A judge rejected Brad Pitt's request to keep the court documents in his and Angelina Jolie's custody and divorce battle private. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Burdge Jr was responsible for the decision following an emergency hearing on Wednesday (Dec. 7).
The motion was brought in by Brad in order to "protect the privacy" of the couple's six children. "I am extremely concerned that if court records regarding custody are not sealed, information contained therein will cause irreparable damage to our children's privacy rights," the 52-year-old wrote in a sworn declaration.
The American stars, who split in September after more than 10 years together, did not attend the hearing. In the court filings, Angelina's lawyers claimed the request was a "thinly veiled attempt to shield himself, rather than the minor children, from public view."
Angelina, 41, filed for divorce from Brad in September, citing "irreconcilable differences". The pair - who met on the set of Mr & Mrs Smith, and have been together since 2004 - married in an intimate ceremony two years ago in their home in France.
"I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the wellbeing of our kids," Brad released in a statement. "I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time." The couple are parents to six children; Maddox, 15, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, and eight-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne.
The actress has requested sole physical custody with visitation rights for Brad, who in turn filed for joint custody in his divorce papers. Last month, Angelina's spokesperson said the custody agreement was reached in consultation with childcare specialists. It read: "We can confirm that childcare professionals have encouraged a legal agreement accepted and signed by both sides over a week ago. In accordance with this agreement, the six children will stay in their mother's custody, and the children will continue therapeutic visits with their father. This has been determined by childcare professionals to be in the children's best interest.
"We are not in a position to discuss the details. We hope now that it is clear that the events which led to the dissolution filing involved minor children and their wellbeing, there will be understanding of the sensitivity of the family situation. We believe that all sides are committed to healing the family and ask for your consideration during this difficult time."