Why was Brad Pitt ‘bullied and threatened’ by Russian tycoon Yuri Shefler?

Brad Pitt’s tiff with his Russian business rival has significantly intensified as the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star accused him of ‘bullying’ as they battled it out over the Oscar-winner’s vineyard. The 60-year-old Hollywood star is stuck in a fight with vodka tycoon Yuri Shefler over the Chateau Miraval, the South of France vineyard previously jointly owned by Pitt with his ex-wife Angelina Jolie.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 17: Brad Pitt, star of the upcoming Formula One based movie, Apex, walks in the Pitlane prior to qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Las Vegas at Las Vegas Strip Circuit on November 17, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)(Getty Images via AFP)

The former Hollywood couple bought the estate in 2008 for $28.4 million. The French villa wasn’t a mere family retreat for them; it was also their wedding venue in 2014. However, the grand 1,300-acre estate has now ensued a legal battle between Brad Pitt and Yuri Shefler, who’s recognised for his premium Russian vodka Stoli.

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Why this fight between Brad Pitt and Russian tycoon Yuri Shefler began

The US Sun reported that Pitt is trying to reverse Angelina Jolie’s actions that led to her $64 million share sale to Shefler. Her investment firm, Nouvel, had helped facilitate the transaction. Pitt is now up against Shefler in this legal battle for ‘secretly’ buying Nouvel, leading him to announce their ‘partnership’.

The claims were filed by Pitt’s legal team at the Los Angeles Superior Court earlier this month.

When the 60-year-old Hollywood icon rebelled against cooperating with Shefler, the Russian businessman “ultimately threatened” him. The exclusive legal documents obtained by the media outlet state that Shefler had been repeatedly bullying Pitt “into going along”. It also adds that since Shefler acquired Nouvel, he has suggested meeting with Pitt to “discuss the way forward”.

While there were times when Shefler expressed his desire to work with Brad, on other occasions, he outrightly ‘threatened’ Pitt.

Earlier this month, Brad Pitt scored a win against Angelina Jolie in the ongoing legal feud regarding the French winery. However, it seems he’s still faring in deep water to assume absolute control over the vineyard that was once a symbol of their ‘partnership’. Pitt sued her in February 2022 when she sold her 50% stake in the estate to Nouvel.

Months later, the business group filed a cross-complaint against the actor, seeking $350 million in damages. Now, Pitt’s lawyers claim that Shefler has his eyes locked on the star’s celebrity status as he hopes to profit from him.

The new legal documents also detail a previous interaction between Pitt and Shefler. The papers state the latter’s warning: “…if Pitt did not bend to his desires, Shefler would ‘be protecting his interest and would not hesitate to take that process until the very end.’” The escalating feud has also had Shefler calling Pitt out as a non-winemaker while he attempts a “hostile takeover” of the vineyard.

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