Why Is Brad Pitt Suing Angelina Jolie and Who Is Yuri Shefler?

Brad Pitt has reportedly filed a lawsuit against his ex-wife Angelina Jolie.

The actor, 58, is said to be suing the 46-year-old Eternals star over a business decision, as their custody battle continues.

Why Is Brad Pitt Suing Angelina Jolie?

Entertainment Tonight reported on Thursday that Pitt is suing Jolie for selling her share in Chateau Miraval Winery to billionaire Yuri Shefler in October 2021.

The former couple bought the winery in Correns, southeastern France, in 2008. When they divorced, the estate was said to be worth $164 million.

In court documents obtained by ET, Pitt is said to be seeking monetary damages and legal fees, as well as for the sale to Shefler to be deemed void.

According to ET, the actor acknowledges that Jolie was responsible for 40 percent of the property's $28.4 million purchase price, but argues that he is the one who made the winery a success.

Pitt is also said to be arguing that in their divorce, which was finalized in 2019, he and Jolie had a "mutual understanding" that they wouldn't sell their interest in Chateau Miraval without consulting the other and receiving their consent.

Robert Olson, who has been counsel for Ms. Jolie, told Newsweek in a statement, "Press is reporting that Mr. Pitt has filed another lawsuit against Ms. Jolie. She has not yet been served, and we are instead learning about the complaint from the media who appear to have been given access to the report to create a press story prior to Ms. Jolie even being served. I understand that Mr. Pitt is aware that Ms. Jolie is on a long-haul commercial international flight with their children, out of reach, and unable to respond."

Spokespeople for Pitt declined to provide comment when approached by Newsweek.

Who Is Yuri Shefler?

Yuri Shefler is a Russian oligarch who controls the wine company Tenute del Mondo, a subsidiary of SPI Group. His net worth is $2.5 billion, according to Forbes.

Shefler's SPI produces and sells alcohol in 170 countries, across more than 380 brands. Its most famous brand is Stolichnaya vodka.

According to Forbes, Russia, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium have banned the sale of Stolichnaya vodka because of Shefler's 1997 purchase of state-owned VVO Soyuzplodoimport, which was ruled illegal by Russia's Supreme Court in 2001.

Entertainment Tonight reported that Jolie filed a lawsuit in July 2021 saying she had found an unnamed buyer for her interest in Chateau Miraval. Pitt agreed to consider the deal in September 2021, according to ET, but said he had a right to first refusal.

The new lawsuit is said to claim that Pitt didn't give his consent for Jolie to sell her shares to Shefler a month later.

ET has also reported that Pitt now feels he is unable to run the winery. The documents state: "The purported sale deprives Pitt of his right to enjoy his private home and to oversee the business he developed from scratch."

Update 02/18/22 5:45 a.m. ET: This article was updated to add a response from Brad Pitt's representatives.

Update 02/23/22 03:17 a.m. ET: This article was updated to include comment from Angelina Jolie's representatives.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Left: Brad Pitt in the press room for the Oscars in Los Angeles on April 25, 2021. Right: Angelina Jolie at a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on February 9. Pitt is suing his ex-wife Jolie for selling her shares in Chateau Miraval Winery. Chris Pizzello-Pool/Alex Wong/Getty Images