Sean Penn and Leila George take an unusual step in settling their divorce.
The estranged couple have retained the services of a well-connected private judge to help them reach an agreement for their separation.
Court documents reveal the 61-year-old two-time Oscar winner and human rights activist and the 29-year-old daughter of actor Vincent D’Onofrio asked the court to appoint Judge Scott Gordon to strike a deal to end their year-long marriage.
According to People, Penn will pay to retain the services of the private judge, including Gordon’s $950 hourly rate and additional fees as part of the deal.
Known in Hollywood circles, the retired judge was reportedly hired by Kelly Clarkson during her messy divorce from ex-husband and manager Brandon Blackstock. While sitting on the bench in Los Angeles Superior Court, Gordon presided over Mel Gibson and Britney Spears’ messy custody battles over their exes.
Penn, who was previously married to Robin Wright and Madonna, is apparently preparing to keep this divorce battle under wraps.
The couple, who were spotted ringing in the New Year together in Australia, will go through meditation instead of going through public petitions in court.
In California, temporary judges are authorized to preside over cases for the purpose of assisting overdue courts. Gordon, who was appointed by the governor at the time. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010, serves as an extension of the court.