced in 2018 appears to have fallen apart.
Affectionately known as "Brangelina" by fans, the Hollywood stars met on the set of action film Mr and Mrs Smith in 2004. They were together for 10 years before they wed in 2014.
But the pair separated in September 2016 after two years of marriage, with Jolie citing "irreconcilable differences".
Pitt was investigated for possible child abuse shortly before Jolie filed for divorce,. The pair were declared legally single in 2019.
The marriage was Jolie's third, after actors Billy Bob Thornton and Jonny Lee Miller, while Pitt had wed once before to Friends star Jennifer Aniston.
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