Angelina Jolie loses legal bid to throw out ex-husband Brad Pitt's claim she sold $64M stake in Miraval vineyard to Russian oligarch without his agreement

         Brad Pitt has been handed the latest victory in the battle to control the French vineyard he owned with ex-wife Angelina Jolie in the latest twist in the so-called 'War of the Rosés'.The Chateau Miraval estate, which produces an award-winning sparkling rosé, is at the center of a long-running court battle between the pair.Jolie attempted to overturn a preliminary ruling at the LA Superior Court which allowed her ex-husband’s claims that she sold her stake in their stunning vineyard to Russian oligarch Yuri Shefler without his agreement in 2021.But in another win for the Fight Club star, the court rejected the allegations that his suit was ‘frivolous, malicious, and part of a problematic pattern.’It now means that Pitt’s legal team has the green light to take the court battle to trial, in which the A-lister is suing Jolie for breaching an agreement that they would give each other first refusal.Court minutes seen by show that the Hollywood star was given the go-ahead on March 8 to amend one overruled claim relating to breaching an ‘implied covenant’ of fair dealing and good faith.Judge Lia Martin rejected Jolie’s attorneys attempts to toss out the lawsuit for breaching an implied contract and quasi-contract, which is the latest blow for Jolie and Shefler.Last month, the Mail revealed that Stoli had been stripped of some shares by a court in Luxembourg, making Pitt the majority shareholder.The battle over Chateau Miraval's future has so far been waged in courtrooms in France, Luxembourg and Los Angeles.Pitt was shocked when his ex-wife sold her half of their stunning Chateau Miraval estate without his agreement to Russian billionaire Yuri Shefler in 2021.After their acrimonious separation in 2016, Jolie sold her stake in the business to Yuri Shefler's Stoli Group. Pitt claimed she had breached an agreement that they would give each other first refusal.Financial papers seen by in February revealed that the ultimate owner of the shares is a shadowy trust on the isle of Jersey controlled by a company of which Shefler is not a shareholder.The bewildering business arrangements make it impossible to know who is pulling the strings - but friends of Hollywood star Pitt say he is determined to get to the bottom of it.A source close to the actor said: 'Brad wants Jersey to start providing answers. He should have the right to know who has bought into his business.'He has put his heart and soul into Chateau Miraval and feels the rug has been pulled out from under him. He does not know for sure who he is actually in business with.'
        In a previous filing Pitt claimed that Shefler tried to ‘bully’ and ‘threaten’ him with smears, arguing the Russian tried to browbeat him into submission by issuing a press release announcing their ‘partnership’ the day after Jolie’s deal went through.Shefler then demanded that the pair meet for talks, after ‘personally insisting’ that the release ‘emphasized’ that they were partners with Pitt – despite the A-Lister only learning of the deal through the announcement.The filings are part of the Oscar winners bid to undo the $64m sale by Angelina Jolie of her share in the Chateau Miraval estate to Shefler.He says the 2021 deal was in breach of Jolie’s earlier promise to offer him first refusal if she ever sold up.Shefler is accused of reaching out to Jolie’s divorce lawyers following reports of a ‘heated custody dispute’ in 2021.Pitt’s team also say that representatives for Stoli—the international beverage conglomerate owned by Shefler— made as ‘unsolicited’ bid for Miravel following news of the couples split.Shefler insists the American courts have no jurisdiction to hear a full trial on the matter.But the momentum in the legal battle appears to be with Pitt, after a court in Luxembourg stripped Shefler of 10 per cent of his shares, effectively making Pitt the majority shareholder once again.His legal team secured the victory by arguing that the shares were given in 2013 with the understanding that Jolie would not sell them on.Judge Carole Kerschen ruled it was necessary to end the 'blockage of decision' and save the business. A 'merits hearing' in around two years is likely to decide that Pitt regain full control of the shares, which were transferred to Jolie’s company for one euro.A source close to the actor previously said the ruling leaves Shefler, with 'virtually no say' in the multi-million-pound business in Provence.Pitt and Jolie bought the 1,300-acre Miraval estate in 2008 as 60-40 partners, with Pitt the majority shareholder.Five years later, he gave an extra 10 per cent to Jolie's company Nouvel for one euro, making them equals.But after their acrimonious split in 2016 the estate was at the center of a $350million divorce battle.In 2021, Jolie sold Nouvel to a group controlled by Shefler. Pitt's lawyers claimed she 'knew and intended Shefler and his affiliates would try to control the business'.


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