Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have had many ups and downs in their lives, both together and individually.
Jolie grew up in the Hollywood limelight as the daughter of Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight. He left Jolie's mother, French-Canadian actress Marcheline Bertrand, when she was just a baby, and Angelina grew up a little on the wild side. Pitt's upbringing was far more normal, but he, too, had his fair share of troubles once he became a movie star.
Angelina and Brad's Hollywood love story was one for the ages. They met on the set of the 2005 action comedy Mr. and Mrs. Smith and immediately clicked. Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston at the time, and while he and Jolie have steadfastly denied they started their romance while Pitt was still married, the connection was made. Pitt and Aniston separated and divorced after the film wrapped, and the Jolie-Pitts soon became Hollywood's “It” couple.
After six children and 12 years together, Angelina and Brad announced their split in late 2016 amid some ugliness between both parties, with Jolie getting full custody of their kids – Maddox, 16; Pax, 14; Zahara, 13; Shiloh, 11; and twins Vivienne and Knox, 9. Things have since smoothed over, and now they are co-parenting and have not finalized their divorce.
Here are 15 Crazy Secrets No One Knew About The Jolie-Pitts.
15 JOLIE ADMITS TO A DIFFICULT PAST
In her teens, Jolie said she suffered from depression because she grew up in the limelight of Los Angeles. She told The Washington Post, “I grew up in L.A., where the focus is very inward. I didn’t know why I was so destructive and miserable. I didn’t appreciate or understand my life.”
The actress added that having money and good looks only compounded the feeling of emptiness, especially in pursuing an acting career. “I didn’t know where to put myself.” In her 60 Minutes interview in 2011, the burgeoning director at the time revealed, "I went through heavier, darker times and I survived them. I didn't die young... People can imagine that I did the most dangerous (things), and I did the worst... For many reasons, I shouldn't be here."
14 JOLIE VS HER FATHER
Although family means a lot to her, Angelina Jolie did not always have a close relationship with her father, actor Jon Voight. In fact, they were horribly estranged for years.
It started in 2001 when Voight gave an interview on Access Hollywood and said he thought his daughter had "serious mental problems" and needed to get help. She didn't think that was necessarily the kindest thing to say in such a public forum, so Jolie responded that she didn't think it was healthy for her to have any more contact with Voight. Ever.
Jolie and Voight reconciled in 2010, which some say was facilitated by Jolie's then partner, Brad Pitt. The actress admitted later to The Hollywood Reporter, "Jon and I have gotten to know each other — through grandchildren now — [and] we're finding a new relationship.”
13 JOLIE ADOPTED MADDOX... BUT HER HUSBAND DIDN'T
Angelina's marriage to Billy Bob Thornton was tumultuous, and right at the height of the craziness and its decline, the actress adopted her first child, Maddox, from Cambodia. Although the couple announced the adoption together in March 2002, only Jolie's name was on the adoption papers.
By July, Jolie had filed for divorce and Thornton never formally adopted Maddox.
In 2005, after meeting on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, (it's kind of a pattern for Jolie to meet future husbands on her movie sets), Jolie and Pitt took their romance somewhat public – and it had everything to do with Maddox. Jolie recalled the time the toddler looked at Pitt and called him “dad,” and she and Brad knew whatever they had between them was legit.
12 ANGELINA WANTED TO BE A FUNERAL DIRECTOR
Keeping in line with Jolie's dark times as a teenager and what she was feeling, the actress said she went through a very Goth phase – dark makeup, macabre sensibilities – and even considered chucking all the entertainment and acting to be a funeral director.
In an interview with 20/20 in 2003, Jolie revealed she was fascinated by death and even took a home course on how to prepare bodies when she was 15. "I thought I'd become a funeral director when I wasn't going to be an actor… I thought I would be good at helping some people with the grieving process and with trying to get them to talk about and understand who this person was," she said.
11 ANGELINA'S WILD REBELLIOUS YOUTH
After admitting to having a wild past, finding out that Jolie also experimented with substances doesn't come as a huge surprise, but it is a little concerning. In 2014, a video was leaked by a former dealer who used to sell to the actress, and recorded the encounter.
In the 1999 video, you can see the thin, pale 24 year old pacing around her Manhattan living room, talking on the phone with her father, Jon Voight, and generally acting totally out of it. The actress herself later admitted she had tried just about every substance out there.
It was her career-changing role as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider that helped Jolie set on a new life path. Filming in Cambodia, the actress saw the plight of the refugees there and ended up joining forces with the United Nations in helping people affected in war-torn areas. She eventually became an ambassador, adopted her first child, Maddox, and the rest is history.
10 ZAHARA'S BIRTH MOTHER WANTS CONTACT
Because adopting Maddox was such a wonderful, life-affirming process, Jolie, now with Pitt, decided to adopt again. In 2005, the couple found an Ethiopian baby named Zahara who they fell in love with and adopted. At the time, the Jolie-Pitts were reportedly told Zahara was orphaned after her parents died of AIDS.
However, Zahara's birth mother, Mentewab Dawit Lebiso, surfaced and gave an interview in 2017 to Daily Mail, asking Jolie if she could have some contact with Zahara. She explained the baby was conceived after she was assaulted and that she couldn't care for her, so she had to give her up for adoption.
While Mentewab believed Zahara has a very enriched life with Jolie – and that she has no wish to disrupt Zahara's life – the biological mother said she just wants to let Zahara know she's there and she has a family in Ethiopia.
9 JOLIE'S ODD RELATIONSHIP WITH HER BROTHER
Right around the same time as this leaked video, Jolie starred in the 1999 Girl, Interrupted, playing a mentally unbalanced sociopathic trapped in a 1960s psychiatric hospital. Jolie is terrific in the movie and, considering some of the things she was going through at the time, it makes sense. She ended up winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
The strangest part, however, was her creepy display of affection with her older brother, James Haven, at the 2000 Academy Awards. In her acceptance speech, the actress declared she was “so in love with [her] brother.” Then later they shared a long, weird kiss, which raised many eyebrows.
Jolie explained to People, “First, we're the best of friends. And it wasn't some odd open-mouthed kiss. It was disappointing that something so beautiful and pure could be turned into a circus.” Enough said.
8 HOW PITT DEALT WITH HIS DEPRESSION
In the 1990s when Pitt was the hot, young star of movies like Legends of the Fall, Se7en and Twelve Monkeys, the actor admitted he got tired of the fame and just wanted to hide out.
He told THR in 2012, "I was hiding out from the celebrity thing, I was smoking way too much... I was sitting on the couch and just turning into a doughnut, and I really got irritated with myself. I got to: 'What's the point? I know better than this.'"
He added that he was “majoring in depression,” but then a trip to Casablanca, where he saw "poverty to an extreme I had never witnessed before” shook him out of his stupor. Pitt said: "It stuck with me. I just quit. I stopped grass then -- I mean, pretty much -- and decided to get off the couch.”
7 MADDOX'S ADOPTION FACILITATOR WAS A SCAMMER
The American woman who set up Maddox's adoption for Jolie was convicted of running an international adoption scam, in which she amassed millions of dollars in profits.
Lauren Galindo provided approximately 700 Cambodian children to American couples for adoption, but some of them turned out not to be orphans. Instead, they were stolen from their poor parents, who thought their children were either being sent to a boarding school or that they'd be paid by the Americans adopting their child.
The Cambodian families received little to none of the money.
Officials say Maddox's adoption, however, was completely legal and nothing was fraudulent in his case.
6 PITT HAD A STALKER
Unsurprisingly, Brad Pitt had a woman obsessed with being near him. In 1999, a 19-year-old girl, Athena Marie Rolando, climbed through the window of his Hollywood Hills home and hung out for a bit. She reportedly tried on some of his clothes and wasn't discovered until about 10 hours later. Pitt was not at home when the incident occurred, but a caretaker found her, wearing his clothes and asleep in an upstairs bedroom.
Rolando pleaded no contest and was ordered to stay at least 100 yards away from him and his house, and was prohibited from contacting, annoying, harassing, threatening or stalking the actor. The woman was also placed on three years probation today with the condition that she undergo at least a year of psychological counseling.
5 PITT KNEW ABOUT HARVEY WEINSTEIN
As the fall of Harvey Weinstein began late last year, with dozens and dozens of women accusing the producer of abuse and harassment, a report came out that Weinstein pulled some of the same predatory behavior on his Emma and Shakespeare in Love star, Gwyneth Paltrow.
Paltrow said in an interview he came on to her in a hotel room and wanted her to give him a massage. “I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified.” She was also dating Brad Pitt at the time and told him about the scary encounter. The actor reportedly confronted Weinstein about it, telling him it better not happen again.
Jolie also spoke up and said Weinstein tried it with her while she was making 1998's Playing by Heart. She refused his advances and vowed never to work with him again, and “warned others when they did.”
4 PITT SUED PLAYGIRL
Don't mess with Pitt when he's enjoying himself on vacation, just letting it all hang out. In 1997, Playgirl released its August issue n which the magazine displayed private pictures it had obtained of the star vacationing in 1995 in the West Indies with then-girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow.
While these photos had been floating around tabloids for two years before Playgirl published them, naturally, Pitt filed suit against the magazine for putting them out there so publicly. He also stated in the court papers that his unauthorized appearance in the issue caused him emotional distress and humiliation, not to mention "severely harmed [him] in his occupation."
He won the case with a judge ordering the remaining issues of the Playgirl publication removed from circulation.
3 BILLY BOB THORNTON LEFT FIANCEÉ LAURA DERN FOR JOLIE
Jolie's brief marriage to Billy Bob Thornton is now fairly legendary, between getting married after only knowing each other a few months, to the vials of each others' blood they each carried around their necks.
They met on the set of the 1999 drama Pushing Tin about feuding air-traffic controllers, with Jolie playing Thornton's wife. At the time, Thornton was engaged to long-time girlfriend Laura Dern, who was blindsided by the news.
In an interview with ABC, Dern once described how it went down. “I left our home to work on a movie, and while I was away, my boyfriend got married, and I’ve never heard from him again.” She added, “It’s like a sudden death. For no one has there been any closure or clarity.” Yikes.
2 JOLIE HAS A KNIFE OBSESSION
The Oscar winner has always had a passion for knives.
When she was a teenager, it was more of a self-destructive thing as part of a romantic experience. In the 20/20 interview, she explained, "I didn't feel close enough to another person... Nothing ever felt real and honest enough. And so because I had knives around … early on in my first... relationship, I got knives out and had a night where we attacked each other.” Ouch.
Later, however, Jolie found a true appreciation and collected antique knives. "I've always been fascinated by other cultures and history and honor and fight and so… they are not shiny, brand-new sharp knives from the store. They're antique beautiful knives from other countries, and they are locked in a case...” And we've seen her wield them in her action movies.
1 JOLIE DIDN'T THINK “SHE'D LIVE PAST 40”
After her beloved mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died of ovarian cancer in 2007 at age 56, Jolie took extreme measures to minimize her own risks of getting cancer and leaving her children without a mother.
The actress underwent a double mastectomy and then two years later, opted to have her ovaries and Fallopian tubes removed after going through a minor scare. All of this forced Jolie into early menopause, but in her NY Times op-ed, she felt it was all worth it.
Pitt told The Washington Post, “You have to understand that this is a woman who never knew she’d make it to 40. This is a woman who had watched her mother, aunt and grandmother become sick and eventually succumb, all at an early age. Her drive, her absolute value in herself, is defined by the impact she can have during her time here.”
Are there any other secrets about the Jolie-Pitts? Let us know in the comments below!