The Untold Truth Of Maddox Jolie-Pitt

Maddox Jolie-Pitt is the eldest adopted son of Hollywood A-listers Angelina Jolie, who has amassed a huge net worth, and Brad Pitt (whose net worth is even greater than that of his ex-wife). He was born at the start of the millennium on August 5, 2000, in a "poor Cambodian village" (via Us Weekly) with the name "Rath Vibol," but Angelina, then married to Billy Bob Thornton, changed his name to "Maddox Chivan Jolie" once she adopted him, per Vizaca. Maddox then became "Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt" after Brad Pitt officially adopted him in 2006 (via Us Weekly).

Shortly after baby Maddox was born, he ended up at a local orphanage where he was found by Angelina on one of her trips with the U.N. Angelina adopted Maddox in 2002 after having "[fallen] in love" with Cambodia while filming "Tomb Rader" (per The U.S. Sun). Due to her love of the country, she decided to adopt one of the country's "hundreds" of orphaned babies.

According to an exclusive source interviewed by the Daily Mail, Angelina picked Maddox specifically because he "touched her heart" when he "smiled right at her" in the orphanage, forever sealing their bond. These days, Maddox is a grown adult, with interests and ambitions of his own. From his complicated early adoption to his relationship with his parents and his work in the entertainment industry, this is the untold truth of Maddox Jolie-Pitt.

Maddox Jolie-Pitt was initially adopted by a Cambodian citizen

Angelina Jolie found that adopting a child from a foreign country was complicated. According to the Daily Mail, Angelina, then a Cambodian non-citizen, received help with the adoption from a Cambodian citizen, Sarath Mounh, who offered to legally adopt Maddox Jolie-Pitt as his "father" to "cut through" some of the legal issues with adopting a baby as a non-citizen of Cambodia. Sarath then signed over full custody of Maddox to Angelina. When Maddox turned 20 in 2021, Sarath commented that he "couldn't be more proud of the way [that Maddox has] turned out" (via the Daily Mail). Indicators seemingly show that Sarath doesn't regret his decision to help Angelina.

However, the legitimacy of Maddox's adoption came under further scrutiny when the documentary "The Stolen Children" by Elizabeth Jacobs gained traction online. The documentary explores the corruption of adoption agent Lauryn Galino — the same agent that Elizabeth's parents and Angelina both used to adopt their Cambodian babies — leading many to wonder whether Angelina's adoption of young Maddox was completely legal (per OK!).

According to OK!, Lauryn was found guilty of money laundering and "falsifying documents to obtain [U.S.] visas for 'orphans,'" which sent her to prison for 18 months. Though Sarath admits he is not "100% sure" that Maddox was an orphan when Angelina adopted him, Angelina still claims she "went through great lengths to ensure that Maddox was an orphan" before adopting him (per OK!).

Maddox has worked in the entertainment industry

Maddox Jolie-Pitt doesn't seem to desire to follow in his parents' footsteps when it comes to acting. However, that doesn't mean he has no interest in the film industry. While he did play an uncredited zombie in Brad Pitt's film "World War Z" in 2013, Maddox has since stuck to working behind the scenes. He's best known for his work on "By the Sea" in 2015 as a trainee and as an executive producer on the film "First They Killed My Father" in 2017 (per IMDb).

When asked at the 2020 Oscars how he'd feel if any of his kids wanted to become actors, Brad responded, "I want them to follow their passions, whatever they're most interested in ... But sure, why not" (per Hello!). Angelina Jolie seems more on board with the possibility of her kids becoming actors, having commented to People in 2019 that she "tried" unsuccessfully to get her children to act in her movies. "None of my kids want to be actors," she told the magazine. According to Angelina, her kids are more into "business, humanitarian affairs, things like that" (via People). Maddox's humanitarian efforts seem clear after his extensive work on the film "First They Killed My Father."

Maddox keeps ties to his culture

Maddox Jolie-Pitt has always been ready to experience his Cambodian culture — something surely influenced by his mother, Angelina Jolie. Per Vanity Fair, Maddox and his family have traveled back and forth to Cambodia ever since he was a child to such an extent that he and his siblings even have friends there and were all living and working there while Angelina and Maddox worked on the 2017 film "First They Killed My Father."

Since adopting Maddox in 2002, Angelina has become a citizen of Cambodia, purchased a home there, and established the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation, which, according to Vanity Fair, aims to assist with "Cambodia's environmental conservation, health, education, and infrastructure." At this point, Maddox is just as famous in his home country of Cambodia as his celebrity mom (per Vanity Fair).

While Angelina now has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Cambodia, Maddox's citizenship status isn't completely clear. According to Angelina (who did an interview for British Vogue in 2021), she sees Maddox as a "Cambodian man" when he is in Cambodia, but "at the same time, he is also an American citizen and a global citizen."

He worked extensively on the 2017 film First They Killed My Father

Maddox Jolie-Pitt has always kept roots in his culture, which is likely what inspired him to help his mother tell a story that is rooted in Cambodia's cultural history. Not only was Maddox the one to inspire Angelina to finally make the film "First They Killed My Father," but, according to Angelina, Maddox also "read the script, helped with notes, and was in the production meetings" (via The Guardian). Angelina had apparently "shelved the project" after having worked with author Loung Ung to adapt the autobiography into a screenplay, but as soon as Maddox said he was "ready" to explore this part of his people's past, they got to work (per The Guardian).

According to People, Maddox even helped with the research into the horrors brought upon Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge communist party during the '70s, which killed roughly 2 million people. Likely, for Maddox, the film was an important dive into the history of his people and their hardships and may have been a way to connect to what his own biological relatives may have experienced.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's eldest son has been at odds with his father

Since 2016, after an "alleged incident" on the Jolie-Pitt private jet between Maddox Jolie-Pitt and his adoptive father, Brad Pitt, Maddox has had a troubled relationship with Brad (via Us Weekly). Per the outlet, Maddox has not only stopped using the name "Pitt" outside of legal documents, but he's also testified against his father in court in support of his mother's custody battle. According to an exclusive source, the testimony wasn't "very flattering toward Brad," and Maddox "wants to legally change his last name to Jolie." However, Angelina "doesn't support" a legal name change.

As of July 2020, Brad and Maddox were still at odds, according to an exclusive source who told Us Weekly that their relationship is "nonexistent." After returning to school in 2019, Maddox was interviewed by InTouch and asked if he thought his father would visit him at school. Maddox responded, "Um, I don't know about that ... what's happening." While Brad considers his failing relationship with Maddox a "tremendous loss" (per Us Weekly), indicating his regrets, Maddox "hasn't been receptive" to making amends, according to a separate exclusive source for Us Weekly.

Although Brad was granted joint custody (per Elle), Maddox is the only Jolie-Pitt kid who reportedly isn't close to Brad, according to an exclusive source for InTouch. Perhaps, at this point, Maddox is simply over his parents' ongoing public divorce drama since 2016. Who could blame him?

The oldest of the Jolie-Pitt clan is studying biochemistry

In keeping with staying connected to his culture, in 2019, Maddox Jolie-Pitt picked a college relatively close to his Cambodian home. Maddox went off to South Korea's Yonsei University in August 2019 to study biochemistry. According to an exclusive source for People, Maddox was "accepted to other universities but chose Yonsei," where he takes Korean lessons "multiple times a week." The source speculated that part of the reasoning for choosing the school could be that it's not far from his biological family's Cambodian home, making it easier for them to visit.

According to a 2021 article in The Sun, while Maddox returned home due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, he still maintained his studies online and was set to return to South Korea for in-person classes at Yonsei later in 2021 — after testifying against his father, Brad Pitt, and quarantining in his dorm for two weeks, of course.