The Shady Side Of Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt is a Hollywood golden boy: Handsome beyond measure, successful with A-list name recognition, well-liked by his peers, and acclaimed by critics, taking home his first Academy Award for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood in 2020. That said, there's more to Pitt than his swoon-worthy onscreen persona. Pitt has been around the block enough to know how to cultivate a public image that suits him and effectively subverts any shady business, be it professional or personal.

A friend of the actor quipped to Page Six in early 2020, "There's a lot of love and respect from Hollywood because of his talent and how supportive he has been of others and how easy he is to work with. He's a good guy — that will be his legacy." However, another insider told the same outlet of Pitt, "[Pitt]'s much tougher than he lets on. That boyish, good guy image is just an image."

Intriguing! Get to know the sometimes shady man behind the bright smile and buff bod.

Brad Pitt starred in an infamous Hollywood love triangle

Brad Pitt famously embarked on a jet-setting romance with Angelina Jolie while he was still married to Jennifer Aniston, though all parties involved initially denied any extramarital affairs occurred. Jolie and Pitt filmed Mr. & Mrs. Smith in early 2004, and Pitt and Aniston didn't separate until nearly a full year later. Still, in October 2008, Jolie told The New York Times that she was thrilled to someday be able to show her and Pitt's six children Mr. & Mrs. Smith, boasting, "Not a lot of people get to see a movie where their parents fell in love." Later the same year, Pitt told Rolling Stone that he and Jolie "fell in love" while filming the action-comedy.

Aniston later said that when she and Pitt announced their separation, she believed that they were being honest that there was no scandal involved. However, she had some words for Jolie's gushing about the timeline of her own romance with Pitt. (Jolie also told Vogue (via Mirror) in 2007 that by "the end of the shoot," she and Pitt realized their bond "might mean something more than [they'd] earlier allowed [themselves] to believe.")

"There was stuff printed there that was definitely from a time when I was unaware that it was happening," Aniston told Vogue in 2008. "I felt those details were a little inappropriate to discuss. That stuff about how she couldn't wait to get to work every day? That was really uncool."

Brad Pitt has a 'sensitivity chip' missing

It wasn't just Angelina Jolie who was insensitive to Jennifer Aniston's feelings during the downfall of Aniston and Brad Pitt's marriage. Aniston lashed out at Pitt in one of her first interviews post-split. Pitt and Jolie's infamous "Domestic Bliss" W Magazine spread from just before Pitt and Aniston's divorce, in which Pitt and Jolie portrayed a husband and wife raising children together, hit Aniston hard: Not only did it exist, which was rough enough on her, but Pitt reportedly "conceptualize[d] it" and owned the rights, meaning he potentially made money off of the images. When asked about it, Aniston told Vanity Fair in 2005 that while she doubted he was deliberately malicious, "There's a sensitivity chip that's missing."

Aniston also loathed the narrative that she and Pitt divorced because he wanted children and she didn't, with a mutual pal telling the same outlet, "When Brad and Jen were in the marriage, having a baby was not his priority — ever. It was an abstract desire for him, whereas for Jen it was much more immediate. So is there a part of Brad that's diabolical? Did he think, 'I need to get out of this marriage, but I want to come out smelling like a rose, so I'm going to let Jen be cast as the ultra-feminist and I'm going to get cast as the poor husband who couldn't get a baby and so had to move on?'"

Did Brad Pitt try to pull a shady move with a divorce judge?

For as dramatic and tabloid-heavy as Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston's divorce ended up being, it went far more smoothly than this divorce from Angelina Jolie. Brangelina tied the knot in 2014, but Jolie filed for divorce just two years later, and as of December 2020, the process was ongoing — meaning their divorce proceedings lasted longer than their legally binding union did. One point of contention? Jolie's legal team requested that the private judge for their divorce, Judge John W. Ouderkirk, be disqualified from their case, alleging that his work on other cases with Pitt's attorney, Anne C. Kiley, creates a conflict of interest. In a filing obtained by the Associated Press, Jolie's attorneys allege that Ouderkirk "failed to disclose the cases that demonstrated the current, ongoing, repeat-customer relationship between the judge and [Pitt]'s counsel." The filing also alleges that Pitt's lawyers "actively advocated" for Judge Ouderkirk's appointment to their case.

Pitt's team denied any impropriety, and pointed out that Judge Ouderkirk actually officiated the couple's wedding. Jolie's request to have Ouderkirk disqualified was rejected, ET reported, with Ouderkirk writing in a filing, "I will continue to consider accepting other cases as other additional cases may arise from time to time while the Jolie/Pitt case is still pending. Such other cases might involve party, lawyer, law firm and/or witnesses involved in the Jolie/Pitt matter."

Angelina Jolie accused Brad Pitt of not paying child support

One of the biggest points of contention in Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's divorce came in August 2018, when Jolie also accused Pitt of not paying any "meaningful child support" for their six children post-split. Pitt's team hit back in a filing (via Us Weekly) that he "paid over $1.3 million in bills for the benefit of [Jolie] and the minor children" and loaned Jolie $8 million to buy a home. Jolie's attorney slammed Pitt right back in a statement to Us Weekly, citing "the incident of September 2016" as the reason "Angelina and the children needed to move from the family home." That incident was the alleged altercation aboard a plane between Pitt and son Maddox, which resulted in an investigation by The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. Pitt was ultimately cleared of any abuse allegations.

Jolie's rep further elaborated that Pitt was "charging [Jolie] interest on a payment plan," and that "Angelina will of course honor that loan. A loan is not; however, child support and to represent it as such is misleading and inaccurate." The rep added that Jolie was requesting Pitt pay 50 percent of the kids' expenses, noting, "Angelina has had to shoulder the majority of those without his contribution for the past two years. Child support is not optional in California. Typically a father of means would pay these expenses voluntarily without the need for a request or court order." 

Did Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation get it wrong?

After Hurricane Katrina, Brad Pitt sought to help New Orleans' Ninth Ward rebuild through his Make It Right Foundation. But some residents say he made it even more wrong. In 2018, Pitt and his foundation were hit with a class action suit, alleging that the homes they built were moldy and structurally unsound with faulty foundations, electrical and HVAC problems, and some with incorrectly installed gas meters, putting their homes at risk of gas leaks and explosions. Some residents also complained of illness.

The New York Post reports that residents repeatedly asked for help from the Make It Right Foundation, with at least one actually visiting their office, which is down the road from their home, but that only the smallest of repairs were made (for example, putting down plywood on stairwells with holes). Some residents alleged that Make It Right agreed to inspections, but only if they signed non-disclosure agreements and statements promising not to sue. The outlet also reported that Make It Right appeared to be inactive and insolvent.

Pitt requested to be removed from the class action lawsuit, arguing that any statements he made to the press were not promises to the residents, and noting that he was director of the Make It Right Foundation and had no legal responsibilities to the residents. Pitt and the Make It Right Foundation, in turn, sued the architect allegedly responsible for the shoddy shanties, John C. Williams, for $20 million for his allegedly defective construction work. As of October 2020, both the class action suit and the suit against Williams were still pending

Brad Pitt was sued for leaving a lighting designer in the dark

In 2017, a French designer sued Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie over the lighting in their Chateau Miraval home, The Guardian reported. Odile Soudant alleged that Brangelina (then already estranged) simply stopped paying her for the work she did on four buildings of their 40-room mansion in Correns, France, in 2010. Soudant said she had no written contract specifically with Pitt or Jolie, but that Pitt gave her the go-ahead to essentially do whatever she wanted to do to make their home beautiful. She took him at his word, hiring "architects, designers, lighting and acoustic specialists and even an optical engineer to calculate the angle of the sun's rays on the chateau."

Soudant claimed that Pitt and Jolie stopped paying her for the estimated $29 million project after her billings reached approximately $6 million, and that Pitt emailed her, writing, "I don't know how things happen in France but in the United States, friends don't attack friends. I've been nothing but a fan of your work. Do not attack. Let's finish the project and be proud of it. The work is too good to end on a bad note. Life is too short, my friend." In August 2017, Pitt and Jolie were ordered to pay Soudant roughly $674,000, including about $71,000 of which was for allegedly damaging her reputation.

Brad Pitt dated a married model

In August 2020, Brad Pitt, then 56, was spotted in the south of France with 27-year-old model Nicole Poturalski, who reportedly joining the Oscar winner at Chateau Miraval, the estate he shared with Angelina Jolie. The trip allegedly occurred near what would have been his and Jolie's wedding anniversary...and that isn't even the most scandalous part of the romance, which reportedly began as early as November 2019.

A source told the Daily Mail that not only is Poturalski married, but Pitt actually met her through her husband, Roland Mary, who owns a restaurant called Borchardt. "Brad Pitt has been coming to Borchardt for years. He knows Roland [Mary], and Nicole was at the restaurant when he came to celebrate his new film," the source said. "Brad was introduced to Roland's wife Nicole [Poturalski] and she passed him her number. Nicole travels a lot for her work as a fashion model and he connected with Brad Pitt while she was in LA for work." A source added that Mary didn't seem to mind Poturalski's jet-setting with Pitt, noting, "He has been married several times and has five children. He is not interested in negativity or jealousy. They are still married but you could describe their relationship as an 'open marriage.'"

In any case, the fling was short-lived: In October 2020, a source told Page Six that Pitt and Poturalski were "totally over" and that they'd split "a while back."