The dark side of Angelina Jolie

Most people know Angelina Jolie as the butt-kicking actress in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, one-half of the now-defunct Brangelina, and a humanitarian who has committed the majority of her adult life to participating in charity work across the globe. But there are some lesser known controversies associated with the Academy Award-winning actress that paint a much darker and more disturbing picture. Here are a few of them.

Did she exploit poor Cambodian children?

In July 2017, Vanity Fair ran an in-depth feature on Jolie that included a discussion about the casting process for her film First They Killed My Father.

According to contributing editor Evgenia Peretz, "In order to find their lead, to play young Loung Ung, the casting directors set up a game, rather disturbing in its realism: they put money on the table and asked the child to think of something she needed the money for, and then to snatch it away. The director would pretend to catch the child, and the child would have to come up with a lie."

Srey Moch, the actress who was chosen for the role, reportedly stared at the money for a long time before she grabbed it. When she was forced to give it back to the director, "she became overwhelmed with emotion," Jolie said, tearing up as she spoke. "When she was asked later what the money was for, she said her grandfather had died, and they didn't have enough money for a nice funeral."

When the article was released, Jolie was slammed for allegedly exploiting the children, but her camp called it a "misunderstanding." Jolie's lawyer asked the magazine to remove a portion of the original article from its website and to publish a statement clarifying that the "children were not tricked as some have suggested… All of the children auditioning were made aware of the fictional aspect of the exercise and were tended to at all times by relatives or guardians from NGOs…"

Vanity Fair stood by its original story and published a transcript from the recorded interview. 

She was the leader of the 'Kissy Girls' in kindergarten

Jolie has been very open through the years about personal aspects of her life, but now that the outspoken actress is a mom to six kids, we can't help but wonder if she'd like to redact portions of this 2007 interview about her childhood.

"I was a member of a group called the Kissy Girls. I was very sexual in kindergarten,' she told OK! magazine (via the Daily Mail). "I created a game where I would kiss the boys and give them cooties. Then we would make out and we would take our clothes off. I got in a lot of trouble!" 

Yeah, no kidding.

She explored her sexuality at an early age

In a 2003 interview with Cosmopolitan, Jolie revealed that her mother let Jolie's first serious boyfriend live with them in their home. Some may call that lax parenting, but Jolie saw it as her mom being "caring and nurturing." 

"I was either going to be reckless on the streets with my boyfriend or he was going to be with me in my bedroom with my mom in the next room because I was going to have a boyfriend," Jolie recalled. Because of her mom's decision, "I continued to go to school every morning and explored my first relationship in a safe way," she said.

Her first relationship turned violent

That early relationship may not have been as "safe" as Jolie made it out to be. 

According to an interview with OK! Magazine (via the Daily Mail), Jolie lost her virginity at age 14, but "the sex and the emotions didn't feel enough," she said. "I was no longer a little girl. In a moment of wanting to feel closer to my boyfriend I grabbed a knife and cut him. He cut me back." The pair was soon "covered in blood, my heart was racing," Jolie recalled.

She told Barbara Walters of ABC News that she still has scars from that encounter. "It didn't hurt," Jolie said. "It was cold, and it felt so primitive and it felt so honest."

She's fascinated with blood

Jolie's obsession with blood appears to have continued throughout her adult life. 

An insider told InTouch magazine that when her kids get a scrape, Jolie saves "their discarded bandages in a large jar." How's that for a keepsake?

And then there was the time she walked the red carpet wearing a vial of blood belonging to her second husband, actor Billy Bob Thornton. The couple divorced in 2003, but years later, Thornton opened up about his ex's fascination with blood during an event at Loyola Marymount University's School of Film & Television (via E! Online): "You know those lockets you buy that are clear and you put a picture of your grannie in it or something like that and wear it around your neck? That's what it was. She bought two of those … She thought it would be interesting and romantic if we took a little razorblade and sliced our fingers, smeared a little blood on these lockets and you wear it around your neck just like you wear your son or daughter's baby hair in one. Same thing."

Sure, nothing says "I love you" like a vial of your lover's blood dangling from your neck.

She collects knives

It makes sense that someone with an affinity for blood would also be attracted to sharp knives, right? 

In an interview with Barbara Walters (via ABC News), Jolie talked about collecting blades from around the world. "They are not shiny, brand-new sharp knives from the store. They're antique beautiful knives from other countries," she said. 

In a 2003 interview with Cosmopolitan, which took place a year after she adopted her first son, Jolie explained that she keeps her collection out of reach of her son. "I love [Maddox], and I would never let anything happen to him," she said.

She wore a creepy outfit to her first wedding

Jolie and co-star Jonny Lee Miller fell in love and got married in 1996 after meeting on the movie set of Hackers. It was a small civil ceremony with only two invited guests: Jolie's mom and Miller's best friend. According to The New York Times, the groom showed up wearing black leather pants, but Jolie definitely one-upped him when she decided to skip the traditional white gown.

The actress reportedly showed up in black rubber pants and a white shirt with Miller's name written across the black in blood. She said she drew the blood herself with a "clean surgical needle." When asked why she felt the need to wear Miller's bodily fluids on her wedding ensemble, a 21-year-old Jolie responded, "It's your husband. You're about to marry him. You can sacrifice a little to make it really special.”

And just think, all this time we thought her 2014 wedding dress covered in her kids' drawings was eccentric.

She had an affair with a woman

Jolie admitted to having an affair with her Foxfire co-star, Jenny Shimizu, while still married to Miller. According to the New York Daily News, her relationship with Shimizu continued long after her first marriage ran its course and even during subsequent romances with other men.  

In 1997, Jolie told Girlfriend magazine (via Us Weekly), "I would probably have married Jenny Shimizu if I hadn't married [Miller.] I fell in love with her the first second I saw her." 

Shimizu, a former Calvin Klein model, also spoke about their relationship on her now defunct blog, The Starr Sisters of Malibu (via Complex magazine). On the blog, Shimizu claimed Jolie liked to visit dominatrix clubs with her.  

Jolie's dominatrix scene in Mr. & Mrs. Smith is starting to making a little more sense now, isn't it?

She allegedly hired a hitman to kill her

Jolie has made it no secret that she loves to play with weapons, but this next anecdote takes a very dark and potentially deadly turn. 

According to the New York Post, Jolie allegedly tried to hire someone to kill her during a particularly dark time in her life. "The person spoke very sweetly to me, he made me think about it for a month. And, after a month, other things changed in my life and I was surviving again," she reportedly told IMDb (via the New York Post).

Did she lie about her love life?

Following her divorce from Thornton, Jolie gave a customarily candid interview to the New York Post in 2004. She was raising Maddox as a single mom at the time, but she definitely wasn't lonely.

Jolie revealed that she decided to get "closer to men who were already very close friends" to keep herself satisfied. "As crazy as that sounds, meeting a man in a hotel room for a few hours and then going back and putting my son to bed and not seeing that man again for a few months is about what I can handle now," she said. Who was on her friends-with-benefits roster? Jolie refused to name names.

But three years later, the actress seemed to backtrack about her self-proclaimed "modern woman" lifestyle. In a 2007 interview with Cosmopolitan (via Today), she claimed she'd only slept with four men in her entire life, two of which were her ex-husbands, Thornton and Miller.

So what's the truth? We may never know.

She says she'll never be 'self-destructive again'

Part of the enduring allure of Jolie is her refusal to play it safe with her life choices. From her cinematic exploits to her humanitarian endeavors to her diverse family, Jolie is well aware that her lifestyle isn't for everyone. "I never woke up and thought, I really want to live a bold life," she told Vanity Fair in 2017. "I just can't do the other. It's the same as I can't make a casserole. I cannot sit still."

The actress has publicly acknowledged the dark days of her past, while explaining that she now views life very differently. "I was just being a young girl who was experimental, bold and a bit nutty," she told USA Today. "I was absolutely self-destructive." She said her international humanitarian work reshaped her views. "Once I started to learn about the world and I became grateful for everything that I certainly have. Since going through my first war zone, never have I woken up and not been simply grateful."

When she became a mother in 2002, Jolie made a promise to herself and others. "I knew once I committed to Maddox, I would never be self-destructive again. Now I have five more," she told USA Today, smiling. "So I have to behave."