Did Zahara Jolie-Pitt Ditch Her Dad Brad Pitt's Famous Last Name?

Brad Pitt's relationship with his children has been notably complex, to say the least, following his high-profile split from Angelina Jolie. Their 2016 breakup, reportedly triggered by an altercation aboard the family's private jet, resulted in an estrangement between Brad and his kids, especially with sons Maddox and Pax Jolie-Pitt. Maddox, in particular, was at the center of an alleged physical altercation with Brad. But it appears that tensions have also extended to his eldest daughter, Zahara Jolie-Pitt, who has reportedly begun to distance herself from her father.

Angelina adopted Zahara from Ethiopia in 2005, with Brad legally adopting her the subsequent year. In an interview with Parade in 2011, the "Babylon" actor shared that he had forged a profound connection with Zahara from the get-go. I know she would not be alive [if she hadn't been adopted]," he said. "I know what care was available to her and it was nil. I cannot imagine life without her." His commitment as a father was evident in his active involvement in Zahara's life, from school pickups to attending her soccer games to taking her to her friends' parties. It was also Zahara who inspired him to become sober, following a frightening incident where she choked on ice from his drink. "It's not easy to be a good father when you've had a few drinks," he told Total Film (via NZ Herald).

However, the infamous 2016 plane incident seems to have marked the downturn in Pitt and Zahara's once close-knit relationship. Now, she reportedly prefers to disassociate from the Pitt surname.

Zahara has started introducing herself as Zahara Jolie

It appears that Zahara Jolie-Pitt (or should we say Zahara Jolie?) has followed her older brother's lead in opting to distance herself from the "Pitt" name altogether. In 2021, a source told Us Weekly that Maddox expressed his intention to completely drop "Pitt," a move that was frowned upon by his mom. "He doesn't use Pitt as his last name on documents that aren't legal and instead uses Jolie," the insider noted. "Maddox wants to legally change his last name to Jolie, which Angelina has said she doesn't support."

Mirroring her brother's steps, Zahara made an apparent declaration of her name preference in November 2023, when she made her debut for the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority at Spelman College, a prestigious HBCU in Atlanta. "My name is Zahara Marley Jolie!" she exclaimed, complete with a dance and a hair flip. Angelina Jolie, Maddox, and Pax were supportive and even attended an AKA shindig, while Brad Pitt had remained tight-lipped. But he previously shared that he is in awe of the woman Zahara is shaping up to be. "I'm so proud of her," he told Vanity Fair. "She's so smart. She's going to flourish even more at college. It's an exciting and beautiful time to find her own way and pursue her interests. I'm so proud."

Will Brad and Zahara ever reconcile?

Zahara Jolie's stance on her parents' split appears initially to have leaned strongly in favor of Angelina Jolie, with an insider telling OK! Magazine in March 2022 that along with her siblings Maddox and Pax, she has largely supported Angelina since the divorce proceedings began. "Maddox, Pax, and Zahara don't really see both sides of the picture," the source said. "They're Team Angelina and essentially kicked their dad to the curb years ago." 

However, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt has reportedly been putting in the work to convince Zahara to soften up a bit. And who knows? Shiloh may just change her mind. "Zahara is warming up to the idea [of forgiving Brad]," noted the source. "And it's because of Shiloh's influence that Vivienne and Knox want to see more of their dad."

Brad Pitt, for his part, appears to be making a sincere effort to mend his relationship with all his kids. Despite reportedly hitting a wall concerning hashing things out with Maddox, he has made strides with Zahara and Pax. He also sees the younger kids, Shiloh, Vivienne, and Knox, on the regular. "He's on good terms with them," a source dished to InTouch Weekly in October 2023. "He lost a lot of precious time with them during the custody battle, and he's determined not to miss any more."