Andrew Morton's unauthorized biography of Angelina Jolie hit stores in the U.S. this week, and it's obvious that the book attempts to paint the actress and humanitarian as a vain control freak-cum-psychotic homewrecking succubus who feeds on married men.
Many of Morton's claims — that Angie dabbled in drugs, had an eating disorder and was obsessed with blood — have been documented before. She is not a woman known for schoolmarm prudishness or pop star purity. For lots of us, our first introduction to Angelina was as a surly, sexually charged teen computer wiz in Hackers or as a surly, sexually charged heroin-addicted model in Gia. By the summer of 2000, she was on her second husband, and they infamously wore one another's blood in vials around their necks.
But in 2002, Angelina adopted her first child, Maddox, after visiting Cambodia twice — once while filming Tomb Raider and again on a UN field trip. So we've also known that she has a different side to her. Still, the snide piece in today's Daily Mail suggests that when Angelina speaks out about refugees, it's partly because she "enjoys the virtuous glow such philanthropic activity gives her." According to the paper, Morton's book alleges:
Angie artfully conjured up a different kind of perfect woman for Brad — maternal yet still dangerous, sexy yet a goddess… A woman with a sense of the big picture, able to pepper her conversation with reference to Bill, Kofi and Colin (that's Clinton, Annan and Powell to mere mortals).
In case you're not paying attention, here are some of the ways this undermines Angelina:
1. Assumes that she is not just being herself but a carefully crafted persona.
2. Claims that she fabricated this persona to trap a man.
3. Insinuates that Brad Pitt — and everyone else in the world — is dumb to have fallen for this crap.
The true crap, of course, is the idea that this book will "annoy" Angelina. The Mail calls the work "explosive" and a "bomshell," even though none of the details which have emerged — sex, drugs, maybe S&M — are at all surprising. But the Mail — and other outlets, like Star — have created a narrative in which Angelina could "lose" Brad over the scurrilous details in the biography, which seems to ignore the fact that A) Brad is not a set of car keys and B) is not the ultimate prize trophy of all time. He may be hot but it also seems very likely that he's a dim-bulbed stoner; he's the one who lucked out by getting involved with her.
But really, what we should be curious about is why Andrew Morton — who has also written unauthorized books on Princess Diana and Madonna — feels the need to attack and tear down powerful, talented women? And who are the people who will actually buy the Angelina book? And do the tabloids really expect us to believe that these regurgitated "scandals" will be "the final straw" for Brad?