A tabloid has just published nude and provocative photos of Angelina Jolie, the Academy Award winning international superstar. The photos were taken years before she became famous, and what they all have in common is that the actress looks desperately unhappy.
The most disturbing part is that the photographer claims she was participating in a 14 hour heroin smoking binge. Jolie, 35, grew up in Hollywood and both of her parents were actors. She began modeling at 14, and was always beautiful.
Nevertheless, she frequently thought of suicide as a teenager, and even asked people to kill her. She considered herself an outcast at exclusive Beverly Hills High School. Jolie was devastated by the divorce of her parents, and had few friends.
She says the in crowd rejected her. From her viewpoint, she was too poor, didn’t have the right clothes, and could not compete with the lifestyles of her classmates. She never remembers being happy and became a “wild child drug and sex addict.”
When the photos were taken her life was in a downward spiral. She had help along the way, especially from her late mother, and eventually changed her behavior from destructive to constructive.
The big change came when she stopped thinking about herself. Through her mother, she learned empathy for the less fortunate. She also credits her mother with demonstrating real joy in doing things for others.
“It was never something she had to do, but she wanted to make a difference,” Jolie says.
The actress contributed $1 million earlier this year to Doctors Without Borders for their emergency efforts in Haiti, and volunteered her time in the clinics of Port au Prince.
She has now contributed over $9 million to programs to assist refugees and charities for children.
Jolie also spent four months in Africa to assist these organizations, and is the Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Jolie also serves as Gala Chair for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and is one of the few actresses who is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
The actress says volunteering is far more important to her than Hollywood: “Years ago my life lacked a focus and purpose. I was very unhappy, but now I have stopped thinking about myself and my work with refugees is highly rewarding.”
Angelina Jolie will continue to be a controversial celebrity, but she has an important message for us.
If you want to read more see:
Angelina Jolie: Angel in Disguise by Edgar McFay, Icon Press