When Brad Pitt fell for Angelina Jolie, he also developed an unconditional love for her children, Maddox and Zahara. It wasn’t until 2006 that Bragelina had their first biological child, but they never expected her to look the way she does.
Angelina Jolie adopted Cambodian orphan Maddox when he was six-months old in 2002, raising him as a single parent following her separation from Billy Bob Thornton. People were excited about Ethiopian orphan, Zahara, joining the family in 2005, but everyone was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the first Jolie-Pitt baby.
Brad and Angelina’s entire relationship created a media frenzy that didn’t seem to diminish, no matter how much the A-list couple tried to live a private life. The prying eyes into their lives led Brad and Angelina to make the decision to travel to Namibia to give birth to their daughter. Many were desperate to get a glimpse of the baby. People speculated what she would look like, surely she would have the perfect features through her blessed genetic makeup?
Expanding The Brood
Despite having a family of five, it wasn’t enough for Brad and Angelina, and they began looking to expand their brood. The year after Shiloh’s birth in 2006 came the adoption of Angelina’s fourth child, a three year old Vietnamese orphan named Pax. The international nature of their family did not change any dynamics and Angelina does not love one child more than another, biological or not. In fact, the difficulties that Angelina and Brad had adopting the children made them want them that much more.
Jolie to Jolie-Pitt
Just because Brad and Angelina were two of the most recognized people in the world, it did not mean that they had an advantage in adopting their children. In 2005, Brad and Angelina traveled together to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to take custody of six-month old orphan Zahara. Shortly after this, Brad announced his intention to adopt Maddox and Zahara, leading Angelina to file a petition to legally change their last names to Jolie-Pitt in 2006. The two children were Brad’s shortly after.
The Big Announcement
Although the media had already widely reported on Brad adopting Angelina’s children, nothing sent them wilder than when the Hollywood couple announced that Angelina was pregnant with her first biological child. The two had kept inherently private about the ins and outs of their relationship, for good reason. Brad and Angelina may have chosen to take a career path of fame through being some of the highest paid actors in the industry, but their children never chose this life.
Back To The Beginning
The start of Pitt and Jolie’s relationship was nothing to boast about. The two had met on the set of their film Mr. & Mrs. Smith, when Brad was married to actress Jennifer Aniston at the time. After falling for Jolie, Pitt filed for divorce from Aniston and a media frenzy ensued. While there were numerous rumors of an on-set affair, Jolie shot down allegations, stating, “To be intimate with a married man, when my own father cheated on my mother, is not something I could forgive.”
Nothing made fans of the couple more excited when they announced Angelina was expecting. This was the moment their relationship was cemented and there was no going back. After traveling to Namibia for the birth in an attempt to shake the paparazzi, Brad and Angelina confirmed they welcomed a healthy baby girl on May 27, 2006. Fans and the media couldn’t wait to get their hands on a photo and many news publications were offering hundreds of thousands of dollars for that first snap.
However, no matter how hard the world’s media tried to get close to the family, all attempts failed. Brad and Angelina had the help of Namibian authorities in keeping the paparazzi well away from them. Reporters could not gain access to the area of the hospital where the famous couple were situated without the written permission from the new parents. Moreover, security screens were then set up all around their hotel, but it was no surprise that one photographer was arrested for trying to get in.
The Big Reveal
Angelina, Brad, and baby Shiloh remained in Namibia to settle down while the media continued to go crazy back in the U.S. Many questioned if there would ever be a reveal while others speculated that the couple had signed a lucrative deal, exclusively releasing their baby’s first pictures. Finally, all was revealed and Brad and Angelina sold Shiloh’s pictures through Getty images, which ended up on the pages of People and Hello! magazine for a record breaking sum. All proceeds were donated to charity.
While everyone though that the obsession with Bragelina’s baby would soon die down, they were wrong. The media could not get enough of Shiloh Jolie-Pitt and the attention got to the point that Madame Tussauds created a waxwork of the newborn! The manager of the tourist attraction, Janine DiGioacchino stated “Even though she’s just a few months old, Shiloh is already an iconic figure in world of popular culture.” It seems delusional that a newborn baby is already an icon.
The More The Merrier
After spending some quality time alone as a family, Brad, Angelina and Shiloh returned home from Namibia to resume their lives in the U.S. However, after realizing their new family dynamic, Brad and Angelina felt that something was missing and set out on adopting yet another child. Less than a year after Shiloh was born, Angelina adopted a three year old Vietnamese orphan named Pax. Angelina was forced to apply for adopted as a single parent due to Vietnam’s law banning un-married couples adopting.
After returning to the U.S, Brad was able to adopt Pax, and he gained another son in 2008. With a family of six, the Jolie-Pitts looked to be a strong unit, despite none of them looking alike! Angelina gave a rare insight into their family and commented on the looks of their children. She admitted “Shiloh looks like Brad,” jokingly adding, “it’s funny because she’s almost going to be the outcast in the family because she’s blonde and blue-eyed.”
The paparazzi couldn’t get enough of seeing Brad and Angelina out in public with little Shiloh. The toddler looked to have inherited the best of her parents’ looks and everyone knew she was going to grow up absolutely gorgeous, but who did she look like? Angelina insisted she looked like Brad, but after seeing more photos, fans noticed that Shiloh bore a striking resemblance to her mother in her younger years. Nevertheless, she had much growing up to do and looks can always change.
While the main focus of the Jolie-Pitt’s was on Shiloh, Brad and Angelina had another announcement in May, 2008. At the Cannes Film Festival, Angelina was glowing and announced the news that she was pregnant with twins. Everyone was ecstatic and couldn’t wait for more Shiloh-looking babies. On July 12th 2008, Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline were born. Brad and Angelina went one better with their magazine deal this time and sold the pictures for a record breaking $14 million, donating all proceeds to the Jolie-Pitt Foundation.
Brad Or Shiloh?
With the twins, Knox and Vivienne, hidden away in private, the limelight was still on Shiloh. The next time the little girl appeared, she had blonde hair, beautiful blue eyes and her facial features looked like they had come straight from Brad. Shiloh resembled Brad in his younger years and people couldn’t get enough of it. Shiloh was a true Daddy’s girl but more than looking like her father, she also preferred to dress like him.
When Shiloh would make a rare appearance on a red carpet for one of her parents events of movies, she was seen wearing a suit. Despite her mom and sisters wearing pretty, girly dresses, Shiloh opted for something more masculine and sophisticated. Moreover, Shiloh’s blonde locks had been cut in a style that directly replicated her father’s look. The media can be brutal and of course they began to comment on Shiloh’s boyish looks. She was only a child.
Magazine’s began printing covers questioning the decisions of Shiloh and the parenting of Brad and Angelina. In March 2010, Life & Style had a cover asking “Why Is Angelina Turning Shiloh Into A Boy?” The article which accompanied the cover had Focus on the Family representatives weighing in and saying the lack of “gender distinction” can be extremely harmful to young children. Many began questioning whether this was appropriate for a tabloid to do and called for young, impressionable Shiloh to be left alone.
Defending The Defenseless
One organization which hit back against those claims of Focus on the Family was The National Center for Transgender Equality. They rapidly hit back “Our society needs healthy, well-rounded children whose interests and tastes are as diverse as the children themselves and are not limited by outdated stereotypes of gender.” However, the major fuel which was added to the fire was when Angelina Jolie gave an increasingly telling interview to Vanity Fair about the choices of her daughter.
Angelina candidly told the publication in 2010, “[Shiloh] likes to dress like a boy.” The actress continued, “She wants to be a boy. So we had to cut her hair. She likes to wear boys’ everything. She thinks she’s one of the brothers.” Jolie’s confession led many to question whether Shiloh was displaying the characteristics of a transgender child. The signs seemed to be there but Shiloh was at such an experimental and impressionable age that she could also just be going through a tomboy phase.
Support For Shiloh
After the news about Shiloh spread like wildfire, Celebrities and LGBT advocates began voicing their support of Brad and Angelina’s child, whatever her decision was. In 2011, Cher’s transgender son Chaz Bono offered support, saying “I would love to talk to them at some point, [And] at least let them know we have this resource for them if they ever need it. For a child who had grown up in the spotlight, under the watchful eye of the media, it can be too much to handle.
While the rumor mill went into overdrive, regarding the reports of Shiloh’s gender identity, one public figure who put her two cents in was none other than the controversial model, Amber Rose. After photos of 8-year-old Shiloh emerged at a premiere, Amber took to Instagram to post a picture of the child, accompanied by the caption, “How gorgeous is John Jolie Pitt?! Born into the perfect family for him. #TransKids #LoveurKidsNoMatterWhat#Support.” People were aggravated that Amber knew nothing about the situation, but still commented on it.
When Angelina gave insight into her family dynamic and the love for her children, many saw a link between her feelings and Shiloh’s behavior and appearance choices. The actress stated “I felt so much more for Madd, Zahara and Pax because they were survivors. Shiloh seemed so privileged from the moment she was born. But I’m conscious that I have to make sure I don’t ignore her needs, just because I think the others are more vulnerable.”
Many observed that Shiloh may not have been having a gender identity crisis, but instead, she may have just wanted to receive equal amounts of love and attention from her parents, the same as her adopted siblings. However, the news surrounding Shiloh was put to one side as there was a shocking situation which occurred in 2016. It emerged that Shiloh and her five sibling were under strain after their parents announced their very public and bitter separation. But there was more.
Brad vs. Maddox
Following the shocking news of Brad and Angelina’s split, new information came to light which blindsided fans and the media. On the family’s private plane, Brad was reported to have an altercation with 15-year-old son Maddox. Brad had allegedly “attacked” Maddox on the plane after he stepped in to defend his mother during a verbal argument between the now-estranged couple. However, after the first story was publicized, others countered it and said that Brad did not “attack” Maddox.
The eyes of the world were focused on this very public split, no matter how hard the family tried to keep it private. Rumors were spreading that Brad had a drinking and substance problem and this had spiraled and resulted him in acting adversely. On the other hand, there was also talk about Pitt having an affair with his Allied co-star Marion Cotillard, and although the reports were quickly denied, people knew there had to be something else behind the split.
As photos were released of moving trucks at the Pitt-Jolie household, media outlets got hold of the news that the FBI and the Los Angeles Department of Child and Family Services were investigating the award-winning actor for child abuse. People were shocked that humanitarian Brad could display such behavior and many questioned if he was a different person behind closed doors. However, after an in-depth inquiry, Brad was not charged after finding no evidence of abuse.
Taking Its Toll
For any child, watching their parents go through a divorce is very distressing and disruptive, but the publicized, bitter split between Brad and Angelina was increasingly hard for all of their children. However, it was reported that 11-year-old Shiloh was taking the split the hardest. A source told Radar Online “Shiloh’s not the same bubbly kid she was before Brad and Angie split, she doesn’t understand why Brad can’t be there on their family trips to Disneyland.”
Through Angelina filing for sole custody of her six children, the minors had no choice but to stick by their mother’s side. This was said to be particularly hard for Shiloh as she was such a daddy’s girl. It was also reported that Shiloh was struggling to cope with the fact that Brad was no longer around. She lacked that male figure in her life but had to abide by her mother’s rules, and for that moment, it meant staying away.
Protecting The Kids
In a revealing interview, Angelina stated in 2017, “think it’s very important to cry in the shower and not in front of the children. They need to know that everything’s going to be all right even when you’re not sure it is.” Although her quotes were in response to her life journey and getting to where she is now, they were more revealing than she had perhaps intended. Angelina was fiercely protective of her children and she always made their well-being her number one priority.
Although Brad and Angelina had split, Brad was still going to be a relevant and present figure in his children’s lives. Shiloh would still see her father and have the exact same relationship, despite the alternate circumstances. Through the support and love of her parents, Shiloh has the ability and freedom to grow up the way she wants. The beautiful young girl was morphing more and more into her father and their bond can never be broken.