After seeing the video of a gaunt, wild-eyed Angelina Jolie allegedly shot by her drug dealer that surfaced this week, I felt appalled, disgusted and like I couldn’t believe a person would do something like this.
Were any of these emotions targeted at Angelina? Of course they weren’t.
Instead every single one of them was sent in the direction of the person who claims to be Angelina’s former drug dealer (and says he had just delivered heroin and cocaine to her apartment before this was taken) and who – 15 long years later – has released the video to the national Enquirer and Radar Online.
On the one hand, there is Angelina: someone who went through “heavy, dark” times and came out on the other side, presumably with her demons because she is a human being, but really, seriously making a positive difference to the world.
She makes the odd film, she attends the odd red carpet, but mostly Angelina now dedicates herself to her work as a UN Special Envoy. She is a humanitarian. She has adopted children from difficult backgrounds.
She supports UNICEF and a host of other charities. Perhaps she even does all of this because unlike a lot of her Hollywood peers, she’s seen a darker side of life, and it would make sense that simply reclining on a 5* hotel bed, being smug about her own life and blocking out everyone else’s sits uncomfortably with her.
[Angelina Jolie has been made a dame!]
[Angelina Jolie wanted to be an undertaker. Yes really]
Angelina has never hidden her past from us. Never pretended to be a cardboard cutout star made in a Hollywood factory who once had a sip of vodka, but hated it and prefers to stay at home sewing.
Never judged other people for taking drugs while concealing her own past. Instead Angelina has spoken candidly about the very different life she used to live, so that she can serve as human inspiration to anyone in the midst of addiction who doesn’t think there is a way out.
Angelina 2.0 isn’t smoke and mirrors. She is lauded by all those who work with her for how hard she works and let’s be clear that she doesn’t need to; she could give a million dollars to charity every month, tick ‘do something good’ off her to-do list and head down to her swimming pool for a mojito with Brad Pitt, but she doesn’t because for her, that isn’t enough.
On the other hand, we have Franklin Meyer and the bosses at the company that owns Radar and the Enquirer who are profiting by selling a video that is entirely irrelevant. It doesn’t teach us anything because we already knew that Angelina had a troubled past (“I didn’t die young. So I’m very lucky,” she has said) and it serves no purpose.
Certain news sources have described Angelina in the video as looking “anything but the internationally-acclaimed humanitarian”. Because she had bad skin? Because she wasn’t in a pencil skirt? I’d say imposing a dress code to be a humanitarian might be a little idiotic of us.
That video is sensationalist, it’s tacky, and on a very basic school playground-level, it’s mean. So when we finish watching it, if we sit back in any kind of judgement?
It certainly shouldn’t be directed at Angelina.