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Entertainment Brad and Angie are dragging experts into court for custody battle

22:05  09 october  2020
22:05  09 october  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Jillian Armenante, Angelina Jolie posing for a photo: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie will each stop at nothing to ensure a win in the fight for custody of their children.

The Hollywood exes are dragging security experts from two continents, an entourage of personal assistants, a star of the 1999 movie Girl, Interrupted, and an army of child psychologists to appear in the custody trial was expected to start Monday in LA Superior Court but delayed when both parties agreed to conduct the proceedings in private.

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Lists of witnesses filed in a Los Angeles court and seen by DailyMail.com reveal 21 people who will be testifying in the movie stars' legal fight over their six children.

Both Brad, 56, and Angie, 45, are calling on a host of psychologists and doctors, including domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette, who controversially clashed with a prosecutor in a 2013 murder trial by describing killer Jodi Arias as the victim of abuse.

But Pitt has also listed his estranged wife's personal assistant Michael Ofstedahl and Jolie's friend and Girl, Interrupted costar Jillian Armenante – a sign that Pitt is willing to pull out all the stops.

Armenante, 52, has also appeared in The West Wing, Six Feet Under and Grey's Anatomy.

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Adama Kebe, a Pitt and Jolie family friend, is also likely to be caught in the crossfire of their custody battle after being named on Pitt's witness list.

Pitt has called two of the former couple's assistants, Darren Laos and Rich Malchat, to testify.

A previous 2018 ruling in the custody case named Laos and Oftedahl as being involved with Jolie and Pitt's childcare arrangements.

The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star also listed several security experts and bodyguards as his witnesses.

Ross Foster worked security on By The Sea, a 2015 movie starring Jolie and Pitt and directed by the mother-of-six.

William Thiel, a security expert who runs Beverly Hills-based company Personal Protection Specialist, is also named, along with a 'Garreth Netherword' – a likely mistype of British-based security contractor Gareth Netherwood.

Netherwood's LinkedIn page describes him as a 'Consultant/Operator at GNC' who works for 'a variety of Businesses, Groups and High Net Worth individuals regarding Security concerns and Security projects together with Surveillance Operations.'

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He is also a member of the British Bodyguard Association.

Pitt and Jolie famously fell in love on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, while Pitt was still married to Jennifer Aniston. The couple married in France in 2014 after 10 years of dating, but split two years later in September 2016.

Pitt has listed his estranged wife's personal assistant Michael Ofstedahl and Jolie's friend and Girl, Interrupted costar Jillian Armenante (pictured) © Provided by Daily Mail Pitt has listed his estranged wife's personal assistant Michael Ofstedahl and Jolie's friend and Girl, Interrupted costar Jillian Armenante (pictured) Jolie starred opposite Armenante and Winona Ryder in the 1999 film Girl, Interrupted, which followed a troubled young woman at a psychiatric hospital © Provided by Daily Mail Jolie starred opposite Armenante and Winona Ryder in the 1999 film Girl, Interrupted, which followed a troubled young woman at a psychiatric hospital

They have six children together: Maddox, 19, Pax, 16, Zahara, 15, Shiloh, 14, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 12.

In the period that followed their initial separation in 2016, the pair duked it out in court over custody and financial arrangements, with Pitt arguing he'd provided more than adequate funding but Angie demanding a greater share of his $300 million fortune.

The bitter custody battle is also known to have stemmed in no small part from the actress' desire to move the children abroad. Brad vehemently opposed taking the kids abroad via his legal team.

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Back in November last year she admitted: 'I would love to live abroad and will do so as soon as my children are 18,' she said. 'Right now, I'm having to base where their father chooses to live.'

In June last year, Brad – who admitted being an alcoholic at the time of their split but is now recovered – secured a legal breakthrough when a judge ruled he would be permitted more time with the children.

He is believed to see them every few days.

The youngsters are shuttled back and forth in blacked-out SUVs and limousines between their parents LA homes, which are around a mile from one another in the affluent suburb also inhabited by A-listers including Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, Jon Hamm and Zac Efron.

In early April, the superstars came to an agreement that will see the children attend a more traditional schooling program in LA, marking an end to their homeschooling regime.

And in June DailyMail.com revealed the couple had been mending their fractious relationship, catching Pitt on camera driving by on his motorcycle to spend two hours with Jolie at her $24 million mansion in Los Feliz.

a man wearing a hat: William Thiel, a security expert who runs Beverly Hills-based company Personal Protection Special has also been called as a witness © Provided by Daily Mail William Thiel, a security expert who runs Beverly Hills-based company Personal Protection Special has also been called as a witness

Despite getting along better with his ex, it is believed that Brad has far less contact with his eldest sons, Maddox and Pax.

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As an adult, Maddox is allowed to do as he pleases and has publicly hinted at his frosty relationship with Brad. It is believed that an altercation between father and son on board a private jet in 2016 was the last straw, which led Jolie to file for divorce.

Allegations of child abuse in connection to the airplane row, denied by sources close to Pitt, were turned over to the FBI.

The bureau told US Weekly in July that it was 'continuing to gather facts and will evaluate whether an investigation at the federal level will be pursued.'

Jolie said she stands by her choice to leave the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star. 'It was the right decision,' the Girl, Interrupted actress told Vogue in June.

'I continue to focus on their healing. Some have taken advantage of my silence, and the children see lies about themselves in the media, but I remind them that they know their own truth and their own minds.'

Lists of witnesses in the former couple's custody battle filed at an LA court last week show Pitt and Jolie will both call on the same controversial domestic violence expert to give evidence.

Angelina Jolie et al. posing for the camera: The bitter custody battle is known to have stemmed in no small part from the actress' desire to move the children abroad. Brad vehemently opposed taking the kids abroad via his legal team © Provided by Daily Mail The bitter custody battle is known to have stemmed in no small part from the actress' desire to move the children abroad. Brad vehemently opposed taking the kids abroad via his legal team a view of a city: The six Jolie-Pitt kids have been spending quarantine traveling between their famous parents' homes in Los Angeles, California - just five minutes from each other © Provided by Daily Mail The six Jolie-Pitt kids have been spending quarantine traveling between their famous parents' homes in Los Angeles, California - just five minutes from each other

Pitt's 21-strong witness list includes himself and Jolie.

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Jolie's seven witnesses include many of the same medical professionals on her estranged husband's list. None of their children are expected to testify.

According to the witness lists, LaViolette 'is expected to testify regarding her interactions and communications with the parties, the children, Dr. Katz, other professionals and third parties regarding the parties and the children.'

LaViolette attracted controversy when she clashed with a prosecutor in the 2013 trial of Phoenix killer Jodi Arias who slit her boyfriend's throat and shot him in the head.

The psychologist told the court Arias was a victim of her boyfriend's domestic violence, but the prosecutor said LaViolette based her opinion solely on 44 hours of interviews with the killer and had spoken to no other witnesses.

The 15-day hearing was expected to start Monday at LA Superior Court but it appears both parties agreed to conduct the proceedings in private and remotely.

The start of the trial has been delayed, however, after Jolie asked for the judge to be replaced claiming the judge ‘failed to disclose’ that he was working other cases with one of Pitt's lawyers.

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