Brad Pitt and lighting designer row over creative ideas

Brad Pitt answers media questions in Palm Springs. The actor, a design aficionado, claims he was the creative force behind the chateau lighting concept but lighting designer Odile Soudant disputes this.

A ROW between Brad Pitt and a French lighting designer over a project to illuminate Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s £45 million chateau is continuing despite a £500,000 financial settlement.

Pitt and Odile Soudant of Lumières Studio – the former head of the lighting department at architectural practice Ateliers Jean Nouvel – are now locked in a dispute over who devised the lighting concept for 17th century Château Miraval, outside Aix-en-Provence in the south of France.

An earlier quarrel over unpaid bills was resolved in April when a French court ruled that the acting couple must pay Lumières Studio all outstanding fees, plus damages of £50,000. The ruling – originally a secret – has come to light as the new disagreement has developed over the intellectual ownership and credit for the designs.

Pitt, a design aficionado, claims he was the creative force behind the project but Soudant disputes this.

The 17th century Château Miraval at the centre of the dispute cost £45 million and is still shared by Pitt and Jolie despite their divorce.

‘He wanted to make it an exceptional place and believed that light should be at the heart of this,’ Soudant told French newspaper Libération, which revealed the settlement.

But Soudant claims the lighting concept was hers, and she wants the legal right to the artistic creation. ‘I am an artist and this is my work. When someone tries to steal my work, it is something else,’ she told the Guardian newspaper. ‘This is all very painful for me.’

Pitt’s lawyers, Hogan Lovells, told Libération that the inspiration for the lighting at Château Miraval came from Pitt himself. In a statement lodged with the Paris court, an architect working on the property said: ‘The lighting ideas came principally from Mr Pitt himself.

‘He is passionate about architecture and knew what he wanted to achieve.’ Now divorced, Pitt and Jolie still own the chateau. The dispute continues.


  • Creative lighting design will be explored at the lightspace arena at LuxLive 2017, where keynote speakers include leading lighting designer Mark Major of Speirs + Major and architect Mark Middleton of Grimshaw. See the full programme HERE. Entry is free if you pre-register at


Pic: Maggie Jumps