Brad Pitt’s lawyers state in new court papers that a revised complaint has been served on two Russian businessman added as parties to his Chateau Miraval winery lawsuit that also names the actor’s ex-wife, Angelina Jolie, as the primary defendant.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lia Martin had ruled July 5 that Pitt’s attorneys were entitled to extra time for service based on their court papers, which stated that attorneys for Nouvel LLC had refused to accept service or provide addresses for Russian billionaire Yuri Shefler and his longtime associate, Alexey Oliynik. The Russians were added as defendants when Pitt’s amended complaint was filed June 3.
Under the judge’s order, service on the pair had to be completed by Monday.
Process server Martyn Kemp says in a sworn declaration within Pitts’ attorneys’ new court papers filed Friday that substituted service was performed on Shefler in London after three attempts on Aug. 23, when a security guard identified only as “Tai” accepted the legal documents on Shefler’s behalf.
“I asked Tai if Yuri Shefler would get them and Tai confirmed that he would make sure Mr. Shefler received them,” Kemp says.
Kemp further says he left copies of the paperwork in a mail box at the home and that he was informed by the “instructing solicitor” that the house was Shefler’s last known residence.
Five days earlier during the Kemp’s first visit, the home’s house manager initially said he would accept service on Shefler’s behalf, then changed his mind when Kemp asked if he could serve Shefler personally, Kemp says.
The next day, a different man at the home told Kemp that only Shefler’s wife and children lived there and that Shefler visited “only once a year at most,” Kemp says.
A different process server, Marco Breitenmoser, says in separate court papers filed by Pitt’s attorneys that Oliynik’s wife, Elena Oliynik, was presented with the lawsuit paperwork at a Geneva home on Aug. 25. The woman said she would scan the documents and send them to Oliynik, who was “away on a long trip,” according to Breitenmoser.
Jolie formed Nouvel as a vehicle for holding shares in Chateau Miraval. Before her alleged sale of Nouvel to the Stoli Group in 2021, Jolie was the sole member of the company and held 100% of its membership interest.
Pitt, 58, first sued the 47-year-old Jolie on Feb. 17, alleging she wrongfully sold her shares in the winery and estate to Shefler.
According to the lawsuit, the then-couple purchased a controlling interest in the southern France winery in 2008, envisioning the chateau “as a home to share with their children and the vineyard as a family business.” The couple were married at the estate in 2014.
“The vineyard became Pitt’s passion — and a profitable one, as Miraval, under Pitt’s stewardship, has grown into a multimillion-dollar international success story …,” the suit states.
Jolie sold her shares without telling Pitt, denying him the consent right she owed him, according to the complaint.
“She sold her interest with the knowledge and intention that Shefler and his affiliates would seek to control the business to which Pitt had devoted himself and to undermine Pitt’s investment in Miraval,” the suit states.
Nouvel filed $250 million countersuit against Pitt on Sept. 6, alleging that he was behind an effort to take control of Chateau Miraval.
“Ever since his former wife, Angelina Jolie, filed for divorce from him in 2016, Brad Pitt has been waging a vindictive war against her and Nouvel, her former investment company,” the countersuit states.