Angelina Jolie, a Hollywood actress and filmmaker, said the judge who heard her child custody case was “biased” and favored her ex-husband Brad Pitt, and she is now exploiting her experience to advocate legislation to rein in “corrupt” court personnel.
The actress asked California Governor Gavin Newsom to embrace “Piqui’s Law,” which would require domestic violence training for judges, mediators, and other court workers on the effects of child abuse and trauma, in a two-page letter obtained by The New York Post on September 29.
According to a source close to Jolie, the actress is lobbying for the law in response to the anguish she experienced under Los Angeles Judge John W. Ouderkirk, who refused to allow her children to speak about domestic violence at the hands of their father.
“This is personal to her, and for good reason,” a source close to Jolie told The Post.
“Look at what she faced from a biased judge who was removed by the appellate court for his corrupt and secretive financial dealings with Brad Pitt’s team that violated judicial ethics in her family’s case, and who refused to review evidence of domestic abuse.
“It’s no surprise she has taken on this specific issue. Their whole family is a victim of system failure. She has been fighting privately for her family and publicly for other families for years.”
Ouderkirk, a retired private judge who actually officiated the former couple’s nuptials, ruled in May 2021 that the couple would maintain 50/50 custody of their children.
The couple has six children— Maddox, 22, Pax, 19, Zahara, 18, Shiloh, 17, and twins Knox and Vivienne, who are 15. The actress said Ouderkirk denied her children the opportunity to testify even though California law allowed children 14 years old and older to do so.
Jolie challenged the judge’s tentative custody decision and filed a petition in the appellate court to remove Ouderkirk from the case.
The appellate court in July 2021 ruled Ouderkirk should be disqualified from the case because the retired judge didn’t sufficiently disclose business relationships with Brad Pitt’s attorneys.
“Judge Ouderkirk was not in business with anyone,” sources close to Pitt’s legal team said. “Like other private judges, he was engaged by both Ms. Jolie’s and Mr. Pitts attorneys on other cases, which he disclosed.” A source close to Brad Pitt reportedly told the Post.
“It’s disappointing but not surprising that she would continue to manipulate the media and the public with [Donald] Trump-like distortions and to deliberately make misrepresentations without any regard for the damage it causes to innocent third-parties just trying to do their jobs.”
“While the legislation she is supporting is potentially very viable, it has nothing to do with her custody case. It is inexplicable why she would use her advocacy for another defamatory effort to disregard all the objective facts in order to advance her own interest.”
If passed, Piqui’s Law, named after a 5-year-old boy who was killed by his father in 2017— also would prevent abused children from being separated from their non-violent parent, as well as block children from going into reunification camps.