Thanks to all those who gave a heads up that the documents were posted by Daily Mail.
The only document they filed that is new is the Memorandum of Points and Authorities which states that Angelina supports Brad's RFO to seal. All the other documents including Wasser's declaration and the stipulation to seal have been filed before, although at the time the stipulation was not yet signed. Of course we cannot see the document Brad and Spiegel lodged with the court that is provisionally sealed.
The Memorandum is signed by Wasser's associate, Samantha Klein, who is also Angelina's attorney of record. Klein signed for both of them. You'll recall that Wasser gave notice to the court that she was unavailable from Dec. 16 to 27. While Klein refers to "Respondent" throughout the memo, in referring to Spiegel's Supplemental memo she makes a point to say "Respondent's counsel filed" instead of saying "Respondent filed." Like the statement to Vanity Fair from a source on Angelina's side, she is making the distinction and pinning responsibility for that filing solely on Spiegel.
We learn that Spiegel filed his memo the same day that Angelina signed the agreement to seal. That makes it clear that Spiegel had no reason to file the memo and that even as he filed, he knew his arguments were already moot. There is no way that he could not have known that Angelina and Wasser or Klein signed the stipulation because he prepared the draft and he and Brad would have signed it at the same time. His only motive was to attack Angelina and Wasser out of pique that Wasser filed their emails that weakened his position before the Court. It was clearly an act in bad faith as well as unethical. But even though Spiegel alone was responsible for the filing, he nevertheless filed in Brad's name so Klein must still hold Brad accountable for everything Spiegel wrote.
While Klein begins by saying "Petitioner does not oppose Respondent's" RFO to seal and concludes saying that "Petitioner respectfully joins Respondent in his request to seal," she uses the body of her declaration to rebut Spiegel's contentions. She does not respond to his personal attacks and insults. Klein succinctly refutes allegations concerning their filing of the stipulation and the emails by pointing out that it was Brad's actions that brought about those filings.
What is also notable is Klein signed the Memorandum on Dec 23, and Angelina signed the Stipulation on Dec. 21 but they were all only filed with the Court on January 3. Spiegel signed and filed his Supplemental memo on Dec. 21. He was obviously in a hurry to file it not for any legal purpose but fearing he would not get another chance to take a public swipe at Angelina and Wasser.
It is interesting that People is only now reporting information regarding Brad's visits from Wasser's Dec. 6 declaration when they, like us, would have read the declaration when it was filed last December. At any rate, it is to Angelina's benefit that the info is now getting wider dissemination so people know that Brad has actually seen the children a lot more than some reports claimed.
It's clear that Brad could not have seen the children for less than 5 hours per week during the Christmas Holidays. In fact, we believe he actually saw them a lot more when the family went on a week-long holiday in Crested Butte. It appears that as a result of their shared activities, Brad has made excellent progress reconnecting with the kids.
It is notable that no outlet has been been able to get any information about how Brad spent the New Year, not even from his voluble friend.
Recall that his friend immediately confirmed his Thanksgiving trip to Turks and Caicos together with rumblings about how he was "sad and frustrated" and unhappy about the current arrangement.
This time, Brad allowed his friend to comment on the public filings but not one word about his private activities -- not even to confirm or deny that he was in Crested Butte to People despite their special relationship. People could only repeat that "Pitt was not spotted on the trip."
Angelina's source previously spoke to Us about Pax's birthday and was forthcoming with details:
On Nov. 29, Pax celebrated his entrance into his teens at her L.A-area home. Pax's five siblings "gave him presents they made and sang "Happy Birthday," a source close to Jolie tells Us. Guests included staff and Jolie's brother James Haven, notes the source: "Brad was not there."But on the subject of their trip to Crested Butte, there was not one word from her either.
The conclusion is that their uncharacteristic reticence is tacit confirmation that Brad was with them. They are being very protective of what they have going on because Brad is very happy and the healing is proceeding very well. The process they are engaged in has become precious to him. And it all started in December: family therapy, a "cordial" Christmas, followed by an even better New Year.
It is probably because of the progress they've made that the family now feels comfortable engaging in regular activities out in public after months of being underground.
By all appearances, their family life is inching closer to normal. The end goal may still be weeks away but it is already in sight.
Angelina's support should theoretically boost Brad's chances of convincing the judge to grant an order to seal, but in his previous ruling the judge seemed unimpressed by Brad and Spiegel's arguments. Spiegel may have been able to use his filing to broadcast his attacks against Angelina but at the cost of weakening Wasser and Klein's support for their RFO. If Spiegel had not filed his supplemental memo, Klein could have devoted her entire declaration to explaining their support for the RFO. Instead, she had to devote most of it to refuting Spiegel's attacks. Not only did Brad lose an opportunity for crucial support, but the judge now has further proof of ethical shortcomings on their side.
But as I wrote in a previous post, Brad shouldn't need an RFO to seal. TMZ wrote previously, "We're told Angelina also wants the whole case to remain private -- as long as Brad sticks to the custody arrangement they both signed off on months ago." Wasser wrote in her email, "Angie's reluctance to enter into a stipulation to seal the file stems from her firm belief that litigation is the wrong decision." I assume that Angelina agreed to the stipulation because Brad assured her that he will abide by the S&O and will no longer resort to litigation. So the purpose of the RFO to seal is just for his peace of mind?
As we've noted repeatedly, they've compartmentalized the issue so it does not affect their personal relationship. They are insulated from any legal disputes or disagreements over the therapists by their lawyers.
In response to persistent questions I will repost the folowing:
It is important to note that Angelina's reps did not blame Brad for Speige's supplemental memo, they blamed "Mr. Pitt's legal team."
A source with knowledge of the situation tells Vanity Fair, however, “Yesterday’s filing was a clear press move and makes no legal sense. We find it surprising that Mr. Pitt’s legal team filed anything with the court because he had already filed the same request with the court weeks ago, and Ms. Jolie had already signed an agreement to seal the court file."If the source from Angelina's side believed Brad was responsible for both filings, the source could have easily said, "We find it surprising that Mr. Pitt filed anything with the court because he had already filed..." Instead, they made a point to note that it was Mr. Pitt's legal team that was behind the 2nd filing, and that Brad only filed the original request.
Since Angelina's source believes Brad was not responsible for the recent filing, that means they believe his legal team did not clear it with him first. Brad may have been as surprised as they were that his team filed anything. As the source noted, what was filed was the same as what had already been filed weeks ago. Spiegel filed a Supplemental memorandum, an addition to the earlier action which allowed him to file without showing it first to Brad. There was no new action involved which he would have had to clear with Brad.
Wasser and Klein's filing is an entirely new action in support of Brad's RFO.
The language of court filings is standard. They are always done in the name of Petitioner or Respondent.
Some readers have pointed out that a long-time aide of Brad's met the family at the airport when they arrived from Crested Butte and later accompanied Maddox and Pax and their friends. I am not as knowledgeable about their aides so I defer to them. I will just add that the same person was apparently photographed delivering pizza to the family's first home in Malibu on Sept. 26 -- a week after she filed.
I have long maintained that they've continued to function normally as a couple despite having to abide by restrictions during the DCFS investigation including the dissolution petition. Their relationship isn't any different now than it was then or before the plane incident. They just have to live apart and protect the children until they heal.
...Angelina Jolie .... a huge pizza delivery was seen arriving at her rented LA mansion on Monday.
MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES
Petitioner Angelina Jolie Pitt ("Petitioner") submits the within Memorandum of Points and Authorities in response to the Request for Order filed by Respondent William Bradley Pitt ("Respondent') to seal records in this case.
PETITIONER DOES NOT OPPOSE THIS REQUEST FOR ORDER
Petitioner does not oppose Respondent's request to seal custody-related records in this case. She and her counsel have executed a stipulation drafted by Respondent's counsel which memorializes the parties' agreement that such records be sealed. Given the intense media scrutiny upon this case, Petitioner believes that the sealing of these records is consistent with the best interests of the parties six minor children.
RESPONDENT HAS NONETHELESS FILED SUPPLEMENTAL PAPERS TO DEFLECT THE PUBLIC'S ATTENTIONThe same day that Petitioner signed an agreement to seal custody-related records as requested by Respondent, Respondent's counsel filed supplemental papers. While the supplemental papers are ostensibly in support of Respondent's legal claims, they have been used to publicly impugn Petitioner's character and to deflect from Respondent's own role in the media storm which has engulfed the parties' children. There is no question that this case has been of extraordinary interest to the public since its inception. And there is little doubt that Respondent would prefer to keep the entire case private, particularly given the detailed investigations by the FBI and the DCFS into allegations of abuse by Respondent.
In an effort to protect their children from additional tabloid fodder, Petitioner has elected not to address each and every false accusation made by Respondent. Her conduct in this case has been grossly mischaracterized by Respondent. Likely terrified that the public will learn the truth, Respondent is now casting blame at Petitioner for the consequences of his own actions. It is Respondent who refused to follow the parties' custody agreement which necessitated the filing of that agreement with the court. It is Respondent who filed ex parte papers which Petitioner had no choice but to respond to with papers of her own. While Respondent bemoans the fact that these filings were made and the contents of various letters and documents thereby exposed, he willfully omits his central role in their public dissemination. But for Respondent's conduct, such filings could have been avoided and the children's privacy protected. His attempt to argue otherwise now is a desperate effort to obscure the truth which threatens his reputation.
IIIPetitioner respectfully joins Respondent in his request to seal custody-related records in this case and asks that the stipulation thereon executed by the parties be made an order of this Court.
Dated Dec. 23, 2016
By Samantha Klein (sgd)
LAURA A. WASSER/ SAMANTHA KLEIN
DECLARATION OF LAURA A. WASSER, ESQ
I, Laura A. Wasser, hereby declare as follows:
1. I am an attorney at law duly license to practice before all courts of the State of California, and am a partner in the firm of Wasser, Cooperman & Mandles, P.C., attorneys of record for Petitioner Angelina Jolie Pitt. I have personal knowledge of the following facts, and if called as a witness, I could and would competently testify thereto.
2. Our firm has represented Petitioner since September 2016. On Sept. 19, 2016, our firm filed a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage from Respondent William Bradley Pitt on Petitioner's behalf. A true and correct copy of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is attached as Exhibit A. The Petition included custody requests regarding the parties' six minor children...
3. It is my understanding that on Sept. 14, 2016, the parties and their minor children were involved in an incident during a flight from Europe to California. As a consequence of that incident, the DCFS and the FBI initiated investigations regarding allegations of abuse.
4. It is my further understanding that since the Sept. 14, 2016 incident, the minor children have lived exclusively with Petitioner. Respondent has had weekly therapeutic visits with the minor children since Oct. 8, 2016. The frequency and duration of these visits have been determined by the minor children's therapists, who were put in place jointly by the parties immediately after the Sept. 14, 2016 incident. The therapists have been present during each of the Respondent's visits. WIth the cooperation of the parties, further weekly therapeutic visits of 5 hours each have been scheduled through the end of January 2017. Respondent's visits may increase at any time based on the therapists' evaluation of each child's individual feelings and progress.
5. On Oct. 26, 2016, the parties executed a Stipulation and Order re Child Custody and Therapy (Custody Stipulation). A true correct copy of the Custody Stipulation is attached as Exhibit B.
The Custody Stipulation memorializes the custody and visitation arrangement set forth above and incorporates recommendations made by DCFS. I have not attached copies of documents our office received from DCFS in order to protect the minor children's privacy and to comply with confidentiality statutes.
6. Approximately one week after the Custody Stipulation was executed, our office received a copy of Respondent's Response and Request for Dissolution of Marriage. A true and correct copy of the Response and Request for Dissolution of Marriage filed on Nov. 4, 2016 is attache as Exhibit C. Our office previously granted Respondent an open extension of time to file his response; there was no deadline to file.
7. By mid-November, our office began receiving demands from Respondent's counsel for increased visitation which was not recommended by the minor children's therapists and not agreed upon when the parties entered into the Custody Stipulation less than one month earlier. True and correct copies of Respondent's counsel's letters of Nov. 17, 2016 and Nov 21, 2016 demanding additional visitation are attached collectively as Exhibit D. In both face to face meetings and written correspondence, our office maintained that it was premature to end the therapeutic monitoring only weeks after executing the Custody Stipulation encompassing both the therapists' and DCFS's recommendations. A true and correct copy of my letter of Nov 18, 2016 clearly outlining our position is attached as Exhibit E.
8. Our office requested a joint meeting with both parties' counsel and the minor children's therapists to get their impressions. For weeks, Respondent's counsel indicated Respondent would not consent to such a meeting. Respondent's counsel instead continued to demand additional visitation for Respondent without regard for the mental health professionals' recommendations. A true and correct copy of our email exchange on Nov 28 / 29 2016 detailing additional demands is attached as exhibit F.
9. On Dec 1, 2016, our office finally received Respondent's consent to conduct as joint meeting with counsel and therapists the following week. However, Respondent's request for additional visitation in an non-therapeutic setting was not withdrawn and his counsel continued to advise that they intended to file a Request for Order. Our office therefore sent a letter to Respondent's counsel of Dec 1, 2016 requesting compliance with the Custody Stipulation and the therapists' recommendations. A true and correct copy of our Dec 1, 2016 letter is attached as Exhibit G.
10. On Dec. 2, 2016, our office received a response to my letter of he previous day which again suggested that Respondent sought additional visitation with the minor children and would be requesting same from the court. A true and correct copy of the Dec. 2, 2016 letter is attached as Exhibit H. The same day we filed a copy of the Custody Stipulation with the Court for enforcement purposes.
11. On Dec 6, 2016 our office received ex parte notice of Respondent's intent to apply for orders sealing the file in this case. A true an correct copy of the Dec. 6, 2016 letter confirming notice is attached as Exhibit I
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of he State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed this 6th day of December 2016 at Los Angeles, California
Laura Wasser (sgd)
LAURA A. WASSER