Most people know Angelina Jolie as the butt-kicking actress in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, one-half of the now-defunct Brangelina, and a humanitarian who has committed the majority of her adult life to participating in charity work across the globe. But there are some lesser known controversies associated with the Academy Award-winning actress that paint a much darker and more disturbing picture. Here are a few of them.
Did she exploit poor Cambodian children?
In July 2017, Vanity Fair ran an in-depth feature on Jolie that included a discussion about the casting process for her film First They Killed My Father.
According to contributing editor Evgenia Peretz, “In order to find their lead, to play young Loung Ung, the casting directors set up a game, rather disturbing in its realism: they put money on the table and asked the child to think of something she needed the money for, and then to snatch it away. The director would pretend to catch the child, and the child would have to come up with a lie.”
Srey Moch, the actress who was chosen for the role, reportedly stared at the money for a long time before she grabbed it. When she was forced to give it back to the director, “she became overwhelmed with emotion,” Jolie said, tearing up as she spoke. “When she was asked later what the money was for, she said her grandfather had died, and they didn’t have enough money for a nice funeral.”
When the article was released, Jolie was slammed for allegedly exploiting the children, but her camp called it a “misunderstanding.” Jolie’s lawyer asked the magazine to remove a portion of the original article from its website and to publish a statement clarifying that the “children were not tricked as some have suggested… All of the children auditioning were made aware of the fictional aspect of the exercise and were tended to at all times by relatives or guardians from NGOs…”
She was the leader of the ‘Kissy Girls’ in kindergarten
Jolie has been very open through the years about personal aspects of her life, but now that the outspoken actress is a mom to six kids, we can’t help but wonder if she’d like to redact portions of this 2007 interview about her childhood.
“I was a member of a group called the Kissy Girls. I was very sexual in kindergarten,’ she told OK! magazine (via the Daily Mail). “I created a game where I would kiss the boys and give them cooties. Then we would make out and we would take our clothes off. I got in a lot of trouble!”
She explored her sexuality at an early age
In a 2003 interview with Cosmopolitan, Jolie revealed that her mother let Jolie’s first serious boyfriend live with them in their home. Some may call that lax parenting, but Jolie saw it as her mom being “caring and nurturing.”
“I was either going to be reckless on the streets with my boyfriend or he was going to be with me in my bedroom with my mom in the next room because I was going to have a boyfriend,” Jolie recalled. Because of her mom’s decision, “I continued to go to school every morning and explored my first relationship in a safe way,” she said.
She’s fascinated with blood
Jolie’s obsession with blood appears to have continued throughout her adult life.
An insider told InTouch magazine that when her kids get a scrape, Jolie saves “their discarded bandages in a large jar.” How’s that for a keepsake?
And then there was the time she walked the red carpet wearing a vial of blood belonging to her second husband, actor Billy Bob Thornton. The couple divorced in 2003, but years later, Thornton opened up about his ex’s fascination with blood during an event at Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film & Television (via E! Online): “You know those lockets you buy that are clear and you put a picture of your grannie in it or something like that and wear it around your neck? That’s what it was. She bought two of those … She thought it would be interesting and romantic if we took a little razorblade and sliced our fingers, smeared a little blood on these lockets and you wear it around your neck just like you wear your son or daughter’s baby hair in one. Same thing.”
She collects knives
It makes sense that someone with an affinity for blood would also be attracted to sharp knives, right?
In an interview with Barbara Walters (via ABC News), Jolie talked about collecting blades from around the world. “They are not shiny, brand-new sharp knives from the store. They’re antique beautiful knives from other countries,” she said.
In a 2003 interview with Cosmopolitan, which took place a year after she adopted her first son, Jolie explained that she keeps her collection out of reach of her son. “I love [Maddox], and I would never let anything happen to him,” she said.
Did she lie about her love life?
Following her divorce from Thornton, Jolie gave a customarily candid interview to the New York Post in 2004. She was raising Maddox as a single mom at the time, but she definitely wasn’t lonely.
Jolie revealed that she decided to get “closer to men who were already very close friends” to keep herself satisfied. “As crazy as that sounds, meeting a man in a hotel room for a few hours and then going back and putting my son to bed and not seeing that man again for a few months is about what I can handle now,” she said. Who was on her friends-with-benefits roster? Jolie refused to name names.