Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Ordered Will Pay 565,000 Euros in Chateau Dispute

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Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Ordered Will Pay 565,000 Euros in Chateau Dispute

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been ordered to pay their lighting designer 565,000 Euros ($662,000 US).

Odile Soudant took legal action against the former couple - who split up last September - for allegedly failing to credit her work on their French home in Provence.

She claimed they drove her company towards financial ruin by failing to honor bills for a huge lighting project on the Chateau Miraval estate.

The Paris court of appeal in April ordered Brad and Angelina's Chateau Miraval company to pay the sum to the designer, which included 60,000 Euros ($70,270 US) for damaging her reputation.

The legal ruling was only reported in French news outlet Libération on Wednesday.

According to legal documents, the former couple - who have Maddox, 16, Pax, 13, Zahara, 12, Shiloh, 11 and nine-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne together - undertook a huge renovation project on the property.

Pitt, 53, asked Soudant in 2010 to come up with ways to exploit natural light in the house and its adjoining buildings.

She said: 'He wanted to make it an exceptional place and believed that light should be at the heart of this.'

No contract was signed, but the designer billed the Hollywood stars' company for her fees every month while her Lumières Studio carried out technical studies.

Soudant tried out her installations on scaled down models before she had them fitted in the property.

Seventeen people were employed for the venture - including architects, designers and an optical engineer - and it was unfinished two years later, with various contractors and sub-contractors blaming others for the delays.

The court heard the Moneyball star stopped paying the company when his chief designer claimed she had billed for 4.9 million Euros, but the judges ruled the figure had been 'greatly exaggerated' and the delays were not Soudant's fault.

In evidence, the lighting expert said she had no idea why she had stopped being paid at the time but she had to suspend operations when her requests for money to pay her own staff went unanswered.

She claims she received an email 10 days later from Pitt, which read: '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.'

It was followed by another, which added: 'Don't waste time with legal action. Follow your artistic journey and don't worry about the rest.'

Although Soudant was awarded a payout earlier this year, she said she was still fighting to be recognized as creator of the lighting project, which was eventually handed over to one of her former employees because of the dispute.

She told The Guardian newspaper: 'I am an artist and this is my work. When someone tries to steal my work it is something else. This is all very painful for me.'

Soudant insisted the money she received for damage to her reputation was 'nothing' compared with what she had experienced.

She added: 'Of course, people think Brad Pitt is right, that ''he's the good guy and she is wrong''.'

Pitt's solicitors, Hogan Lovells, insisted the lighting design inspiration came from Brad himself.

An architect working on the property also told the court: 'The lighting ideas came principally from Mr Pitt himself. He is passionate about architecture and knew what he wanted to achieve.'

A representative for Pitt also disputed Soudant's claim for credit.

'We respect the Court's decision resolving this long running, standard dispute over payment of invoices,' a spokesperson for Pitt told Vanity Fair via e-mail.

'This narrow ruling does not address any copyright issues involving [lighting] designs developed by Brad and has no connection to Chateau Miraval,' the representative wrote.

Pitt and Jolie despite their split have kept the French chateau as an investment property for its wine and olive oil production.

Source: The Daily Mail