Tragic Details About Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie has achieved many milestones in her career as an actress. One highlight: She won the Golden Globe award in 1999 for one of her toughest films, "Gia," where she played a troubled model and tried to do justice to the life of model Gia Marie Carangi, who passed away in the 1980s after being diagnosed with AIDS. Per Buzzfeed, Jolie was deeply affected by the model's life and said, "I was so sad for her. Playing a real person you identify with and can feel makes you feel a responsibility. Then you live inside her world for a bit and you just feel so deeply sad that she never really knew love and felt she was of value other than a thing or a face."

Life hasn't been easy for Angelina Jolie herself — she had a tough time growing up in a broken home, was subjected to bullying, went through heartbreak, and lost her loved ones to cancer. The actress has evolved over the years: She told The Guardian in 2021 that she was inspired to become a humanitarian because of her mom. Jolie explained, "She didn't come at them as if it was a job or a calling, she was just kind. She was a decent human being who was bothered when she saw people mistreated. It was really that simple." Here are tragic details about Angelina Jolie.

Her parents separated when she was little

According to Biography, Angelina Jolie was born in June 1975 in Los Angeles, California, to actors John Voight and Marcheline Bertrand. Things were strained between Voight and Bertrand even before Jolie was born, according to the book, "Angelina Jolie: The Biography" by Rhona Mercer. Jolie's father was known to be a womanizer who had an affair with an actress named Stacey Pickren, and he eventually chose to leave his family for the actress. 

Post the marriage breakup, Voight did stay in touch with his ex-wife and kids. Everyone was in Los Angeles at that point so it was easier to meet, but things changed after Bertrand decided to relocate with her children to New York. The family had to move often back then, according to Jolie. She told Parade, "We never owned a home. We moved from small apartments to even smaller ones. We were always conscious of money." She added that the family had to rely on Voight for financial support.

Angelina Jolie was bullied in school

As highlighted by the book, "Angelina Jolie: The Biography," things weren't easygoing in school for the actress, as she was singled out for being very thin, having braces, and sporting glasses. It was obvious to Jolie as a teenager that being different wasn't considered acceptable, and she was often mocked by her peers for being who she was. That said, Jolie didn't give in to the pressure and stayed true to herself, doing stuff she liked such as wearing black clothes and experimenting with hair colors. 

Jolie also decided to give modeling a shot to make some money like her classmates, but sadly (and shockingly) she didn't receive great feedback from agents who criticized her and said things like she was "too short ... too fat, too everything." Jolie later admitted that she went through a tough period as a teenager and said, "Thirteen, fourteen — that was a bad time. Yeah, very." Per The Guardian, things turned around for Jolie later and she started getting modeling offers by the time she was 16 years old.

She wanted to help her mom cope with her dad's affair

Seeing her parents get divorced was hard for Angelina Jolie, especially because she knew that her mom was suffering and was dealing with many things on her own. Jolie told The Guardian, "My mom was in a lot of pain. My father had an affair, and then there were a lot of challenges with child support and alimony. Then she lost her parents, and was quite broken, so I was determined to help her when I was young."

Her mother encouraged Jolie to consider acting or modeling, and Jolie agreed because she wanted to support her mom in any way possible. Also, Angelina Jolie believed that her mom didn't get the chance to have a flourishing career or a voice of her own, which motivated Jolie to work even harder. She said, "I realized when I was young, the person who had a public voice had more power than the very kind, decent woman at home doing all the right things and making all the sacrifices."

Angelina Jolie turned to self-harm to cope with her emotions

For Angelina Jolie, the pursuit of happiness was elusive in her youth and she struggled to be at peace, trying to find the right answers to her questions. The actress told Parade, "I used to cut myself or jump out of airplanes, trying to find something new to push up against because sometimes everything else felt too easy. I was searching for something deeper, something more."

She added that she couldn't help but feel trapped and needed a way out. She said that she had a lot of pent-up energy that she needed to release. In a rare CNN interview in 2005, Jolie spoke about what made her turn to self-harm. "...The ritual of having cut myself and feeling, like, feeling the pain, maybe, feeling alive, feeling some kind of release, it was somehow therapeutic to me," she said.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

She dealt with drug abuse

In 2010, a drug dealer claimed that he supplied drugs to Angelina Jolie and even said that she was "high on cocaine" while promoting her 2000 film "Girl Interrupted," according to Page Six. The drug dealer, Franklin Meyer said, "She'd taken coke ... she did the show and then she came back over after." Meyer also insisted that the actress would often end up spending around $100 on drugs whenever she met him in New York.

Per the Associated Press, Angelina Jolie wanted to "shed her early reputation" when she was filming "Tomb Raider," and even said yes to being tested for drugs while working on the film. Director Simon West offered some context and explained that Jolie was keen on the role and "would do anything" to show that she deserved the part. According to an excerpt from "Angelina Jolie: The Biography," the actress made the decision to be transparent in her interviews and ensured that her fans knew that she wasn't perfect. She said, "Wouldn't it be more helpful for a young girl to know of the things I've discovered, the mistakes I've made, of how human I am, and how like her I am?" 

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Angelina Jolie lost her mother to cancer

Angeline Jolie was heartbroken when her mother Marcheline Bertrand (pictured right) died in 2007 from cancer. Jolie told ET Online, "I've had my share of things that made me feel ... you know, hard to speak too much about it, but just overwhelming or broken ... it's a part of something when you feel you just want to kind of hide under the covers or you're not sure what you got left in you." Jolie recounted her mom's experiences in a piece for Time Magazine and wrote that chemotherapy was very difficult for Bertrand because of the side effects. Jolie added, "Now there are new ways to identify which chemotherapy medication is best for each patient, resulting in fewer of the horrible side effects."

Bertrand battled ovarian cancer for nearly 10 years before succumbing to it in 2007 at the age of 56. Before she died, Bertrand made clear she was grateful for the life she had lived and said that "she had missed nothing in life except getting to know her grandchildren."Jolie told Parade that she could visualize her mom singing songs in church and lighting candles. Jolie teared up when she said that she visited the church with her son after Bertrand passed away — they lit a candle in her memory.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Billy Bob Thornton didn't support her after they adopted a child

Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton got the opportunity to spend time together while filming the 1999 movie "Pushing Tin." They ended up falling in love and tying the knot in 2000. According to Grazia Magazine, the couple chose to end their relationship a few years later — Thornton said that they "had different lifestyles." He added, "Hers is a global lifestyle and mine is an agoraphobic lifestyle. So, that's really — that's the only reason we're probably not still together, maybe, because of a different path in life we wanted to take." Meanwhile, Jolie told Vanity Fair later that she was interested in "learning about other countries and becoming more politically active" while her ex-husband only concentrated on making more music.

They were still married to each other when the actress decided to adopt her son, Maddox, but they went their separate ways a few months after Maddox came into their lives. Speaking about the separation, Jolie said, "He wasn't, uh, ready [to look after a kid] ... but, uh, he sent me his love. It's kind of, uh ... tragic." Jolie didn't communicate with Thornton for over a year after their separation but got back in touch with him later and said that he was a good person. Meanwhile, according to a GQ piece, Billy Bob Thornton once said that he didn't feel like he deserved to be with Jolie and said, "I never felt good enough for her."

Angelina Jolie battled postpartum depression

In 2008, Angelina Jolie reportedly battled postpartum depression after giving birth to her twins, Vivienne and Knox. A report by The Evening Standard claimed that she was staying indoors in Provence, France with her kids who were believed to have a condition called colic "that causes repeated episodes of excessive and inconsolable crying." The actress often stayed up while looking after the twins and was really worried about their health.

According to an unnamed source, their condition took a toll on Jolie who would often stay in bed, sleeping whenever possible and attempting to keep her emotions in check. The source added, "She has little energy and has to force herself to remember to eat because she is still breastfeeding." Additionally, it was believed that Jolie was upset with her then-husband, actor Brad Pitt. The source explained how Jolie felt and said, "He had the kids without the pain of birth, and he can just jet off whenever he feels like it." Per NBC News, Jolie was exhausted while looking after six kids and was also recuperating after her C-section delivery.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Angelina Jolie's divorce with Brad Pitt turned ugly

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt developed feelings for each other while shooting "Mr & Mrs. Smith" in 2005, according to US Magazine. Jolie said in a Vogue interview in 2007 that it felt like Brad Pitt was looking for similar things in life and they could relate to each other. Things seemed to be going well: the actors were parents to six kids and even got married in 2014. 

Unfortunately, Jolie ended up filing for divorce in September 2016 and got involved in a legal battle with Pitt. The actress wanted custody of her kids — at some point, they agreed to compromise for a bit: Jolie was given "full physical custody" while Pitt was allowed "visitation rights." 

According to a 2021 piece by The Guardian, Jolie accused Brad Pitt of domestic abuse and said that she was worried about her family's safety. She added, "I'm not the kind of person who makes decisions like the decisions I had to make lightly. It took a lot for me to be in a position where I felt I had to separate from the father of my children." She said that they're still fighting in court as of 2022 because they've been trying to figure out how to establish "a healthy joint custody relationship."

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

She didn't know how to fight for her rights

While speaking with The Guardian last year, Angelina Jolie admitted that she believes that her mom tried her best to make her daughter feel empowered and to protect her rights. However, Jolie began working at an early age to help her mom run the house and didn't know what to expect. She explained, "I wasn't aware of how I deserved to be treated as a young girl and a human being. I didn't feel I was born with these rights and protections."

One of her most vivid memories involves former film producer, Harvey Weinstein who was found guilty of rape in February 2020. Jolie told The Guardian that she worked with the producer while starring in the film "Playing By Heart." She said that Weinstein acted in an inappropriate manner and she had to get out of the room to save herself. She said, "...It was something I had to escape. I stayed away and warned people about him." She also made sure that she didn't work with Weinstein again.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Angelina Jolie decided to undergo surgery for the sake of her health

Angelina Jolie opened up to her fans in a 2013 write-up for The New York Times and wrote about her mom, explaining that she didn't get the chance to meet some of her grandkids before she passed away. The actress added, "We often speak of 'mommy's mommy,' and I find myself trying to explain the illness that took her away from us. They have asked if the same could happen to me."

Jolie added that her doctors had concluded that she was at  "high risk" and could develop breast or ovarian cancer because of her family history: Both her mother and grandmother were diagnosed with cancer at different points in their lives. She made the decision to say yes to a double mastectomy as a preventive measure. She wrote, "I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made." 

The actress added that her odds had greatly improved thanks to the surgery and urged other women to get tested and stay proactive. Around two weeks after Jolie underwent surgery, the actress lost one of her aunts to breast cancer (via The Guardian). Additionally, Jolie underwent more procedures in 2015 to safeguard herself against the possibility of developing ovarian cancer, according to an article by The BBC.

She was in the spotlight for the wrong reasons in her 20s

Angelina Jolie wasn't always understood by the media especially when she was in her 20s. The actress told Elle in a candid interview that she was often portrayed as a rebellious person but that wasn't the case as far as she was concerned. She said, "...In fact it wasn't a need to be destructive or rebellious — it's that need to find a full voice, to push open the walls around you. You want to be free ... it may come out very strange, it may be interpreted wrong, but you're trying to find out who you are."

She also revealed that she had understood at a young age that she didn't want to stop herself from doing the things that she wanted to pursue because she genuinely wanted to be happy. Jolie added that she knew that she had to follow her instincts even if that meant being a little unconventional. As she explained, "...The only way to feel that I'm on the right path is just to be true to myself, whatever that may be, and that tends to come with stepping out of something that's maybe safe or traditional."