Angelina Jolie, 'Focused on Healing Her Family,' Splits with Lawyer in Brad Pitt Divorce
Angelina Jolie and divorce attorney Laura Wasser have gone their separate ways, PEOPLE exclusively confirms
Angelina Jolie and divorce attorney Laura Wasser have gone their separate ways, PEOPLE exclusively confirms, as the Oscar winner — who a source says “remains focused on healing her family” — transitions to new counsel in her ongoing divorce with Brad Pitt.
“Angelina has decided to change counsel to Samantha Bley Dejean, as Samantha’s expertise is the protection and best interest of children,” Mindy Nyby, a spokesperson for the 43-year-old mother of six, tells PEOPLE. “Angelina appreciates Laura’s cooperation in transitioning the case over the past several weeks.”
“Angelina decided to put Samantha in charge of her case,” a source close to Jolie and Pitt’s contentious custody battle tells PEOPLE. “She put her in the lead a month ago, and over the past month, the case has been fully transitioned to Samantha.”
Adds the insider: “She has come to rely on Samantha’s counsel and thought it best that she take the lead.”
Jolie and Pitt, 54, have been embattled in a legal dispute over custody of their six children: Maddox, 17, Pax, 14, Zahara, 13, Shiloh, 12, and 10-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox.
“Angelina remains focused on healing her family,” the source says. “She continues to support the reconciliation of the children with Brad.”
On Aug. 4, despite a TMZ report that the high-powered Hollywood divorce attorney was quitting over internal conflicts with Jolie, her rep told PEOPLE she was still working with Wasser.
However, an insider told PEOPLE there was considerable tension between Jolie and Wasser.
In June, after the exes couldn’t reach a private agreement, a judge established a detailed schedule for Pitt to spend time with the children (except Maddox, who according to the court is old enough to decide for himself how much time he wants to spend with his father).
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Jolie has “tried to bridge the gap between the kids and their dad,” a source previously told PEOPLE. “She’s worked to achieve reinstatement for them. But it’s now between Brad, his kids, and the court. The court will determine things.”
The children spent much of the summer with Jolie in London as she filmed Maleficent 2, but they normally reside in Los Angeles, where Pitt also lives.
Pitt, meanwhile, has spent his court-ordered time with the kids in London and Los Angeles as he films Quentin Tarantino’s new movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.