Brad Pitt threatens legal action over photos

Brad and Shiloh shopping on 5/19/08. Credit: WENN

Brad Pitt and his lawyers are planning legal action because photographers took pictures of their family playing in their backyard.

Lawyers for Brad Pitt on Thursday threatened legal action against anyone publishing recent photographs they say were taken by paparazzi of the actor and his newly enlarged family at their French estate.

Pictures of Pitt and his family in France were “surreptitiously” snapped using a powerful telephoto lens and sold to an unidentified buyer, the Los Angeles lawyers said in a letter published by the U.S. Web site The Smoking Gun (

The lawyers did not say which family members were in the pictures.

Pitt and actress Angelina Jolie, the mother of his children, have reportedly sold exclusive picture rights to the first photographs of their newborn twins to a U.S. publication for $11 million. The money would go to charity.


Now I understand that the backyard is a private place and they should be able to play there and not get photographed. I even think that they should be able to walk down the street and get milk, or take their kids for a seatbelt-free ride on a golf cart without getting their picture taken. But somehow I think that the family is going to lose a bit of sympathy in this lawsuit. You have sold pictures of your children to various magazines for huge profit, even if that money has been donated to charities. Just let it pass, and enjoy your time with the family. You have two new babies to get to know, and could probably really use some sleep!

France has much stricter laws about paparazzi photographers than any other country in the world, but if someone secured the first pictures of the twins it would be a huge financial boost. How can a fine and a few days in jail compare to that kind of windfall?

The Smoking Gun website, which got the letter from Camp Brangelina, says that they have never purchased a paparazzi picture in the eleven years of their site being in action. You can view the full letter there, which states that it is a “confidential legal communication and not for publication”.

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60 Responses to “Brad Pitt threatens legal action over photos”

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  1. geronimo says:

    I disagree. Pics in the privacy of (the grounds of) their own home are different. Once they’re out in public, they’re fair game, no argument. I think they’re completely within their rights to draw a line here, in the same way that ANY other celebs in the same position would be.

    And even if the twins were out and about in the garden, a couple of blurred blobs at the end of even the most powerful telescopic lens is hardly going to ruin their pre-agreed pic arrangement, so can’t see that as being too valid an argument for those coming from the ‘greedy, baby-pimping, media-whoring, protecting their interests’ side of the argument.

    I know, I’m terribly naive. :roll:

  2. daisy424 says:

    Yesterday morning I could find links to the golf cart pictures everywhere on the web, later they were deleted. He has powerful lawyers.

  3. Leandra says:

    Good. I’m glad Brad took some action. Way too invasive. Creepy, pervy to spy on a family on their private property. Truly like being under a microscope for the world to judge every single thing about you. Next they’ll be trying to get photos of them inside the villa.

  4. Celebitchy says:

    I agree with you guys that these photos were too invasive and that Brad should have sued and is doing the right thing. Helen has a different opinion and that’s ok, but I would have taken another stance on this story.

  5. SixxKitty says:

    Jen won that similar case back in the day, i hope it goes that way for them too. Every one should be allowed privacy!
    I don’t care if its Brad and Ang or Brooke Hogan. Thats like prying into Lynn Spears past to rub in the salt.

  6. Cameron says:

    They have formed a business around selling photos of those kids, regardless of whose account the millions are deposited.

    Charity-shmarity! Brad and Angelina might be keeping that money for themselves or paying off minions with it.

  7. duda says:

    well lets hope the next time you feel like crap and look like hell, and you’re out in your backyard sitting around and doing whatever it is you do, dont get pissy if some moron comes by and takes your picture..

  8. countrybabe says:

    The Brangeloonies on this site didn’t compain about the first photos taken at their estate this weekend.
    These were just taken down because Brad and Angelina don’t want anybody to see their kids or them behaving in a way that is contrary to their saintly image.

  9. geronimo says:

    What, standing in a garden talking to each other and playing with a giant ball? Or Pitt taking a harmless drive, off-road, with one of his girls on his lap. Big flaming deal.

    What a dumb asinine comment.

  10. Syko says:

    I’m tired of being called a Brangeloony because I have common sense. I’m no big fan of either one of these people, never have thought Brad was attractive, and could care less what they do with their kids, money, or time. But if I defend them against the rabid attacks of the Aniston fan club, that makes me a Brangeloony? Please.

    I think people should be secure in their own home and back yards. I’m not even going to try to imagine what despicable things they were doing back there that would ruin their saintly images. Haters annoy me.

  11. bros says:

    yah countrybabe, not sure what the hell you are referring to. those backyard pictures sure are incriminating.

    i also agree there is a huge difference between agreeing to sit down for a photoshoot at a prescribed time and place for a set fee with a contract, and crazy powerful lens photographs of you in your back yard with your kids in PRIVATE. so i guess the logic for the haters would be that any celeb who at some point agrees to photo shoots and gets paid by a magazine is now fair game to have their privacy invaded by any joe with a camera in their home? please.

  12. daisy424 says:

    geronimo, Syko & bros;
    well said :wink:

  13. czarina says:

    I, also, disagree. If a model has pictures taken of her, gets paid for it, and the pics are displayed publicly in magazines, does that then give somebody the right to invade her home and take picture of her and her family in their backyard?
    It says in the legal papers “where (the Jolie-Pitts) could reasonably expect privacy”. That’s what it comes down to.
    I have no problems seeing pictures of the Jolie-Pitt clan, but I can certainly live without them.
    Moreover, EVERYONE deserves to have one place on earth–their home–that they can have privacy. Whether that home is a castle or a semi-wide trailer doesn’t matter one darn bit! Whether you are a movie star or a cashier doesn’t matter, either. We ALL should feel safe to relax in our homes without worrying that someone is sneaking around taking pictures.
    NOBODY deserves that.

  14. Kaiser says:

    Yeah, I agree with the BADettes, privacy, etc.

    But that header pic is too funny. Shiloh and Brad really are two peas in an open-mouthed pod, aren’t they?

  15. Bodhi says:

    :lol: kaiser. I love that she carries her baby everywhere!

  16. Shane says:

    Sorry, being public figures doesn’t make your home or yard open to the public. I can understand when they step out in public, but sleezy photographers climbing trees to get a shot of a bunch of kids playing in their own back yard?


  17. Ling says:

    What the hell is that thing in Shiloh’s arms? Why is there a market for creepy baby dolls?? Especially that one… it looks too much like John C. Reilly for anyone to be very comfortable.

  18. Amy says:

    I have to agree. If you sell pictures of your children you are asking for the press to believe that you don’t mind that your family has pictures taken of them. You have shown that having pictures for money is a good thing. They have never minded before the pictures of Maddox’s birthday, the other times they have been at the beach in Santa Barbara. They go “shopping” in Cannes in the middle of a film festival with their children, they “ski” and have the pictures put in People and now that they have them playing a game on the lawn they threaten legal action. See it was not about the lawn game and those pictures were already sold. It was about the fact that poor poor brad was getting some trouble over not protecting his child when riding. Brad stopped this because he didn’t like the Britney comparsion with riding without a seatbelt. Think of how the press treated Britney for doing the same thing. And now Brad has stopped the pcitures so he doesn’t get bad press. I think that if they don’t want pictures it would be very easy. Just act like Johnny and Matt Damon do. Don’t bring your children to film festivals, don’t sell their pictures, don’t call the press for family outing (like shopping in Cannes), don’t talk about private things in every interview. Huge stars manage to keep their children under wraps I am sure that Brad could to without legal action.

  19. Kaiser says:

    Bodhi – That’s HER baby! :) Do you remember last year, when Brange took Shi out to see Central Park or something, and Shiloh was carrying scotch tape, like the tape was her favorite toy in the world?

    The Jolie-Pitt kids crack me up. They always make me smile. :)

  20. Kaiser says:

    Amy, please take a breath after that rant. Considering all of the negative bullshit that comes out about them, I’m just surprised it’s taken them this long to get the lawyers involved.

    Every single tabloid got details of the pregnancy, birth, genders wrong. And the tabloids profited on those errors. Sue them all.

  21. Che says:

    Well said, countrybabe, Cameron & Amy!!!

    Johnny Depp, Bono and countless celebs have lived in the same town where Brad and Angelina are currently staying – and you rarely see pictures of them in their personal time. Brad and Angelina call the press themselves because they LOVE the attention. Many paparazzi & pap agencies have publicly said that they often receive phone calls from Angelina herself giving details of where she will be with the kids. They are only suing because their $11 million dollar deal probably includes a clause that promises the magazine the first pictures of the family after the birth of their twins.

    As for the money going to charity. They made over $20 million in total for Shiloh pictures and most of that money did NOT go to charity.

    Nope, can’t stand maniston either. Just setting the record straight because it’s sickening how those two act like they’re hounded day and night – but in reality have deals with paparazzi on the side where they are paid a percentage from picture/video sales.

  22. bite me says:

    Brad did the samething when does topless pix of aj were posted on several websites

  23. Julie says:

    Setting the lawyers on these backyard photographs may have more to do with nullifying their deal to sell the first images of the twins. If pictures of the babies – either baby – leaks, the contract may be forfeit.

  24. Kaiser says:

    Che – No. You’re wrong.

    They call the paps? Prove it. Cite a good, reasonable source.

    They ARE hounded day and night. And they rarely bitch about it, unless it’s something incredibly invasive.

    They made something like $4-5 million off the Shiloh pics. Not twenty.

  25. geronimo says:

    LOL, you people citing all their wrongdoing.

    If you can’t stand them, why are you even bothering with them here? Why get so hysterical and irrational about them? Either they matter to you or they don’t. If they don’t, why in the name of all that’s sane are you not ignoring them and helping to reduce this insane media interest in them that seems to upset you all so much?

    And round and round and round it goes…

  26. bros says:

    amy, im pretty sure there is no law about buckling up in gold carts, mostly because all the gold carts ive ever seen dont have seat belts, are not ATVs, go at pretty low speeds, and laws about seat belts dont even apply to golf carts, four wheelers, jet skis, boats, etc. you are clearly freaking out over something that isnt even illegal. get a grip. the comparison to britney is pathetic and doesnt apply, as she was in her CAR.

  27. bros says:

    obviously, please make that golf carts. sloppy me

  28. lena says:

    I have to partially agree with Amy, I do think the lawyers were unleashed because Brad was riding with Shiloh on his lap in an ATV with no seatbelt around her (from what I could see) just the seatbelt around himself (from what I could see)…she also didn’t have a helmet on. Like others have stated pics were taken in one of their backyards when Maddox had his birthday party and I didn’t hear anything about Lawyers going after people having pics removed. To me, and it’s just my opinion, BP seems to think he may have made a little boo boo and he wants to take care of it quickly. I don’t see the big deal if he’s going like 5mph and he was on his private property not a local street, but people are going to give him a hard time over it and I do understand where some of them are coming from because they are parents.

  29. okay... says:

    And so it begins-

    Just as people who find this to be an invasion of privacy aren’t necessarily “Brangeloonies”, the folks who seem to be less than enthralled with this family aren’t necessarily Aniston lovers. It is amazing to me the fervor with which people will debate the issues where this family is concerned. It seems that some actually take this personally.

  30. geronimo says:

    :lol: Bros!! :lol:

    Gold carts is MUCH funnier!!!

    Although personally I think they should be driving around in gold chariots.

  31. Jann says:

    Pulled by winged unicorns…

  32. Syko says:

    And tiny cherubs fluttering overhead, sprinkling angel dust on them.

  33. princess says:

    Thank you Kaiser.

    They want to make sure that the exclusive rights deal insures that the money they get would go to charity. Why would anyone prefer the money go to some creepy guy with a camera who lurks in the bushes??

  34. Bodhi says:

    Well of COURSE the Chosen Family would have gold carts! I’d expect no less!

  35. I choose me says:

    Go BADettes go! Hee.

  36. Nan says:

    Syko…this blog is not big enough for the both of us. Only kidding. We need to agree on how the term is properly spelled. You say Brangeloony but I think it should be Brangeloonie. When we are referring to more than one Brangeloonie, we should follow Latin and pluralize it as BRANGELOONI. Your thoughts?

  37. Nan says:

    Although I agree with Brad, he doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Should I sue Google over the fact that I am in a pic that was taken overhead for Google Earth?

  38. czarina says:

    To say because they have sold pics of their children, or allowed pictures to be taken in public, that they are no longer allowed to say “no” to photographers trespassing on their private property and taking pics without their permission is the same as saying that if a woman has sex with a man, then later on refuses to have sex with him, he has the right to rape her!
    It’s as disgusting as someone who beats his wife saying “she asked for it.”
    So a Playboy model should never call the police if someone comes to her window and takes pictures of her in the shower, because, hey, she’s posed naked, so she must not mind, right?
    It’s not a violation, right?
    You know, fine if you don’t like Brad/Angie/Jen/or anyone else.
    But that doesn’t mean that they should be treated as LESS than human beings who have as much rights under the law as you or I do.

  39. daisy424 says:

    Che, it seems to me if Johnny and Bono were making the $$ for magazines like Brad and Angie do, they would be the ones photographed.

    Would you also, “set the record straight” for me, regarding the ‘facts’ you state. Where did you get your information to back up your accusations:?:

  40. Karen says:

    Now that he sold pictures for millions, all of the sudden they “protect” their privacy.

    They are such hypocrites.

    Angelina sold every detail of their private life-
    she talked about their sex life, pimped her children for PR stunts, even got People magazine staff into her own hotel room to take pictures of Pax when he barely knew her, and didn’t understand a word in English.

    Now when they found a new publicity stunt to garner attention with their new babies, they are “protective” of their privacy.


  41. geronimo says:

    Oh Daisy, I don’t think they ‘do’ facts. I think you might have a long wait there. Hope you’re not in a hurry. I think you could probably go from kindergarten to grave in the length of time it would take for these particular ‘facts’ to be produced… :wink:

  42. Kaiser says:

    @Karen – soooo…. death to all hypocrites? After your nonsensical bashing on the Obama thread, wouldn’t you have to kill yourself then?

  43. MISSY says:

    God Bless Shiloh,she’s so cute!!!

  44. Syko says:

    She is, isn’t she, MISSY? Brad’s face with Angelina’s lips. And always dragging her baby around with her.

  45. pam says:

    i find it sooo funny that these weirdos can make movies in the US and take money from a magazine in the US, but adopt outside the US and give birth outside the US. Go freakin live there some of us are sick of your stupid asses. Shame on any magazine that would pay that kind of money to see brats that will eventually find their way outside anyway. I won’t buy any magazine that supports baby selling. That’s what it is. Go Halle Berry!!

  46. Kaiser says:

    It’s a global economy, Pam. Americans live and work all around the world, and foreigners live and work in America.

    Pics of BP & AJ sell out in America and overseas. They are global superstars and global humanitarians. They’re not just “weirdos” to mock during a Pity Party.

  47. sg says:

    i can’t help it, i love brad and yes, that includes Angelina since she’s with brad now, i just don’t understand why all the hate on him, i think he leads an exemplary life style, with great value, who had his life set, and because of an unwilling wife, brad had the guts to changed his life and plans and upgraded to the highest degree, who knew brad was that intelligent and bold and fearless, i always thought he was gorgeous and still do, but now i have the most respect for him, more than anyone in Hollywood, nice guys do finish first. oh! and i don’t care to know about those other people that were named, johnny, bono, etc, only brad.

  48. sg says:

    also, they are more than just movie stars, so much more, it’s too many things that they do to keep naming them all the time, if you are interested or even if you’re not, do some research before assuming anything, even if you don’t like them it’s hard not to admire them, they are not your average celebrities.

  49. Elizabeth says:

    Someone help me here, please !

    I’ve taken photos of my neighbors in their yard gardening, in front of their home, (a neighbor died and the body was removed) or from the balcony of one of my condo’s. I photographed construction workers pouring concrete, roofers installing a new roof, tuckpointers working across the street. No one knew I was photographing them. I’m making my own photo diary of my days in a particular city. What’s wrong with that?

    While in Paris, I took a photo of Roman Polanski without his approval. So what ?

  50. Bodhi says:

    Elizabeth, I think it would depend on wheather or not you were gonna make a profit off of them…

  51. Anastasia says:

    It didn’t take the haters long to pounce on this, did it?


    I don’t assume people who hate A&B are Aniston fans, but they do strike me as being super obsessed with them and the hatred they seem to feel is way over the top for someone they’ve never met. It’s like Angelina and Brad PERSONALLY wronged them or something.

    I’ve said it before–it’s creepy.

  52. czarina says:

    Elizabeth: my only question would be–did you tresspass on private property to get this picture? Did you sneak up to your neighbors windows to take pictures of them in their home? Did you go on their property to take pictures in their backyard?
    If people are in front of their homes, or somewhere where they can easily be seen by a person NOT tresspassig, then fine.
    But the pictures of Brad and Angelina on their property in France (considering how big it is, and that there are gates, etc), it is obvious that whoever took them were ON the property and taking photos without permission.
    Big difference.
    And, as I said, this is not a Brad/Angelina issue: to me, it’s a privacy issue and an ethical issue of the rights of any person to a certain level of privacy.
    They aren’t criminals in prison!

  53. Elizabeth says:

    I think that may be the key; if I were to profit from taking someone’s photo. And to not have their authorization. Or share the profits.

    I was inside my home. Even if I were on a public sidewalk or street, I don’t think that taking a photo on public property is illegal.

    Ok. Let’s say we are on a public street, take a celebrity’s photo while they are on their private property, and sell it. Is that illegal ?

  54. Elizabeth says:

    Wait a minute !!!

    We’ve all seen photos of Britney Spears in her backyard, in the back of an ambulence, or in Starbucks. Photags took those pictures and profited from them.

    So, how is that different from Jolie Pitts complaint?

  55. pamela says:

    Elizabeth, the same would apply to Britney, and if she had chosen to threathen with a “cease and desist” letter, i would also support her decision.

  56. jamesbond says:

    this couple loves publicity why stop nw? stupid family

  57. Judy says:

    So it would be alright if some neighbor decided he liked you and took pictures of you in your house taking a shower? This is what all of this amounts to. You have a right to privacy and using a high powered lens to invade it and take pictures of your chidlren is wrong. All of the people in here that think it is ok..let the papers know where you live so they can run over and take your shots while you are in the pool naked or in the shower or of your kids!
    Lets hear you whine then , especailly if it is some pervert that seems to like your kids. How about you see pics of YOUR kids on the web or a web site of some pedophile, would that invade your privacy? Would it be ok then?

  58. Jan G. says:

    Why do you think it always comes down to Money?

    These celebitchy’s have so much money they can give millions to charity!? (Mostly over seas, yet there are so many homeless and struggling right here in the United States.)

    Angela even stated she feels she makes more money than she is worth!!

    This was her justification for why she gives so much to charity? Please!

    This world is so F’ing crazy! We have nothing better to do than sit and worry about everyone else’s finances?

    The media is the problem. There is something you can do about it…you can worry about YOU and your own ‘backyard’.

    I guess you have not heard…”Stop worrying about it and it will go away!?”

    What it boils down to:
    They are greedy, even if it is supposedly going to charity.

    Look up greed in any bible and then you will, hopefully, stop wondering why money IS the root to ALL evil.

  59. Kaiser says:

    Communists come out at night…