News of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie‘s pending divorce rocked the world on Tuesday, and now it’s about to shake up their vast personal fortune and business interests — which have produced over half a billion dollars in revenues since they met.
Pitt and Jolie have generated $555 million in pretax earnings since they famously paired up in 2004, according to Forbes. The staggering number is attributed to their day jobs in Hollywood in front of and behind the camera, overseas endorsements and even a side gig peddling French wine.
Despite their extraordinary living situation, the fate of their estate comes down to a universal and pedestrian question: Is there a prenup?
“People as sophisticated as Brad and Angelina would have great business and legal advisors around them,” Joslin Davis, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, told TheWrap.
“I’m guessing they had a prenuptial agreement, as they each had significant value coming into the relationship and, with so many children, took care of issues in the event of death and divorce,” Davis said.
In California (where Jolie’s A-list divorce attorney Laura Wasser filed the documents), any premarital property is protected, Davis said, and a significant part of their earnings could be off the table considering they spent a majority of their relationship unwed.
Citing their six children as a motive, Jolie and Pitt didn’t walk down the aisle until August 2014. In that time, they earned $117.5 million before taxes, according to the Forbes report.
Pitt was the primary bread winner, clocking $76.5 million thanks to his robust production company Plan B, which counts box office hits and awards favorite like “12 Years a Slave,” “World War Z” and “The Big Short.”
Founded in 2001 by Pitt, his then-wife Jennifer Aniston and current Paramount Pictures CEO Brad Grey, the actor coincidentally became the sole owner of Plan B when divorcing “Friends” star Aniston. It’s possible that Jolie could now go after a portion of that business in a subsequent settlement.
“Let’s assume that Plan B was formed or capitalized heavily during their marriage,” Davis said. “What happens often in startup companies or entrepreneurial scenarios, where you have a big investment or something that’s going to bring the cows home in the future … the parties could settle on a percentage or the court could order a percentage [to the spouse].”
Davis said the technique is an excellent way to expedite a settlement, often referred to as an “if, as and when payment.”
Jolie and Pitt also partner with the Perrin family to produce Miraval rosé wine from their $40 million French country estate Chateau Miraval. For peripheral investments like these, Davis said divorced people usually remain engaged in business as it doesn’t require daily work or frequent face time.
If her filings are any indication, however, Jolie is more than confident in her earning potential.
“Declining spousal support in her filing signals to me that she has significant wealth and would likely not qualify for alimony,” Davis said.
Jolie’s request for full physical custody will result in a “reasonable” amount of child support paid by Pitt, should the court approve her proposed arrangement.
Numerous reports peg Pitt’s personal net worth at $240 million, and Jolie’s at $160 million.
The actor will next be seen in Robert Zemeckis‘ WWII drama “Allied,” due in theaters in November, and Jolie is reportedly prepping a sequel to her live-action Disney hit “Maleficent.”
The Evolution of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, From 'Mr and Mrs Smith' to Divorce (Photos)
TheWrap takes a look at the 12-year history of the Hollywood power couple.Getty Images
2004: "Mr. and Mrs. Smith"
Jolie and Pitt meet on the set of Doug Liman's "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," where she said they "fell in love." At the time, Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston and Jolie's divorce from Billy Bob Thornton had been finalized in 2003.Fox
March 2005: Jennifer Aniston Files for Divorce
During promotional appearances for "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," Jolie and Pitt kept their distance. A week later, Aniston filed for divorce following their separation announcement in January.Getty Images
April 2005: Vacation with Maddox
Jolie gets photographed on vacation in Kenya with her son, Maddox.Getty Images
June 2005: W Magazine Spread
The two actors were featured in a W magazine spread titled "Domestic Bliss," which stirred up controversy given that the photos were taken a few months after Pitt's split from Aniston.W Magazine
July 2005: Jolie Adopts Zahara
The actress adopts Zahara from Ethiopia. According to Popsugar, Zahara was first adopted as a single parent but it was later revealed that Pitt filed to legally adopt both Zahara and Maddox and to officially change their last name to Jolie-Pitt.Getty Images
January 2006: Jolie Is Pregnant
Jolie confirms she is pregnant with Pitt's first biological child. Shiloh was born in May.Getty Images
December 2006: First Red Carpet
The couple walked the red carpet together for the first time as an official couple at the NYC premiere of Jolie's "The Good Shepherd."Getty Images
March 2007: Duo Adopt Pax
Jolie and Pitt adopt son Pax from Vietnam.Getty Images
May 2008: Couple Is Expecting Twins
At the Cannes Film Festival in May of 2008, it was revealed that the two were expecting twins.Getty Images
July 2008: Knox and Vivienne Are Born
The twins Knox and Vivienne were born in Nice, France. The couple and the twins were featured on the August cover of People magazine.Getty Images
January 2010: Divorce Rumors
British tabloid News of the World starts rumors that Pitt and Jolie were divorcing. They sued the paper as the publication declined to retract allegations. They won the lawsuit.Getty Images
November 2010: Johnny Depp Sparks Rumors
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Johnny Depp referred to Pitt as Jolie's "husband."Getty Images
2012: Pitt Proposes
The actor proposed to Jolie in 2012 with a custom Robert Procop engagement ring.Getty Images
May 2013: Double Mastectomy
Jolie reveals she underwent a preventative double mastectomy after tests showed she had an 87 percent chance of contracting breast cancer. She would later also have her ovaries removed in 2015.Getty Images
August 2014: Couple Secretly Marries
The couple held a top-secret wedding at their Chateau Miraval in France.Getty Images
December 2015: "By the Sea" Is Released
Jolie and Pitt both starred in the period drama "By the Sea," written and directed by the actress. The film, about a couple in a troubled marriage, received mostly negative reviews.Universal
September 2016: Couple Files for Divorce
Jolie filed for divorce after two years of marriage. She is asking for physical custody of the couple’s six children and will ask that Pitt receive visitation rights.Getty Images
Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt on Monday after 12 years together
TheWrap takes a look at the 12-year history of the Hollywood power couple.
Source : http://www.thewrap.com/brad-pitt-angelina-jolies-half-a-billion-dollar-divorce-stake/