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Brad Pitt has failed in his bid to have a court review the decision to disqualify the judge in his custody battle with Angelina Jolie.
A lower court previously ruled Judge John W Ouderkirk did not sufficiently disclose business relationships with Pitt’s lawyers and removed him from the case.
The decision was a major victory for Jolie, 46, in her bitter legal fight with fellow Oscar-winner Pitt, 57.
The California Supreme Court has now refused to hear Pitt’s appeal against the decision, stating online: “Petition for review & application for stay denied.”
The former golden couple of Hollywood have been locked in a custody row over their five children, all minors, and the court’s decision could mean an even lengthier legal process.
Jolie filed for divorce in 2016 and the case had been nearing an end.
The Eternals star’s lawyer, Robert Olson, welcomed the state supreme court’s decision.
In a statement to USA Today, he said: “Ms Jolie is focused on her family and pleased that her children’s wellbeing will not be guided by unethical behaviour.
“As reinforced by California’s appellate courts, our judiciary prioritises ethics and children’s best interests, and won’t tolerate judicial misconduct to reward the interests of a party. Ms Jolie is glad for the family to now move forward cooperatively.”
Mr Ouderkirk officiated Pitt and Jolie’s 2014 wedding.
As is common for celebrity couples keen to shield their private lives from the public, Pitt and Jolie opted to hire their own judge to oversee the divorce.
Mr Ouderkirk divorced the couple in 2019 but the issue of child custody remained separate.
Jolie and Pitt have six children: 20-year-old Maddox, 17-year-old Pax, 16-year-old Zahara, 15-year-old Shiloh, 13-year-old Vivienne and 13-year-old Knox. Only the five minors are subject to custody decisions.