LOS ANGELES — Raising the child who accused his famous parents of beating him is a toxic process in many ways, but for Maddox Jolie-Pitt it might have been even more difficult than most.
Long a figure of parental mystery, the 15-year-old skipped Angelina Jolie’s tour of Cambodia earlier this month to meet with the American Embassy to talk about his allegations that his parents had beaten him with a baseball bat and an iron, sources close to his current life tell The Hollywood Reporter.
The report details an unlikely situation: a Hollywood starlet and her wealthy actor-husband brought the healthy adolescent up in an intensely public spotlight and had him provide testimony against his father.
But there’s a more telling detail that makes this situation even more unusual: the Cambodian embassy provided him with a translator, an eyewitness who had met with Maddox tells THR, and most intriguingly, Maddox said he was in “good mood.”
While the spotlight shines high on Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, their child is shut out from the world.
“Brad said: ‘Here, say, “You’re torturing me,”’ said Mam Nat, 35, a fellow Cambodian who like Maddox is a member of the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Charitable Foundation. “He wanted him to give them an answer. … Maddox said: ‘You’re torturing me!’ They both let out big laughs.”
A source close to the case, however, told THR that “the American Embassy made the decision” to use a translator. “Maddox was very brave,” said the source. “He doesn’t want to hurt his parents.”
In a brief statement to THR, Angie’s attorney Withers Yost brushed off a question about any wrongdoing by his client, adding: “At no time did the US Embassy pressure Angie or their son Maddox to participate in the interview. We will not comment on the confidential nature of any matters relating to Mr. Pitt or Ms. Jolie, children or not.”
Estate agents tell the THR that Maddox has gotten a lot of attention since he joined his family in a rented home in Los Feliz this month. Yet because Jolie often tapes her press sessions with the press, it is unclear whether he, or his brother Pax or their mother and father, have been on screen.
In the past, a working-class boy from Los Angeles has been welcomed more than an aristocratic scholar from France. Yet Pitt, 50, and Jolie, 38, took this path to unprecedented power by marrying and working together on their film “By the Sea.” The public explanation now appears to be a different one, based in reality, and in the harsh glare of the Cambodian case.