Talk about sour grapes!
Brad Pitt is desperately trying to force out business partner Yuri Shefler, a Russian vodka oligarch, from his celebrated French vineyard. The story also adds another layer to Brad's vitriolic split from Angelina Jolie.
Before they were married, Brad and Angelina purchased the Château Miraval estate in France. At the time of the purchase, he owned a 60% stake, and she owned a 40% stake. Shortly after, rosé from Miraval was sought after and highly regarded. As part of his wedding present to Angelina in 2014, Brad gifted her 10% of the estate, making them equal 50/50 partners. Reports claim they had an agreement that he'd get first right of refusal if she ever wanted to sell.
When Brad and Angelina split, the Russian oligarch, who owns Stoli, approached the Oscar winner about buying his shares. Brad refused. He was again approached by the vodka scion in 2021, but Brad again declined. Sources close to Brad now claim Yuri "secretly" approached Angelina to get her half after Brad's refusals.
"Then in October 2021, they announce they are Brad's new partner to the world in a trade publication," the source told Page Six. "The entire deal is Angie being vindictive. These guys are bottom feeders."
According to Brad, Yuri wants to use his celebrity status to be the face of the company. Brad is now trying to force his ex to unravel her deal, as he feels he has "no option but to attempt to oust" his business partner, a source said.
Yuri — who the United States government designated as an oligarch in 2018 — has no plans to let go of his Miraval ownership. In court documents, he took a jab at Brad, too. "Pitt is an actor, not a winemaker. He deals in illusions, not dirt and grapes," the argument said, alleging Brad "visited the vineyards to admire the work of the French laborers who actually made the business."
Angelina's attorney argues that she had every right to sell her stake. In California court documents, the actress called the "Moneyball" star a "petulant child" when it came to running the winery, claiming he squandered money on swimming pool renovations and a recording studio at Miraval.
He also launched a "xenophobic, untrue smear campaign worthy of Putin himself" against Yuri, Angelina said of her ex.
Still, a Brad ally said he won't give in. "Brad stands by the people who he's done business with and he doesn't give into bullies," said the source.