The Truth Behind Angelina Jolie’s Feud With Her Famous Dad

Penelope Singh

The relationship between Angelina Jolie and her famous dad is…complicated to say the least. And it’s not even just their current problems. No, their feud goes way back…


1. Her Parents Weren’t A Happy Couple

It should surprise no one that Angelina Jolie comes from a show biz family. Both her dad, Jon Voight, and her mom, Marcheline Bertrand, were actors. Their relationship was, to put it lightly, a total mess.

2. They Didn’t Get Happily Ever After

Voigt and Bertrand met not long after Voight’s first divorce. They got married in 1971—but this was no fairy tale. It was more like a horror story.

3. They Experienced Tragedy

After a tragic miscarriage, Voight and Bertrand went on to have two children: James in 1973, and Angelina in 1975. But this happy family broke apart almost immediately.

4. Her Parents Split When She Was Two

Soon after Angelina was born, Bertrand separated from Voight. Turns out, Voight wasn’t the dream husband she’d been looking for…

5. Her Dad Cheated

Bertrand outright stated that Voight’s adultery was the reason for their split. Fair play—but what was going to happen to their young family?

6. Her Mother Raised Her

Marcheline Bertrand gave up her acting career to raise her children. And where was dad? Nowhere to be found…

7. Her Dad Didn’t Care

Jon Voight wasn’t very far removed from his star-making turn in Midnight Cowboy when his marriage fell apart. He wasn’t about to quit just to spend time with his kids! Clearly, his relationship with Angelina was messed up from the start. But it only got worse as she grew older…

8. She Rarely Saw Him

As a little girl, Jolie barely ever saw her father. He was too busy with his career to make time for his family—and when he did see them, it wasn’t much better.

9. He Gave Her Her First Role

Jon Voight gave his daughter her first-ever film role: Angelina Jolie had a small part in one of Voight’s movies when she was just seven years old. But this was no “father-daughter bonding” time…

10. He Did It For The Cameras

Jolie has talked about how every time she saw her father when she was young, there just “happened” to be a bunch of press around. Pretty soon, she’d realize the truth…

11. He Took Her To The Oscars

The 1986 Oscars were yet another one of Voight’s photo-ops. Angelina and her brother James attended the ceremony along with their father, who was nominated for an award. But after the glitz and glamour were over, Voight left yet again. There’s a pattern here…

12. He Didn’t Actually Care

Voight only made time for his family when it could help his career. If there were no cameras around, he couldn’t give his kids the time of day. No surprise that this had some horrible effects on his young daughter.

13. She Developed Serious Issues

Angelina Jolie did not have a happy childhood. She developed insomnia and struggled with eating disorders. She needed a way to cope…and that sent her to dark places.

14. She Cut Herself

Angelia Jolie began to self-harm as a teenager—but that was just her first step down a twisted path.

15. She Started Using

Next, Jolie turned to drugs. By just 20, she claims to have tried “just about every drug possible.” No surprise, this didn’t solve any of her problems. She just kept spiraling, and her beloved dad was still nowhere to be found.

16. She Tried To Take Her Own Life

Jolie’s struggles in her youth culminated in two suicide attempts before she was 22. The second time, she even hired a professional to end her life for her. She survived each time, but something clearly had to give.

17. She Had A Breakdown

By the time she was 24 years old, Angelina Jolie had a complete nervous breakdown. She was sent to a psychiatric ward for 72 hours. That marked a turning point in her life, and she started to turn things around. No credit to her father, though…

18. She Gave Him Hope

Voight wasn’t around when Jolie was a kid, so why would he be around once she grew up? But Jolie’s star was rising, and on the biggest night of her life, she hinted that it might be time to build a bridge between them. Oh, how she would regret it…

19. She Gave Him A Heartwarming Tribute

Jolie and Voight’s tense relationship was no secret in Hollywood—so imagine the crowd’s surprise at the Oscars when Jolie accepted her statue for Girl, Interrupted. She looked over to her father and said, “Dad, you’re a great actor but you’re a better father.” Was it finally time for these two to make up??

20. It Was All He Ever Wanted

Jolie’s speech had a serious effect on her dad. Later, she revealed, “He told me that that was one of the…biggest compliments somebody could give him, that it was so important to be a great father.” It seems like Voight thought sending a check every month made him a good father…

21. She Hung Up His Poem

After years of shaky parenting, it seemed like Angelina was finally coming around to her dear old dad. She even hung his drawings and poems in her house with husband Billy Bob Thornton. It seemed like the rough seas were behind them. It was really just the eye of the storm.

22. He Worried About Her

Around the year 2000, Jolie and Voight were maybe the closest they’ve ever been. She even brought him along with her to an interview at a reporter’s house, where Voight fretted over her the entire time. Now it was time to take their newfound relationship to the next level.

23. They Were Going To Team Up

Jolie had acted alongside her father once before—but that was just a bit part for a little girl new to acting. After her Oscar win, Jolie decided it was time for father and daughter to really share the big screen.

24. They Starred In Tomb Raider

Jolie and Voight teamed up for the first time in their adult lives in 2001’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. For better or worse, that production changed both of their lives forever.

25. Jolie Was Doing Great

Leading up to Tomb Raider, Angelina Jolie was on top of the world. She’d just won an Oscar, she was in the best shape of her life, training for the movie kept her away from her self-destructive habits, and her relationship with her dad had never been better. What better time for everything to fall apart?

26. She Adopted Her First Child

Jolie adopted her first child in 2001, a boy from Cambodia named Maddox. Children gave her a newfound purpose in life—but her screw-up of a dad almost ruined everything.

27. Her Dad Almost Screwed Everything Up

Jolie needed approval before she could adopt Maddox, so she wanted to keep it a secret until it was finalized. Welp, Voight blew that by mentioning the adoption in an interview.

28. She Still Got Maddox

Voight’s big mouth almost stopped the adoption, as Cambodian adoption laws are very strict to prevent trafficking. However, much to Jolie’s relief, it eventually went through. But that doesn’t mean he was done flapping his lips.

29. Everyone Thought They’d Made Up

The world assumed that Jolie and Voight had buried the hatchet after Tomb Raider. The truth was way more complicated than that. Who knows what exactly was going on behind the scenes, but a year after the movie came out, Voight gave an interview to Access Hollywood—and he dropped a bombshell.

30. Voight Threw Her Under The Bus

Whatever went on between Jolie and Voight during Tomb Raider must have been messy. In 2002, he told the world that Jolie had “mental problems” and desperately needed help. And he didn’t even leave it there.

31. He Used It Against Her

Jon Voight used his newfound closeness with his daughter against her. In his bombshell Access Hollywood interview, he said his daughter suffered from “serious emotional problems that I have witnessed very closely.” He’d been back in Jolie’s life for all of a couple years, and already he’d betrayed her. Jolie was furious.

32. She Cut Him Off Again

Easy come, easy go. Jolie and Voight reunited after decades of estrangement for Tomb Raider—and after that interview, Jolie once again cut off all contact with her dad. But it was too late to stop the damage that he’d done.

33. It Was Too Late

In hindsight, we all know that Angelina Jolie is a lot more trustworthy than Jon Voight, but the media picked up his interview and ran with it. Public opinion shifted and everyone began to assume that Jolie, with her tattoos and crazy marriages, was unwell—and she’s still fighting off those rumors today. Thanks a lot, Jon…

34. She Kept Her Mouth Shut

Jolie was extremely secretive when asked about her father after she cut off contact. She simply said, “I don’t want to make public the reasons for my bad relationship with my father.” All she would say was that it was “not healthy” for her to be around Voight. You could say that again…

35. She Was Done With His Name

Angelina originally took the screen name “Jolie” because she didn’t want people to think she was just another spoiled child of a movie star. After his bombshell interview, she decided to make it official.

36. She Was Officially “Angelina Jolie”

Everyone knew her as Angelina Jolie anyway, but after Voight’s claim that she had “mental problems,” Jolie wanted to get rid of any connection to him. She had her name legally changed to Angelina Jolie—and later, when asked why she did it, she didn’t exactly pull any punches.

37. She Was Her Mother’s Daughter

When the host of The Hollywood Reporter’s podcast Awards Chatter asked Jolie why she changed her name, the reason was simple: “I didn’t feel that close to my father. I felt more of my mother’s daughter when I was a child.” Can you blame her?

38. She Hinted At “Screaming Matches”

Jolie has been extremely cagey when it comes to her feud with her father, but she has revealed some nuggets. When asked why she cut him out of her life, she said, “The amount of tears shed growing up, and the amount of screaming matches, and the amount of insecurities seen [impacting] on my mother and my brother because of fights and things said, is simply not healthy.”

39. She Was Thinking Of Her Children

If you had to give one reason for why Angelina cut off her dad, it would be her children: “I have to be strong for my son, and I don’t want to have in his environment something that upsets me and makes his mother not as strong. So it’s simple—no negative feelings, it is just not healthy for me to have that contact with my father.” But would they ever make up?

40. She Lost Her Mother

For Angelina Jolie, her mother was everything Voight wasn’t. The two remained incredibly close right up until Bertrand’s passing from cancer in 2007. It was a devastating blow—and the reason for the first time Jolie contacted her father in years.

41. It Fell To Angelina To Break The News

Jolie broke her silent treatment to tell Voight about Bertrand’s passing, but it wasn’t easy. She hadn’t spoken to him in years, and she was in mourning, but she knew she had to do something…

42. She Gave Him A Call

It had been six years since Angelina had spoken to her father. She debated breaking the news in a letter, but she finally gave in and picked up the phone. But if you were expecting a tearful, heartwarming reunion, think again…

43. They Didn’t Speak For Long

After not speaking for six years, Jolie talked with Voight…for all of two minutes. As she put it, “I wasn’t calling to take care of him. I was calling to pass on information.” The wounds in their relationship were too deep to heal just like that. With her mother at the forefront of her mind, Jolie couldn’t help but remember the pain he’d caused…

44. He Kept Trying

Throughout their estrangement, Voight kept trying to contact Jolie. In 2008, he said, “I’m always trying to reach her and send my love,” but Jolie did not feel the same way. It took Brad Pitt to get her to give him a chance.

45. Brad Pushed Her To Reconnect

Though losing her mother did little to convince Jolie that she should reconnect with Voight, the people in her life felt differently. Brad Pitt began to urge her to contact her father for one specific reason.

46. He Wanted His Kids To Know Their Grandfather

Even Brad Pitt saw that Voight and Jolie’s relationship wasn’t healthy, but he was thinking of his children, who almost never saw their grandfather.

47. She Was Trying

By 2010, Jolie was ready to admit publicly that she was at least trying to fix her relationship with her father. But Jolie had been hurt too many times to just jump back in…

48. She Took It Slow

Jolie began taking baby steps toward seeing her father again. First, they simply spoke on the phone. It wasn’t much, but it was a start. And, against all odds, Voight didn’t screw it up!

49. He Wasn’t Invited To The Wedding

Voight had Brad Pitt in his corner, but that doesn’t mean it was enough to get him invited to the wedding. When Jolie and Pitt married in 2014, Voight did not make the guest list. To be fair, only 22 people did…but Brad’s parents were there and we’ll leave it at that. Still, time heals all wounds, as they say…

50. He Met The Kids

It was a big step when Voight met Jolie’s children. They were still far cry from one big happy family, but they were getting there. At least Voight was saying the right things this time around…

51. He Gushes About Her

Since reconnecting with his daughter, Voight can’t gush enough about her: “She’s very strong. And that persona is very rare…She’s like one of those people like Bogart or Katharine Hepburn. She’s one of those guys.” For an aging actor like Voight, that’s high praise indeed—and not a single mention of mental problems!

52. He Loves His Grandkids

The kids are definitely what brought Voight and Jolie back together. By all accounts, Voight loves being a grandfather a whole lot more than he ever loved being a father. But just because Voight is back in Jolie’s life doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a few ground rules.

53. She Lays Down The Law

No surprise, after their roller-coaster relationship, that Jolie keeps Voight in check around her kids: “He knows kind of the rule—don’t make them play with you. Just be a cool grandpa who’s creative, and hang out and tell stories and read a book in the library.” And it seems like, against all odds, Voight has actually been following the rules. Good thing, too, because for the first time in a long time, his daughter actually needed him.

54. They Went To Dinner

Most of Jolie and Voight reconnecting took place away from prying eyes, so paparazzi had a field day in 2017 when they spotted Voight, Jolie, and four of her kids out having dinner together like a normal family! So what gives? Well, anyone watching the tabloids would know that not everything was going great in Jolie’s life at that time…

55. She Calls Him Jon

Jolie’s contentious split from Brad Pitt gave Voight the chance he’d been waiting years for. As Jolie navigated the divorce, she grew closer to Voight than she’d been in decades, saying, “Jon and I have gotten to know each other—through grandchildren now—we’re finding a new relationship.” Though that doesn’t mean her relationship with “Jon” is easy.

56. Reporters Went To Voight After Her Divorce

Brangelina’s split was the tabloid event of the decade—so of course, reporters flocked to Jon Voight’s big mouth to try and get a quote. Voight, for the most part, remained cagey and vague—though he couldn’t help but stir the pot a little.

57. He Threw Shade At Brad

Unprompted, Voight said, “[Brad] has had some difficulties with alcohol and I hope that he takes care of things and I pray for the guy.” A subtle dig at Pitt to try and help Angelina in her custody battle? That’s what a lot of people assumed. But some people made an even more sinister suggestion.

58. People Claimed She’d Masterminded The Whole Thing

Some tabloids, citing anonymous “sources,” claimed that Angelina only reconciled with her father to give her an edge in her custody battle. Otherwise, her famously loud-mouthed father might throw her under the bus and ruin everything. And, to be fair to those people, the timing was a little fishy…

59. The Timing Was…Convenient

Gossip hounds couldn’t help but notice that Jolie “just so happened” to reconnect with her father right before her split from Pitt. But remember, Jolie had no intention of seeing Voight again until Pitt pushed her to do it. So either she’s the most devious mastermind in history, or that tabloid story was bogus.

60. She Probably Didn’t Do It

No, it seems pretty unlikely that Jolie masterminded this whole thing to help her get custody. In fact, Voight might have even hurt her chances.

61. She Wanted Him To Stay Quiet

Though Voight likely thought he was helping his daughter with his subtle dig at Pitt, Jolie probably would have preferred he stayed out of it entirely. Talking to reporters, making headlines, throwing shade at Brad—all that was just as likely to hurt Jolie’s custody case as help it. Yet again, Jon Voight’s big mouth is making things difficult for everyone…

63. He Didn’t Know He’d Done Anything Wrong

The lowest point in Jolie and Voight’s relationship came not long after that interview. Everyone in Hollywood knew Jolie and her dad were on the outs—well, everyone but Voight, actually. He ran into his daughter at Paramount’s 90th-anniversary party. It did not go well.

64. Her Manager Kept Him Back

When Voight saw his daughter, he made a beeline towards her—only for her manager to step in and physically block him from getting anywhere near her.

65. He Claimed He Wanted To Get Her Help

Voight’s version of that night claimed he only wanted to give his daughter a hug. He claimed she was avoiding him because “she knows I’ve been trying to reach her to get help.” Yeah, that’s not exactly how everyone remembers that night…

66. Her Manager Told A Different Story

Jolie’s manager instead said that Voight barged up to his daughter and “aggressively, physically grabbed her against her will.” Their relationship was at an all-time low, and it would be years before she ever let him that close to her again.

67. She Blamed Her Father

In 2020, Jolie wrote a heartbreaking piece in the New York Times about her mother, and Voight loomed large—not in a good way. She wrote, “When my father had an affair, it changed [my mother’s] life. It set her dream of family life ablaze. But she still loved being a mother. Her dreams of being an actor faded as she found herself, at the age of 26, raising two children with a famous ex who would cast a long shadow on her life.”

68. He Walked The Red Carpet With Her

Against all odds, it seems like Angelina Jolie and Jon Voight are still going strong—even if they don’t quite have a normal father/daughter relationship. Voight even turned up with the whole family at the premiere of 2019’s Maleficent 2. And you know reporters flocked straight to him. If there’s one thing we’ve learned it’s this: If you want a headline, talk to Jon Voight.

69. He Kept His Mouth Shut

However, it seems like, after all these years, Jon Voight has maybe learned his lesson. When reporters questioned him for personal details about Jolie, he said it “isn’t for me to say.” Smartest thing you’ve ever said, Jon.

Now, all we can do is wait to see if Jolie and Voight have put the worst behind them—or if Voight somehow screws it up yet again.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

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