Details About Brad Pitt's Relationship With Daughter Zahara

The following article includes references to child abuse and sexual assault.

Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt is considered Hollywood royalty but her origin story was anything but glamorous. After being born in Ethiopia in 2005, she was declared an orphan, according to People. As an infant, she was adopted by Angelina Jolie while she was on a humanitarian trip. Jolie's partner at the time, Brad Pitt, went on to legally adopt her and she was given both of their surnames. Despite having A-list actors as her parents, Zahara, like her siblings, has managed to grow up away from the spotlight. However, in 2016 her life drastically changed when her mother filed for divorce


With the couple now apart, much of their family drama has played out in the press. Since the divorce announcement, it was rumored that Zahara's brother Maddox had a strained relationship with Brad. Some have speculated that all of the children took Jolie's side due to the siblings accompanying her, and not their father, on red carpets. While Angelina and Zahara have always been glued at the hip, where does her relationship with her dad really stand?

Brad is proud of Zahara's college journey

A child heading off to college is an emotional time for every parent. College is a time for them to fully embrace adulthood and learn independence. When Zahara Jolie-Pitt started her journey at Spelman College, her famous mother was right by her side. The actor was seen dropping her off on campus and holding back tears while speaking to other parents. "I'm going to start crying if I talk about today. I haven't started crying yet so ... hopefully, I can hold it together," Jolie joked, according to Page Six. The proud mom even took to her Instagram to share a photo of her daughter at school.


 "Zahara with her Spelman sisters! Congratulations to all new students starting this year. A very special place and an honor to have a family member as a new Spelman girl," she captioned one photo. Though her father Brad Pitt wasn't seen on campus, that doesn't mean he wasn't proud of Zahara's new beginning. While promoting the film "Bullet Train," the actor spoke lovingly about the college freshman. "I'm so proud of her," Pitt told Vanity Fair. "She's so smart. She's going to flourish even more at college. It's an exciting and beautiful time to find her own way and pursue her interests. I'm so proud." 

Zahara skipped out on celebrating Christmas at the Pitt household

The holidays are always reserved for family time. With a family as big as the Jolie-Pitts, the holidays are bound to be special. However, after Brad Pitt and Angelia Jolie's divorce battle began, the holidays were never the same. In 2019, a source told Us Weekly that Brad was looking forward to celebrating Christmas Eve with his children. The actor was granted some rare alone time with the children. Following Angelina's divorce filing in 2016, a monitor was ordered to remain present during Brad's time with his kids.


The source further alleged that Zahara was expected to skip the celebration, despite attending the previous year. His sons Maddox and Pax were also rumored to have skipped the celebration due to not being on speaking terms with him. 

Instead, Brad's Christmas Eve celebration only included his three youngest children, Shiloh, and twins Knox and Vivienne. Despite the snub, Brad is still supportive of his kids' decision. "He supports his kids and what makes them happy," a source told E! News. "They are old enough now where they can make decisions and he doesn't stand in the way. He's encouraged them to be whoever they want to be. He wouldn't ask for anything different."

Brad couldn't picture his life without Zahara

Before her adoption in 2005, Zahara Jolie-Pitt was living in Ethiopia. Her biological mother, Mentwabe Dawit, confirmed to Reuters that Zahara was conceived through rape. Soon after giving birth to her, she found it impossible to provide for her child due to a lack of money and other resources. Within a few months, she ran away. Dawit's mother then placed Zahara up for adoption, and Angelina Jolie went on to adopt her when she was 7 months old. 


Brad Pitt, who legally adopted Zahara in 2006, immediately connected with her and began to look at the world in a new way. "I have seen children suffer far beyond what we experience in America — like our oldest daughter [Zahara]," he told Parade in 2011. "If she had not been adopted I know she would not be alive. I know what care was available to her and it was nil." He continued, saying, "I cannot imagine life without her." 

Brad's life as a father was far from the lifestyle many would've expected from a young Hollywood playboy, but he embraced it. "[Fatherhood] is the funniest, most lovely thing I've ever taken on," he told V Magazine back in 2007. "And the biggest pain in the ass as well. And I couldn't go back. I couldn't imagine it any other way."  Zahara's adoption was undoubtedly a pivotal moment in both of their lives.


If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

A scary incident with Zahara convinced Brad Pitt to change his ways

Having children is a life-altering decision for anyone – but this is especially true if you're a famous actor. When Brad Pitt adopted Maddox and Zahara Jolie-Pitt, a lot about his life had to change. Before long, he learned that hangovers and fatherhood didn't quite mesh.


In 2007, the actor revealed how a scary moment with Zahara made him reevaluate his lifestyle. "It's not easy to be a good father when you've had a few drinks," the actor admitted to Total Film magazine. "About a year ago I'd had a couple of beers and my daughter Zahara had this piece of ice that had been dropped on the floor, and she was putting it in her mouth and began to choke on it, and that was it."

After that terrifying parenting moment, Pitt knew he needed to cut down on drinking to be a more alert and present parent. You have to be absolutely on top of every situation," he explained. Over the years, the famous dad found himself doing anything to make his daughters happy. This is something Angelina Jolie noted back in 2014. The actor revealed that it was hard for her then-husband to ever say no to their daughters. ​​"Brad [thinks] girls can do no wrong," she told Radio Times. "He's mush in their hands."


Brad pulled daddy duties with Zahara

When he wasn't filming Hollywood movies, Brad Pitt was pulling daddy duty with his two daughters, Zahara and Shiloh Jolie-Pitt.

In 2015, paparazzi caught the proud dad at a soccer game, cheering on his daughters alongside Angelina and other parents. Brad looked just like any regular dad on the sidelines. This wasn't the first time paparazzi caught the A-lister in the middle of daddy duty. Over the years, paparazzi camped outside Zahara's school and caught glimpses of Brad dropping her off and picking her up like a regular dad. Despite their not-so-regular level of fame, their lives still reflected some normalcy. 


Instead of private homeschool lessons, Zahara and the other Jolie-Pitt children attended school – something Brad had reportedly always pushed for. In 2017, the exes agreed that their children would continue to attend traditional schooling. "Brad wants the kids to be in a school setting, and not isolated being homeschooled," a source told Us Weekly.

Zahara witnessed the infamous plane incident

The world was shocked when Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Brad Pitt in 2016. Following the news, a statement was released to USA Today, raising eyebrows among fans. "This decision was made for the health of the family," Robert Offer, Angelina's attorney, revealed in the statement. "She will not be commenting at this time, and asks that the family be given their privacy during this difficult time." 


In the divorce filing, Angelina petitioned for primary custody of her and Brad's six children. It was then revealed that Brad was under investigation for child abuse. TMZ reported that just days before Angelina filed for divorce, the family was on a private jet flying from France to California. During the flight, Brad was allegedly drunk and verbally and physically abusive to his children. Though Brad denied the abuse, a source later alleged to Us Weekly that the actor had a physical confrontation with his son Maddox, who stepped in to defend Angelina after Brad's angry outburst. According to Page Six, the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services subsequently began an investigation, and due to the incident occurring on a tarmac in Minnesota, the FBI also became involved.


Family services questioned both Brad and Angelina, as well as interviewed Zahara and her five siblings. Brad was later cleared of the child abuse charges. In 2022, new details from the FBI investigation were revealed by Rolling Stone: Angelina alleged that Pitt grabbed her by the head and lunged at their son Maddox. Angelina recalled feeling worried about her children's safety and reportedly placed Brad in a chokehold.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

Zahara has reportedly taken her mother's side during the divorce

During a divorce, some children find themselves stuck in the middle. In the case of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's 2016 divorce battle, their six children reportedly felt the need to take sides.

Despite being apart, the two exes reportedly still don't see eye to eye — and neither do the children. In 2022, a source told OK! magazine they have taken different stances. While Shiloh Jolie-Pitt has reportedly remained neutral, her adopted brothers and sister remain loyal to their mother. "Maddox, Pax, and Zahara don't really see both sides of the picture," the source explained. "They're Team Angelina and essentially kicked their dad to the curb years ago." 


In 2021, Maddox made the brave decision to testify against Brad during a custody battle hearing. According to Us Weekly, his testimony revealed his damaged relationship with his father. "He doesn't use Pitt as his last name on documents that aren't legal and instead uses Jolie," a source divulged. '"Maddox wants to legally change his last name to Jolie, which Angelina has said she doesn't support." 

While Zahara, Maddox, and Pax seem set on cutting off their father, Shiloh may still hope the family can mend their relationship. "She's encouraging them to have a relationship with their dad because he's always been there for them, and he's a human being," a source told OK! magazine.

Zahara continued to visit her father during lockdown

During the lockdown, the entire world came to a screeching halt. Some long-distance families went months if not years without seeing each other. People all over the world socially distanced themselves for safety and had to find new ways to keep themselves connected and occupied.


For Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's children, the lockdown meant all of the kids were reunited under their mother's roof. With Angelina's work placed on pause, it meant she finally got the chance to enjoy extended time with her children.

According to E! News, Zahara and her five siblings, each did their schoolwork from home and enjoyed having family time with each other. Despite staying with Angelina during the lockdown, Zahara and the other Jolie-Pitt children reportedly made sure to keep in touch with her father. "All the kids are home with Angelina but they have continued seeing Brad and go over for their regular visits," a source explained to the outlet in 2020. "They are having a lot of family time and just hanging out together watching movies." 


Zahara went to a comedy show on her dad's birthday (without him)

Birthdays are kind of a big deal for families, but it's not always the kid that gets celebrated. Mom and Dad have birthdays too, and often choose to spend it with their children. After all, they're the ones that they love the most, and isn't that what big events are always about? Unfortunately, while there was almost certainly a time when the Jolie-Pitt family bonded together to commemorate these occasions, those days could be long gone. When Brad Pitt turned 59 in 2022, Zahara Jolie-Pitt wasn't snapped by her father's side. Instead, she was pictured enjoying a comedy show with her brother, Maddox Jolie-Pitt in Inglewood, California.


Although the two siblings probably wanted to stay incognito at the Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle gig, they didn't fly under the radar. They were seemingly guarded by two bodyguards, which makes perfect sense considering just how famous these celebrity kids are. As for Pitt, he spent the day spending some quality time with his girlfriend, Ines de Ramon. Photos published in multiple publications such as Page Six show the pair chatting and laughing in Hollywood, before making their way inside an establishment. 

Whether Pitt wanted to spend the evening with his kids is up for debate, but there's no doubt that the actor's preferred birthday celebrations have changed since his marriage to Angelina Jolie ended. No longer a family man who lives with his children, Pitt is free to explore other avenues. 


Zahara no longer uses the surname Pitt

Having the same last name as your parents is a tradition that dates back centuries. It's commonplace for kids to take their father's surname, but in some cases, it can be double-barreled with the mother's surname, too. That's exactly what Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie did with their kids, Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, Knox, and Vivienne Jolie-Pitt. It's not something that has ever been discussed ... until lately. 


There has been a lot of speculation about the "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" actor and his relationship with his kids since the infamous plane incident and his subsequent divorce from Jolie. While neither one of the ex-spouses has commented on where Pitt stands with his kids, certain things give fans pause for thought. In November 2023, Zahara had opted to drop Pitt from her name, instead referring to herself as Zahara Marley Jolie in a video of her sorority induction found by Essence.

The busy Alpha Kappa Alpha event was attended by many, so it's not surprising word quickly got out of Zahara's casual statement. In the video, she can be heard saying, "My name is Zahara Marley Jolie and I landed all the way from the Golden State in the city full of angels: Los Angeles, California." Her father has previously said how proud he was of his daughter's enrollment in the historic Spelman University, but how he feels about this name change remains to be seen. 


Brad Pitt didn't attend Zahara's important college event

Going to college is a big deal for anyone, but when you're a famous kid all eyes are going to be on you and your journey. If Zahara Jolie-Pitt didn't know that already, she's certainly finding out now. Many parents like to be there at big college events to show their kids that they are supported and cared for, but there's someone noticeably absent from Zahara's recent celebrations. Her mom, Angelina Jolie, was right by her side at a fancy luncheon thrown after Zahara's Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority probate, but where was her dad? 


Brad Pitt was nowhere to be seen, even though Pax and Maddox Jolie-Pitt were there to rally around their sister and honor her achievements. It's not clear why Pitt felt like he couldn't be involved in the family get-together, but considering just how acrimonious his divorce from Jolie has been, it's not out of this world to imagine that they simply can't be in the same room together. They were Hollywood's "it" couple once, but those days are long gone.

Zahara's dropping of Pitt from her surname might also indicate that she isn't in the best place with her father right now, but only those in the Pitt-Jolie family's inner circle can really attest to that. We may not know all the ins and outs, but it says a lot that Pitt is absent from these big occasions. 


Zahara and Brad Pitt used to go to parties together

It may seem like an eternity ago now, but there was a time when Brad Pitt and Zahara Jolie-Pitt were spotted together all the time. Back when Pitt was still married to Angelina Jolie, they seemed to have the perfect family setup. The actor was often snapped having a good time with Zahara, and even took her to birthday parties. In 2010, when she was still a little girl and not the college sorority member she is today, Zahara was whisked to a Hollywood kid's birthday party by her dad. 


The pair attended the soiree of Toni Cornell, the daughter of late musician Chris Cornell, which was held at the American Girl store in Hollywood's The Grove shopping center. In photos published by Radar Online, Pitt can be seen wearing a cap and sunglasses as he holds Zahara's hand like a doting dad. A parent taking a child to a birthday party may not seem like a big deal, but this blast from the past shows just how close the two were when Zahara was little. 

Some of the other activities Pitt was pictured doing with his daughter when she was small include a horse-drawn carriage ride through New York City's Central Park, where they enjoyed ice cream and some quality time together. Even A-listers know how important that father-daughter bond is when it comes to making magical memories that last a lifetime. 


Zahara didn't defend her father when Pax's explosive rant came out

The past few years have been undeniably tricky for the Jolie-Pitt family. There has been more speculation and gossip in the press about this Hollywood dynasty than most, for multiple reasons. In November 2023, the rumor mill was fueled once more when the Daily Mail ran a story about a scathing Instagram attack Pax Jolie-Pitt reportedly launched against his father, Brad Pitt, in 2020. Pax, pictured above as a youngster alongside his sister, Zahara Jolie-Pitt, didn't hold back.  


According to the Daily Mail, Pax said, "You have made the lives of those closest to me a constant hell. You may tell yourself and the world whatever you want, but the truth will come to light someday." He finished the online attack by dubbing his dad a "f***ing awful human being." Interestingly, none of Pitt's other kids came to his defense. It could be argued that Shiloh, Knox, and Vivienne Jolie-Pitt are still minors, but Zahara, at 18, has the autonomy to jump to her father's aid if she feels the need to. 

However, she has remained tellingly quiet on the subject. Sometimes, silence speaks a thousand words. As for how Pitt feels about the entire situation, a source told The Sun that the actor "has great respect for all of his children and it's depressing to see this dragged up." Just like his daughter, Pitt has kept his lips sealed. 


It's been years since they were pictured together

As we previously mentioned, there was a time when Brad Pitt was spotted with his kids all the time. Before the divorce, the actor was frequently seen with his kids doing all sorts of things, from traveling to enjoying time together and hanging out. That all changed when he split from Jolie under less-than-amicable circumstances. Suddenly, Pitt wasn't spotted with his kids at all. He hasn't been photographed with Zahara Jolie-Pitt for years now. All of the existing shots seem to date back to before the family unit imploded, which makes an interesting statement. 


Comparatively, Jolie has been snapped with Zahara and the couple's other children, on multiple occasions. The actress brought her daughter and her siblings to the premiere of her Marvel movie, "Eternals," and has been spotted out on the town with Zahara frequently. When Jolie spoke up about the Violence Against Women Act at the U.S. Capitol in 2022, Zahara was right there, holding her mother's hand. 

Considering just how eager Zahara is to be with her mom in public (and how her mom still comes to big college events) it certainly looks like Zahara, and the rest of the Jolie-Pitt children for that matter, has publically picked which side she wants to stand on — and it isn't anywhere near Pitt. Perhaps there are more complex factors at play, but in Hollywood, appearance is everything. 


Brad Pitt is reportedly mending his relationship with Zahara

Divorce can have a huge impact on children. It's not just famous kids who struggle with navigating those tricky waters. Unfortunately for Zahara Jolie-Pitt, her family issues are plastered all over the media, but despite how difficult things have been, there could be hope. A report in In Touch Weekly published in October 2023 claims that Brad Pitt is trying to mend fences with his children. An insider told the outlet that the actor has "turned a corner" in his life and has been able to prioritize what matters most to him, his well-being and his family. 


Pitt allegedly sees his minor children, Shiloh, Vivienne, and Knox regularly, but only speaks to Zahara and Pax — but talking is better than nothing. "He lost a lot of precious time with them during the custody battle," said the source. "He's determined not to miss any more." The insider also goes on to state that Pitt hopes to make full amends by eventually smoothing things over with Angelina Jolie, though admittedly, that's easier said than done. 

Even if Pitt is trying to right any wrongs, whatever went down over the last few years behind closed doors might have a lasting effect. After all, it was only recently, after the In Touch article ran, that Zahara dropped Pitt from her last name while at her sorority college event. It may take more than a lick of paint to fix this fence.