damage control

Brad Pitt’s Foundation Settles With Katrina Victims for $20.5 Million

Photo: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

More than a decade later, Brad Pitt is finally ready to actually make it right. Per “Page Six,” he and his Make It Right Foundation have reached a $20.5 million settlement over the 109 poorly constructed homes they built in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reports that homeowners can each be reimbursed for $25,000 in past repairs for issues such as mold, leaks, electrical fires, faulty ventilation, and unclean water.

If approved by a judge, the settlement will be paid by environmental nonprofit Global Green. “I am incredibly grateful for Global Green’s willingness to step up and provide this important support for the Lower Ninth families,” Pitt said in a statement. “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. Hopefully this agreement will allow everyone to look ahead to other opportunities to continue to strengthen this proud community in the future.”

Pitt announced the housing project in 2006, one year after Katrina. As the face of the charity, he asked for donations so that homes could be sold for $150,000 (much cheaper than the cost of construction). According to The Guardian, he promoted the initiative by promising that the housing would be affordable, floodproof, and sustainable. It was a great sell to the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood, which was still feeling the devastating effects of the hurricane. But Make It Right allegedly ignored complaints after the new homeowners moved in. A class-action lawsuit was ultimately filed in 2018 for defective design and building practices, breach of contract, and fraud.

Pitt previously asked to be taken off the lawsuit since he wasn’t involved in the actual construction, but his request was denied. Still, he’s no stranger to the court. He and his legal team have previously faced challenges over a different kind of broken home — one created by his drawn-out divorce with Angelina Jolie. Earlier this year, he sued his ex for selling her shares in the French vineyard they once owned together. More recently, paperwork confirmed that Jolie was the woman in an FBI lawsuit who alleged verbal and physical abuse by her then-husband. The 2016 documents, which were acquired by outlets with a FOIA, contain details pertaining to the exes’ custody battle. Pitt’s team has denied the accusations against him.

Brad Pitt Settles for $20.5 Million With Katrina Victims