Who is Zahara Jolie-Pitt?
Zahara Jolie-Pitt is the adopted daughter of former celebrity couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. She is part of the extensive Jolie-Pitt family along with her three brothers and two sisters. In 2006, she appeared in the episode '20 Cutest Celebrity Babies' of the TV series 'VH1: All Access'. She had a short uncredited role in her mother's 2014 dark fantasy film 'Maleficent'. In 2016, she voiced the character of Meng Meng in the animated movie 'Kung Fu Panda 3'. Considering that her elder brother Maddox recently acted alongside their mother in the film 'First They Killed My Father', which Jolie also wrote, produced and directed, it is likely that Zahara might also start her professional career in a family project. While talking about where she sees her children in the future, Jolie stated that they will probably be scattered around the world, some continuing her international humanitarian work.
The Meteoric Rise to Stardom
Zahara Jolie-Pitt has been a regular face on media since she was adopted by her high profile parents. She is known for giving photographers the 'death-stare', but is very girlie, "maternal", and "full of joy", according to Jolie. She has made numerous appearances at various events along with her family. However, she recently made news headlines after her biological mother surfaced in the media, expressing her willingness to contact her.
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Behind The Curtains
Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt was born on January 8, 2005 in Awasa, Ethiopia. She was only six months old when Angelina Jolie and her then-boyfriend Brad Pitt adopted her from an orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on July 6, 2005. The couple took the decision to adopt an Ethiopian child after visiting the country together earlier that year. Following the adoption, she was named Zahara Marley Jolie, and after a year, when Pitt officially adopted her, her name was changed to Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt. She is the second adopted child of the couple, after Maddox Chivan, and also the third child overall as Pax Thien, who was adopted a year later, is older than her.
She also has three younger siblings – the three biological children of the couple – Shiloh Nouvel, Knox Léon and Vivienne Marcheline. From Jolie's side, she is the granddaughter of actors Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand. Zahara's adopted parents announced their engagement in April 2012, after seven years of dating. They got married on August 23, 2014, at their estate Château Miraval in Correns, France. However, they separated two years later in September 2016, after Pitt's alcohol problem led to an altercation between him and Maddox, following which Jolie requested for sole physical custody of their kids. The children reportedly had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that Pitt was no longer with them, but Jolie allowed them to spend time with him on Father's Day.
Controversies Regarding Birth
Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt was initially thought to be an AIDS orphan when Angelina Jolie first adopted her, as her biological grandmother's official testimony said that her parents had died of AIDS. However, her biological mother, Mentewab Dawit Lebiso, has come forward recently, revealing the true story behind her birth. According to her accounts, she became pregnant with Zahara after being brutally raped. After her birth, both she and her child were sickly, and coming from a poverty-stricken family, she was unable to support her daughter. In an earlier interview she had said that she left her daughter with her mother as she could not cope with the struggle of being a young mother. According to this version of the story, it was Zahara's grandmother who put her up for adoption. However, her mother has recently stated that she herself had arranged the adoption as she could not support her daughter financially. In an interview in January 2017, she stated that she misses her daughter and would not let her go if she gets another chance. She also acknowledged that Jolie has done a lot for her daughter, and had been a real mother to her, for which she is ever so grateful. While she clarified that she does not have any intention to disrupt the life her daughter now has, she wants Zahara to remember that she has a family back in Ethiopia. She also urged Angelina Jolie to let her get in touch with her daughter. Interestingly, in June 2017, it was reported that Jolie was contemplating a trip to Ethiopia for the family to celebrate Zahara’s adoption anniversary. The Jolie-Pitt family has been known for travelling around the world; however, this time Pitt was not allowed to accompany them as Angelina Jolie was still nursing a broken heart. It is important to note that Jolie has always made sure that her adopted children are aware of their cultural heritage.