In the latest development in the custody battle between Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, newly uncovered court documents reveal that three of the couple's children wanted to testify against Pitt during the proceedings. US Weekly reports that the documents were filed in December 2020 and does not disclose which children wanted to testify. The former couple, who divorced in 2019, share six children -- Maddox, 19, Pax, 17, Zahara, 16, Shiloh, 15, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 12.
"The children whose custody is at issue are old enough to understand what is going on," the document reads. "The trial is necessarily going to impact them emotionally. Three of the children have asked to testify. To make any of the children endure what may be a futile and void proceeding is beyond unjustified. It is cruel." According to Us Weekly, the document was from Jolie's appeal to have Judge John Ouderkerk removed from the case because of his alleged connections to Pitt’s legal team," claiming that Ouderkerk had "ongoing business and professional relationships" with Pitt's lawyers and should therefore be disqualified. Her request was eventually denied and Ouderkerk remained on the case.
Jolie also filed additional documents earlier this year alleging that Ouderkerk refused to hear evidence against Pitt that she believed was relevant to the case, including the three children's testimonies. "Judge Ouderkirk denied Ms. Jolie a fair trial, improperly excluding her evidence relevant to the children’s health, safety, and welfare, evidence critical to making her case," the documents read. However, their oldest child, Maddox, did testify, and his statement was rather damning against Pitt. "It wasn’t very flattering toward Brad," an insider told Us Weekly. "He doesn’t use Pitt as his last name on documents that aren’t legal and instead uses Jolie. Maddox wants to legally change his last name to Jolie, which Angelina has said she doesn’t support."
In a major coup for Pitt, the Ad Astra actor was awarded joint custody of their children in May. Us Weekly cited court documents that outlined the explanation for the judge's ruling in the custody hearing. "[Jolie’s] testimony lacked credibility in many important areas, and the existing custody order between the parties must be modified, per Mr. Pitt’s request, in the best interests of the children," the legal docs stated. Jolie previously fired back at Judge John Ouderkirk after he refused the children the opportunity to testify in the case. In court documents filed on May 24, Jolie alleged that the children could offer testimony that provides evidence paramount to their own well-being.
"Judge Ouderkirk denied Ms. Jolie a fair trial, improperly excluding her evidence relevant to the children’s health, safety, and welfare, evidence critical to making her case," Jolie's legal team stated the court documents. The actress reportedly argued that Judge Ouderkirk "failed to adequately consider" a section of California courts code that dictates not awarding custody to individuals with a history of domestic violence as it is not in the best interest of the children. No specific details were proved regarding the nature of the "evidence," but Jolie had previously accused Pitt of domestic violence in court documents.