Random Fuzzy Thoughts
A reader, Emma, pointed out last week that Angelina did not indicate in her divorce petition that she wanted to change her name back to Angelina Jolie from Angelina Jolie Pitt. Indeed, in both Robert Offer's initial statement announcing that she had filed for divorce and Bert Field's letters to news outlets, she is identified as Angelina Jolie Pitt.
Does she intend on being legally Angelina Jolie Pitt even if they divorce? That usually only happens if the wife became well known by her married name. That is obviously not the case here.
I had speculated previously that perhaps her lawyer only put in the minimum that was necessary to file the petition because she intended it as a form of intervention -- which was why there was also no mention of the prenup. In a discussion about the divorce in USAToday, a divorce attorney said,
"It's significant that Jolie mentioned nothing about a prenup in her divorce petition.Is it possible her lawyer didn't mention the prenup because she wants it to be modified? On the subject of the prenup TMZ reported:
"Usually when we (lawyers) file a petition, if there is a prenup we indicate that — unless we don't like it," says Hallin. "When (Pitt) files his response, he will say in there whether he wants to enforce (a prenup)."
Sources close to the couple tell us their prenuptial agreement is ironclad and details the specifics of their combined fortune ... a reported $400 mil.Bearing in mind that TMZ has access to her side, it is likely that the report reflects her lawyer's opinion -- and it doesn't sound like they're objecting to the prenup.
Brangelina have 12 total properties together ... all of which they snatched up either before they were married or before they were even dating. 7 of those belong to Brad, 2 to Angie and 3 which they bought together prior to tying the knot in 2014.
It's unclear who exactly shelled out what for those 3 properties, which include a vineyard in France, a mansion in New Orleans and an apartment in NY ... but we're told the prenup makes divvying all that up simple.
Before the DCFS released its recommendations, TMZ reported
there are 4 elements to the settlement discussions:
-- Custody and visitation
-- Temporary support for Angelina and the kids
-- Permanent financial support
-- Property split
We're told the first 2 items are well on their way to resolution...(but) any settlement must conform to the eventual DCFS recommendations.
The 3rd and 4th elements have not been resolved
So even before the DCFS, they were already in agreement on custody and visitation. It isn't a thorny issue between them.
The inclusion of financial support -- both temporary and permanent -- is interesting considering she didn't ask for it in her petition.
That the last two elements "have not been resolved" may revolve around the issue of timing rather than specifics. If they agree on temporary financial support, the jump to permanent can't be all that wide. And if they have an "iron clad" prenup, all that would be left is actually initiating the split. In short, the last two elements would only come into play if and when they are actually ready to divorce.
Since Bert Fields is handling the media and especially the tabloids. What is the role of Pierce O'Donell? From his law firm's website:
Pierce O’Donnell is one of the most influential and accomplished trial attorneys in the U.S., with groundbreaking success representing clients in closely watched matters across virtually every major industry and area of litigation. Most recently, Pierce was lead counsel to Shelly Sterling on the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to Steve Ballmer.
Over his 40-year legal career, Pierce has tried a long list of significant cases for major clients, such as the famed Buchwald v. Paramount Pictures case related to the movie “Coming to America,” litigation on behalf of the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and the Metro Goldwyn Mayer v. American Honda case that recognized federal copyright protection for James Bond. In 2009, he led a team that secured the largest jury verdict in California ($350 million), making him Trial Lawyer of the Year. In addition to dozens of trials across the country, Pierce has argued more than 25 cases in federal and state appellate courts, and handled more than 500 civil and white collar criminal cases in 38 states. He has collected nearly $5 billion for clients in a variety of cases ranging from antitrust to environmental cost recovery to business litigation.
It would seem O'Donnell's expertise would be best suited to suing an erring publication for damages.
Lainey today mentions the other rumored members of Brad's team:
The need for a crisis manager is obvious since he was accused of child abuse and the recommendations from Child Services -- supervised visitation, random drug and alcohol testing -- reflect a finding that he was at the very least abusive. He definitely has a crisis in his hands and his reputation has taken a serious hit.
Brad Pitt doesn’t want you to know the firepower he’s harnessed. So they’re not making any announcements about who’s been working behind the scenes to reclaim his reputation and in return attack Angelina Jolie’s. But he can’t possibly be doing it alone. I’ve been hearing rumours for days that Brad’s recruited Matthew Hiltzik, a PR and crisis manager. He was most recently hired to handle Ryan Lochte’s Rio mess. He’s also worked with Justin Bieber. I’ve also heard rumours that Brad is also being advised by Blair Berk. Blair Berk is one of the top criminal lawyers in Hollywood and one of the most feared. But nobody wants to go on record to confirm all the players in Brad’s camp, not even the magazines, because right now, to understand that these are two major celebrities with equally major reinforcements behind them simply isn’t as fun. Brad Pitt, quite cleverly, has been leaning into the image that he’s defenceless.
As to Blair Berk, ABC wrote: "When superstars in Hollywood get in trouble, they go to criminal defense lawyer Blair Berk for help."
He needs Berk because there is still the possibility of an FBI investigation. He doesn't need a criminal defense lawyer to wage a divorce war. You'll recall that Angelina said she didn't want him to be prosecuted and wouldn't cooperate in an investigation -- a piece of information Lainey has ignored because it doesn't fit in with her arguments for an impending war. Lainey is playing rabble rouser. No news is not good news for gossip sites because traffic will be down. She and other gossips are hoping for fireworks because that gets people clicking.
But the people both sides added to their teams are focused on issues outside the divorce. The expertise of Bert Fields points to a war, not against Brad, but against the tabloids.
The biggest argument against Brad attacking Angelina is that he would further alienate his children at a time when relations, especially with his older sons, may already be strained. After putting them through a traumatic flight back from France, the last thing he needs is to give them more reasons to be upset with him. And what would he gain by attacking her? If "he can’t believe this is what his life has become", would he want the status quo to be permanent without any hope of regaining what he has lost?
I have tried to look for hints on their mindset and their intentions -- not what I hope to see but what is actually there in front of me. I am not interested in getting traffic. In making my analysis I will follow where the evidence leads me. So I've tried to look at everything and consider all possible explanations.
I've already stated in previous posts why it looks like Angelina, by her actions and the statements from her reps, wants to keep the family intact -- and family means parents and children. So far, I have not yet seen anything that contradicts that conclusion.
There has been no sign of a directly antagonistic stance since Brad complained that her side was trying to use the abuse to gain custody. As noted above, they seem to already be in agreement on custody. There is no sign of rising tensions, no trading of barbs, in short, no sign of an impending war.
Just the opposite in fact, with Angelina's defense of him against criminal prosecution.