According to a new report from Page Six, a French interior designer named Odile Soudant is suing Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie for not paying her for designing their famous (or infamous, depending on how you look at it now) Chateau Miraval estate in France.
Odile Soudant alleges that Brangelina halted her payments – for ‘no reason’ – after she was hired to ‘light four buildings on their estate in Correns, France, including the 40-room chateau.’ Odile reportedly told the French newspaper Liberation, “He [Pitt] wanted to make it an exceptional place and believed that light should be at the heart of this.” The report claims, “[Odile] employed 17 people on what she called the ‘BP project’, including architects, designers, lighting and acoustic specialists and an optical engineer to determine the angle of sun rays on the chateau.”
Apparently, Odile Soudant never signed a contract with Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie (her first mistake), assuming that she had ‘carte blanche’ to put her ‘signature touch’ on Chateau Miraval (her second mistake).
However, despite there being no contract, Odile has claimed that she was paid $29 million for two years worth of work before the payments abruptly stopped. Odile told the French Appeals court that she wasn’t aware of why the payment stopped – especially so suddenly – and she had the emails to back it up. She furnished emails from Brad Pitt reading, “Odile, I need you. Come here please. I need you to finish.”
He reportedly sent another email ten days later stating, “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.” And after that, another one stating, “Don’t waste time with legal action. Follow your artistic journey and don’t worry about the rest.”
When you look at the circumstances, you almost have to admire Odile Soudant’s restraint for not going after Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie with more bile. She was promised a project and in good faith (without a contract), began work on said project; she poured her heart and soul into it, and suddenly, her payments halted with no explanation… and yet, Brad Pitt expected her to continue the work, even after she stopped getting paid? And not only that, but he then told her not to ‘waste time’ with legal action?
Well, she certainly didn’t waste her time, as the court ordered (back in April) that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s company – Chateau Miraval – pay Odile more than $662,000 for her work and for damaging her reputation. Unfortunately, that still doesn’t cover the extent of the damage done to Soudant, as she has still not been recognized as the creator of the Chateau Miraval lighting project, and is still facing a big hit to her reputation in the wake of this protracted legal mess.
The last thing Odile says is, “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.” Lesson learned: don’t trust that celebrities will honor your work, especially without a contract.What do you guys think about Angelina Jolie’s and
What do you guys think about Angelina Jolie’s and Brad Pitt’s refusal to pay Odile Soudant for her work? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Netflix