relation shipsJolie had a serious boyfriend for two years from the age of 14. Her mother allowed them to live together in her home, of which Jolie later said, "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. She made the choice, and because of it, I continued to go to school every morning and explored my first relationship in a safe way." She has compared the relationship to a marriage in its emotional intensity, and said that the breakup compelled her to dedicate herself to her acting career at the age of 16.
During filming of Hackers (1995), Jolie had a romance with British actor Jonny Lee Miller, her first lover since the relationship in her early teens. They were not in touch for many months after production ended, but eventually reconnected and married soon after on March 28, 1996. She attended her wedding in black rubber pants and a white T-shirt, upon which she had written the groom's name in her blood. Jolie and Miller separated in September 1997 and divorced on February 3, 1999. They remained on good terms, and Jolie later explained, "It comes down to timing. I think he's the greatest husband a girl could ask for. I'll always love him, we were simply too young."
Jolie had a brief relationship with model-actress Jenny Shimizu on the set of Foxfire (1996). She later said, "I would probably have married Jenny if I hadn't married my husband. I fell in love with her the first second I saw her." Shimizu claimed in 2005 that her relationship with Jolie had lasted many years and continued even while Jolie was romantically involved with other people. In 2003, asked if she was bisexual, Jolie responded, "Of course. If I fell in love with a woman tomorrow, would I feel that it's okay to want to kiss and touch her? If I fell in love with her? Absolutely! Yes!"
After a two-month courtship, Jolie married actor Billy Bob Thornton on May 5, 2000, in Las Vegas, Nevada. They met on the set of Pushing Tin (1999), but did not pursue a relationship at that time as Thornton was engaged to actress Laura Dern. As a result of their frequent public declarations of passion and gestures of love—most famously wearing one another's blood in vials around their necks—their marriage became a favorite topic of the entertainment media. Jolie and Thornton announced the adoption of a son from Cambodia in March 2002, but abruptly separated three months later. Their divorce was finalized on May 27, 2003. Asked about the sudden dissolution of their marriage, Jolie stated, "It took me by surprise, too, because overnight, we totally changed. I think one day we had just nothing in common. And it's scary but... I think it can happen when you get involved and you don't know yourself yet."
In early 2005, Jolie was involved in a well-publicized Hollywood scandal when she was accused of being the reason for the divorce of actors Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. She and Pitt were alleged to have started an affair during filming of Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005). She denied this on several occasions, but later admitted that they "fell in love" on the set. She explained in 2005, "To be intimate with a married man, when my own father cheated on my mother, is not something I could forgive. I could not look at myself in the morning if I did that. I wouldn't be attracted to a man who would cheat on his wife." Jolie and Pitt did not publicly comment on the nature of their relationship until January 2006, when Jolie confirmed to People that she was pregnant with Pitt's child. Pitt and Jolie announced their engagement in April 2012, after seven years together.
childrenOn March 10, 2002, Jolie adopted her first child, seven-month-old Maddox Chivan, from an orphanage in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He was born as Rath Vibol on August 5, 2001, in a local village. Jolie applied for adoption after she had visited Cambodia twice, while filming Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) and on a UNHCR field mission. The adoption process was halted in December 2001 when the U.S. government banned adoptions from Cambodia amid allegations of child trafficking. Once the adoption was finalized, she took custody of Maddox in Namibia, where she was filming Beyond Borders (2003). Although Jolie and her then-husband Billy Bob Thornton announced the adoption together, she in fact adopted Maddox as a single parent.
Jolie adopted a daughter, six-month-old Zahara Marley, from an orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on July 6, 2005. Zahara was born as Yemsrach on January 8, 2005, in Awasa. At the time of the adoption, Zahara was wrongly believed to be an AIDS orphan and it was unknown whether she herself had contracted HIV, but she later tested negative. Shortly after they returned to the United States, Zahara was hospitalized for dehydration and malnutrition. In November 2007, media outlets reported that Zahara's biological mother wanted her daughter back, but she denied these reports, saying she thought Zahara was "very fortunate" to have been adopted by Jolie.
Jolie was accompanied by her partner Brad Pitt when she traveled to Ethiopia to take custody of Zahara. She later indicated she and Pitt had made the decision to adopt from Ethiopia together. In December 2005, Pitt's publicist announced that Pitt was seeking to adopt Maddox and Zahara. To reflect this, Jolie filed a request to legally change her children's surnames from Jolie to Jolie-Pitt, which was granted on January 19, 2006. The adoptions were finalized soon after.
In an attempt to avoid the media frenzy surrounding their relationship, Jolie and Pitt went to Namibia for the birth of their first biological child. On May 27, 2006, Jolie gave birth to a daughter, Shiloh Nouvel, in Swakopmund. Pitt confirmed that their newborn daughter would hold dual American and Namibian nationality. The couple decided to sell the first pictures of Shiloh through the distributor Getty Images themselves, rather than allowing paparazzi to make these valuable photographs. All profits were donated to charities serving African children.
On March 15, 2007, Jolie adopted a son, three-year-old Pax Thien, from an orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam. He was born as Pham Quang Sang on November 29, 2003, in HCMC, where he was abandoned soon after birth. Jolie adopted Pax as a single parent as Vietnam's adoption regulations do not allow unmarried couples to co-adopt. In April, Jolie filed a request to legally change her son's surname from Jolie to Jolie-Pitt, which was approved on May 31, 2007. Pitt's adoption of Pax was finalized in the United States on February 21, 2008.
At the Cannes Film Festival in May 2008, Jolie confirmed that she was expecting twins. For the two weeks she spent in a seaside hospital in Nice, France, reporters and photographers camped outside on the promenade. She gave birth to a son, Knox Léon, and a daughter, Vivienne Marcheline, on July 12, 2008. The rights for the first images of Knox and Vivienne were jointly sold to People and Hello! for a reported $14 million—the most expensive celebrity pictures ever taken. The proceeds were donated to the Jolie-Pitt Foundation.
Jolie is a private pilot and often travels with her children in a Cirrus SR22.
cancer prevent ion treat mentOn February 16, 2013, at the age of 37, Jolie underwent a preventive double mastectomy after learning she had an 87% risk of developing breast cancer due to a defective BRCA1 gene. Her family history warranted genetic testing for BRCA mutations: her mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand, had breast cancer and died from ovarian cancer in 2007 at the age of 56, while her maternal grandmother had ovarian cancer and died aged 45. Her maternal aunt Debbie Martin, who had the same defective BRCA1 gene as Jolie, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and died at age 61 on May 26, 2013.Jolie's mastectomy lowered her chances of developing breast cancer to under 5 percent, and testing of the removed breast tissue showed no signs of cancerous cells. On April 27, Jolie had reconstructive surgery involving implants and allografts (transplants). She reportedly intends to undergo a preventive oophorectomy (ovariectomy), as she still has a 50% risk of developing ovarian cancer due to the same genetic anomaly.
Jolie kept news of her mastectomy private until she had completed the three-month process. On May 14, The New York Times published an op-ed titled "My Medical Choice" in which Jolie wrote about her decision and procedures, with the aim of helping other women make informed health choices. To that end, her treatment regimen was posted on the website of the Pink Lotus Breast Center, where she was treated. In her piece—published concurrently with U.S. Supreme Court deliberations on BRCA gene patent rights held by Myriad Genetics—Jolie acknowledged the largely prohibitive cost of BRCA gene testing and advocated wider accessibility. On June 13, 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that isolated genes are not patentable, invalidating the BRCA gene patents held by Myriad Genetics.
Jolie's announcement drew extensive public attention; a Time cover story titled "The Angelina Effect" observed that Jolie brought "genetic testing in the spotlight," and noted her ability to influence people on a large scale. Various public figures applauded Jolie for her decision; UK foreign secretary William Hague, who visited refugee camps in Congo-Kinshasa with Jolie in March, called her "an inspiration to many." Most medical experts who weighed in publicly agreed that Jolie made the right choice for herself, but differed in their response to its expected influence on the public. Her decision was met with praise from health campaigners, who welcomed her raising awareness of the options available to those at risk, while other experts feared a widespread overestimation of BRCA mutation occurrence, as less than 1% of all women carry this genetic condition, and a misunderstanding of the risks involved for those who do test positive. Eric Topol, a geneticist and director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in California, told attendees at a genetics symposium "This is the moment that will propel genomic medicine forward", saying that Jolie's announcement was "incredibly important symbolically".