Friday 18 October 2019

Meet Laura Wasser, the Hollywood heavyweight divorce lawyer 'representing' Angelina Jolie

Laura Wasser
Laura Wasser
Laura Wasser arrives for a court appearance at Stanley Mosk Courthouse

Olivia Blaie

Angelina Jolie has filed for divorce from Brad Pitt after two years of marriage and an eight-year relationship.

The news was broke by entertainment site TMZ who said Jolie was filing for primary custody of their six children and for Pitt to have joint legal custody. According to the gossip site, Jolie will be represented by Hollywood divorce lawyer Laura Wasser. The lawyer previously represented the actress during her divorce from Billy Bob Thornton.

Wasser, who most recently represented Johnny Depp during his now-settled divorce from Amber Heard, has a long list of celebrity clients and is dubbed by TMZ the ‘disso queen’, apparently the queen of dissolving marriages. Earlier this year, Bloomberg credited her as “Hollywood’s complete divorce solution”.

So, who is Laura Wasser?

Background and family

Divorce Attorney Laura Wasser attends a book party in her honor on October 8, 2013 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Laura Wasser)

Beverly Hills-born Wasser, 48, was educated at the University of California, Berkely and graduated in 1991. She enrolled at the Loyola Law School in LA before being admitted to the California state Bar in 1994.

Both of Wasser’s parents are lawyers and her father, Dennis M. Wasser, is another renowned LA celebrity divorce lawyer having reportedly represented Tom Cruise and Steven Speilberg. He co-founded the firm where she practices, Wasser, Cooperman & Mandles, which she joined at the age of 26 in 1995.

Wasser has two children and has been divorced herself.

It’s worth noting her full name is Laura Allison Wasser - making her initials L.A.W.


NBA player Kris Humphries (L) and TV personality Kim Kardashian attend A Night of Style & Glamour to welcome newlyweds Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries at Capitale on August 31, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Wasser rarely represents clients who have less than $10million and charges $850 per hour. Her father Dennis told Bloomberg: “All of our clients are high-profile,” in an interview in Wasser’s office in which a big sign saying “The End” can be seen hanging.

Wasser has represented Stevie Wonder, Kim Kardashian and Britney Spears during their divorces. She is also reportedly representing Jennifer Garner during her split with Ben Affleck and Gwen Stefani through her split with Gavin Rossdale - which were both announced last year.

Actor Antonio Banderas (L) and actress Melanie Griffith. Photo: Getty Images

Wasser has a reputation for successfully getting clients to settle their cases and work together amicably so as not to encourage further press reports. Working in Los Angeles, where celebrity divorces are always taking place and many court records end up on TMZ, she tries to ensure celebrities negotiate agreements before filing official documents to minimise news coverage.

Melanie Griffith was represented by Wasser during her divorce from Antonio Banderas. Of the proceedings, she told Bloomberg: “We worked on it [the divorce] for a good year and a half before it came out on TMZ. And when we did file it, there were some personal things that were agreed upon by Antonio and myself that we had removed from the official papers so they wouldn’t get out.”

Wasser also divulged to Bloomberg she sometimes advises clients to wait to file so that she can file several high-profile divorce cases at once to spread the media attention, which is why there can be a flurry of break-ups summarised in magazines.

“I’ll tell my clients, ‘I have someone else, I can’t say who, but you should really wait and file at the same time,” she said.


Laura Wasser arrives for a court appearance at Stanley Mosk Courthouse

“I tell them a.) your therapist costs less than I do b.) what do I know? I’ve got two kids with two different dads, I’m not the person to give you relationship advice,” she said.

Wasser, who in 2013 wrote the book It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself, says she doesn’t want to get married again after being married once before. She told The Telegraph in 2013, just because she’s a divorce lawyer it doesn’t mean she knows the key to a perfect marriage: “I only know about divorce. I don’t know how to stay married,” she said.

Independent News Service

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