On Thursday, the Ray Donovan actor, 78, accompanied his daughter to the premiere of her Netflix film First They Killed My Father. It’s quite meaningful that Jolie extended the invite to him on this occasion.
The Cambodian film is Jolie’s passion project, and it concerns the country where she adopted her first child, Maddox, who is now 16 years old. Part of the reason why Jolie, 42, wanted to make the film was to help connect Maddox — who is an executive producer on the movie — to his Cambodian roots.
Jolie and Voight’s estrangement began in 2002 shortly after Maddox’s adoption. While tensions already ran high between the pair, the actress stopped speaking to her father after he publicly claimed that she needed “help” when she brought her son home to the U.S.
Voight did several TV interviews at the time, including one with E! where he alleged that Jolie had “serious emotional problems that I have witnessed very closely.”
“I don’t want to make public the reasons for my bad relationship with my father,” Jolie responded in a statement at the time. “I will only say that, like every child, [brother] Jamie and I would have loved to have had a warm and loving relationship with our dad. After all these years, I have determined that it is not healthy for me to be around my father, especially now that I am responsible for my own child.”
Jolie’s issues with Voight started at a young age, stemming from his infidelity. Voight was unfaithful during his marriage to Jolie’s mother, Marcheline Bertrand, and the pair divorced in 1980.
It was after Bertrand’s death in 2007 that Brad Pitt encouraged Jolie to reconnect with her father. It took a few years, but in 2010, Voight revealed that they were working on putting the past behind them.
“Angie and I don’t want to say much [regarding how it came about],” Voight said after he was photographed with Pitt, Jolie, and their brood in Italy.
Later that year, Voight attended the premiere of Jolie’s film Salt, and their relationship began to evolve. However, it’s been slow to develop and seems to have taken off in the wake of Brangelina’s divorce.
This past May, Jolie was photographed out to dinner with her kids and father. “The kids had gifts for their granddad. Jolie hugged her dad. They were all very happy,” a source told People at the time. “They sat at a table inside for about two hours.”
Jolie and Voight’s renewed bond was something the kids needed as well.
“He’s been very good at understanding they needed their grandfather at this time,” Jolie told Vanity Fair over the summer. “I had to do a therapy meeting last night, and he was just around. 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.”
Grandpa Jon has been doing just that.
In August, a smiling Jolie was photographed with her father while dropping her daughter Vivienne off at an art class. He is currently in New York City with Jolie and her brood, and it appears that it’s been smooth sailing.
Here’s hoping it stays that way.
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- All the times the Jolie-Pitt kids have hit the red carpet