The man who sold a French winery to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and is now at the center ofbetween the former Hollywood power couple has spoken out about the sale.
Brangelina bought Châteaufrom Tom Bove on May 8, 2008, through their respective holding companies for 25 million euros (around $27,156,000), reported in a lengthy article on the actors’ divorce. At the time, Jolie was pregnant with twins. “They wanted to be in ahead of the birth,” Bove told the magazine.
Pitt and Jolie had been perusing the south of France for a sizable, secluded home for their expanding family. “She let him talk,” Bove said. “From my side she was very gentle. You read all this stuff now, but they were a very nice couple, very sweet and obviously in love with each other.”
Before the former couple and their youngest daughter, Shiloh, returned to their helicopter, Pitt reportedly told Bove, “We’ll be back.” The former Château Miraval owner was confident the actor would keep his word: “It seemed like they wanted to buy it right then,” Bove said. Pitt also allegedly told him, “This is the first place we visited where Angie is smiling.”
Bove had agreed to maintain Miraval’s wine operation, retaining 220 acres to perform his work. “I think at that moment, Brad wasn’t really interested in making wine,” Bove said. “He liked the idea that he’d have a vineyard, but he really left the wine thing to me.” Bove later watched “vans and vans arriving with furniture, incredibly packaged by the finest movers.”
Jolie reportedly penned an emotional e-mail to Pitt about the property four years after she filed for divorce detailing their strong connection to the winery. “Even now impossible to write this without crying,” she wrote, according to Vanity Fair. “Above all, it is the place we brought the twins home to, and where we were married over a plaque in my mother’s memory. A place . . . where I thought I would grow old . . . But it is also the place that marks the beginning of the end of our family.”
The former couple is now engaged in a legal battle over the property. According to a lawsuit filed by Pitt, the duo agreed they wouldn’t share their respective Miraval stakes without permission from the other. Jolie has argued no such agreement ever existed. She has since sold her share to a subsidiary of Stoli Group owned by a Russian oligarch.