Brad Pitt was reportedly rejected for jury duty at a downtown Los Angeles courthouse last week because the court said he would be too distracting to the proceedings.
According to the Daily Mail, Pitt waited for hours along with other prospective jurors at the courthouse but was ultimately turned away, even though a source said he was looking forward to getting picked.
“Brad was hoping he might get picked to serve on a short case,” an unnamed source told the Mail. “But the problem was, he would actually be required to serve for as long as it took for the case to be decided.”
Los Angeles attorney William R. Lively told the paper that it was highly unlikely Pitt would have been selected to serve on an actual jury.
“Like any other potential juror, Brad would have received a jury summons that required him to travel downtown and be interviewed by the judge or attorney in what is called voir dire,” Lively explained. “In most cases, as soon as it’s discovered that a potential juror is a major celebrity, that person is dismissed, but that is not always the case.”
As Lively noted to the Mail, Tom Hanks was called to serve on a jury in September, 2013, but defense attorneys in the case immediately accused prosecutors of jury tampering after a female city prosecutor approached Hanks during a break in proceedings and told him that the prosecutor’s office was impressed that a celebrity of Hanks’ stature would sit for a jury.
“You just can’t stick Brad Pitt in a jury box and expect 11 jurors to ignore him,” Lively told the paper. “It’s only natural that those jurors would be watching to see how Brad reacts to what’s being said and that they could be influenced by his opinions once the jury goes behind closed doors to render a verdict.”
Pitt was reportedly called for jury duty once before, in 2003, and it is not known whether he served on an actual jury. He reportedly ate lunch, a Subway sandwich, with the other jurors waiting in the court.
The unnamed source also told the Mail that even if Pitt was chosen for the jury, he would have a hard time serving because wife Angelina Jolie is sick at home with the chicken pox.
“Now that Angelina is out of commission with the chicken pox, Brad has been picking up the slack both at home and at work,” the source said. “So it would have been hard for him to comply had he been chosen.