Not a good week of press for Brad Pitt, thanks to a couple very different lawsuits!
First Angelina Jolie sued to get the FBI to release the details of their investigation into that domestic violence incident on a plane back in 2016 — the one that seemed to end the Mr. & Mrs. Smith couple’s marriage for good. Those deets don’t exactly cast Brad in the best light. And neither does the suit he and his charity settled this week.
Back in 2007 the Fight Club star helped found a non-profit, the Make It Right Foundation, with a plan to build affordable — and environmentally friendly — housing for people in the lower Ninth District of New Orleans who lost their homes in Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding due to deficient levees. But what was supposed to be a helping hand turned out to be another slap in the face.
Just over a decade later residents complained the organization did not, in fact, make their houses right. The “green” buildings may have been environmentally friendly, but they weren’t environmentally compatible. They were apparently unable to withstand the humid Gulf Coast climate and consistent rainfall — there were complaints of leaks and termites; some homes were literally falling apart, with collapsing roofs and porches. Not to mention, there was evidence of mold — which can cause serious health problems.
A lawsuit was filed in 2018 against the organization by 107 residents. Make It Right responded by passing the buck, filing a suit of their own against their former architect John Williams, in essence blaming him for poorly built homes. As for Brad, he requested he be dismissed from the lawsuit entirely, saying he wasn’t personally involved. The judge clearly disagreed as the motion was denied.
Now, after four years, they’re taking responsibility — in the form of a $20.5 million settlement. In a statement on Thursday, Global Green, the larger foundation Brad partnered with, announced the agreement:
“As part of its overall mission of environmental justice and sustainable living, Global Green will fund a program to rectify defects in the original as built conditions of homes. Under this agreement, Global Green will provide $20.5 million to fund the program and resolve the litigation.”
That includes a $25k reimbursement for each resident for any repairs already made to their homes, with the rest being used to fix whatever needs fixing among all the Make It Right messes. That includes completely rebuilding many homes which needed to be torn down.
As for Brad, he too released a statement about the settlement, saying:
“I am incredibly grateful for Global Green’s willingness to step up and provide this important support for the Lower Ninth families. We collaborated in the early days post-Katrina and we are very fortunate to have Global Green’s generous continuing commitment to help address the challenges around these homes and others in need.”
OK, we said they were taking responsibility… maybe that’s not exactly true based on these statements. But at least they’re going to fix people’s houses finally.
[Image via WWLTV/Good Morning Britain/YouTube.]