Whatever Happened To Angelina Jolie's Brother?

James Haven became a media sensation for his lovey-dovey trip to the Oscars ini 2000 with his kid sister, Angelina Jolie — but we haven't heard much from him since. Of course, the tabloids had a field day spinning yarns about the siblings' supposed incestuous relationship.

In fact, a good chunk of any gossip item related to James Haven had a direct connection to his far more famous sister, and it's not hard to understand why. Did James Haven marry a twice-awarded Sexiest Man Alive, adopt a multicultural brood of children, win countless awards, or became a UNICEF ambassador? No, he did not.

But he has been sort of silently along for the ride during his sister's meteoric rise to the top of the movie biz, thus making him something of a Hollywood mystery. Has Haven been able to lead a colorful life in his own right? If so, what's he been up to all these years? Let's start at the beginning.

Remember that kiss?

James Haven became famous — or should we say infamous? — in 2000 when he accompanied Angelina Jolie to the 2000 Academy Awards. Although Jolie won the Oscar that night for "Girl, Interrupted”, she made bigger headlines for her public displays of affection with her sibling during the ceremony. While accepting her Oscar, Jolie expressed, in no uncertain terms, her undying love for her brother. "I'm in shock, and I'm so in love with my brother right now," she said, per Us Weekly. "He just held me and said he loved me, and I know he's so happy for me. And, um, thank you for that."

The strange statement left a lot of people scratching their heads. What exactly did Jolie mean by "in love?" It wasn't entirely clear. Either way, things got more confusing when the pair locked lips on the red carpet later that night.

As you can probably imagine, it got a lot of people talking. Some claimed it was indicative of an incestuous relationship, while others, like documentarian Ian Halperin, thought it was a well-executed attention grab. "[I]t was mainly a publicity stunt and it worked," Halperin told Radar Online, but he did admit, "On the flip side people agree the kiss was too close for comfort." Umm yeah, way too close.

But maybe it wasn't that weird after all

Both Angelina Jolie and James Haven have downplayed their notorious kiss over the years. When asked about the incident in 2000, Jolie told Entertainment Weekly that it was "just brotherly love." She also added that her parents found the tender moment between brother and sister to be quite sweet. "My parents really loved that moment, and that's what will always matter," Jolie assured the outlet.

Haven has also said the moment was blown out of proportion. "I did not give Angie a French kiss; it was something simple and lovely," Haven told the Daily Mail in 2007. "She was about to go off to Mexico to finish filming 'Original Sin' with Antonio Banderas. I congratulated her on the Oscar win and gave her a quick kiss on the lips. It was snapped and became a big thing round the world."

In 2014, a close friend of Jolie and Haven's late mother, Marcheline Bertrand, shed more light on that smooch, claiming it was inspired by Bertrand's health woes. "The day she kissed Jamie at the Oscars, it was the first day Marcheline was treated for cancer. They left the hospital together and got ready together," Cis Rundle told Radar Online. "Nobody in the world knew that they spent the day in the hospital. It was like, 'Look where we're at now.' But the world saw something incestual."

Making peace in the family

Although Angelina Jolie and James Haven were very close to their mother, they had a famously difficult relationship with their father, Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight. "I have no memory at all of my mother shouting at me or at my sister," Haven told the Daily Mail in 2007. "But I do have horrible memories of my father and the way he behaved. He was so tough on our mother."

"He lived in the same town. We saw him around Christmas time or at school recitals," Haven said. "He was always around but he never did his job as a father." Their relationship was so strained that Haven dropped his surname in favor of his middle name, as did Jolie. Around 2009, Haven became a born-again Christian, reconciled with Voight, and encouraged Jolie to also let bygones be bygones, according to E! News. Jolie reportedly followed his lead about a year later.

Since then, Voight has grown close to his grandchildren, and Jolie and he are thick as thieves once again. Case in point, in 2021 Voight told CBS News that Jolie was a "remarkable" actor and that he would "love to work with her" one day.

James Haven used to be close to his sister

James Haven managed to stay very close with Angelina Jolie over the years and has been a fixture at some of her biggest movie premieres, including "Salt," In the "Land of Blood and Honey," and "Maleficent." "I go to Angie for advice and won't do anything without her because we were so close as children," he told the Daily Mail in 2007.

Haven also attended Jolie and Brad Pitt's intimate wedding ceremony in 2014 in France. At the event, the brother-sister duo paid tribute to their late mother — who died of ovarian cancer in 2007 — by wearing pieces of her jewelry. "I also wore a little flower ring that was hers, and Jamie wore an angel pin from her jewelry box," Jolie told People magazine in 2014.

The pair grew especially close after the death of their mother, with Haven telling the Daily Mail that Jolie had his back all the way during the trying time. "When I first lost my mother, I couldn't stop crying," he said. "Fortunately, I was with Angie when we heard. It was such a big moment."

Did Angelina Jolie's kids call him daddy?

So, we already know that James Haven has been, at various points, very close with Angelina Jolie. But what about her kids? Well, Haven was reportedly equally close with Jolie's brood, seeing as how he served as her nanny for a number of years, even living with Jolie and Brad Pitt.

In the months following Pitt and Jolie's extra messy split, Haven was spotted all around town with the kiddos. He reportedly spent so much time with the kids that, according to an OK! magazine source, they apparently started calling him "Daddy." The tipster claimed, "There are days when James spends more time with them than either of their busy parents, but hopefully they'll intervene if they start calling him 'mom' too!"

Of course, we may never know if Brangelina's kids ever called Haven "Daddy," but there is plenty of evidence that he spent a significant amount of time with them. After the divorce news broke, the Daily Mail shared photos of him strolling through LAX with the fam after a trip to NYC. And the day before the world found out about the filing? The outlet released some snaps of Haven hanging out at a park with the kids.

Actually, he was more like the head 'manny'

A source told Grazia magazine (via Stuff.nz) that James Haven stopped watching after Brangelina's army of children in March 2017. "Things haven't been easy with Brad and Angelina's divorce, and James has done more than his fair share helping out while the family goes through a major upheaval," the tipster claimed. "But he's done."

The transition away from his role as "manny" to his many nieces and nephews was reportedly very difficult for Haven. "He's loved spending so much time with his nieces and nephews, but it's hard work and he's absolutely shattered," the source continued. "It was his job to be there if any of the kids woke up during the night and to deal with the nannies if they had any issues. He was virtually running the household and it became very draining." The source added that Jolie let Haven go so he could focus on himself. "She was worried about how exhausted he looked and realized he needed a break," the insider said.

At the time, the insider claimed that Pitt was about to start spending more time with the kids, rendering Haven's position irrelevant. However, given the nasty custody battle that's followed the divorce, Pitt has reportedly struggled to be around the kids as much as he'd like. Maybe Angie wishes she'd kept Haven around after all.

From diapers to the director's chair

In 2016, it seemed like James Haven had a promising career in show business ahead of him. After leaving Angelina Jolie's household where he worked as a nanny for her six kids, he started pursuing gigs that put him behind the camera.

The Wrap reported that Haven signed on to direct "The Last Boy," a science fiction/fantasy drama about a young boy who searches for survivors after an airborne virus has destroyed humanity. Haven's previous off and on screen stints include the short film "Court of Conscience," starring his father and the late Anton Yelchin, and an appearance in an episode of the television series "The Game." Ultimately, "The Last Boy" was set to become Haven's feature directorial debut.

Over the years, Haven has appeared in bit parts in various movies, including the 2001 thriller "Original Sin," starring Jolie, and the Oscar-winning drama "Monster's Ball," starring Jolie's ex-husband, Billy Bob Thornton. The writer of the latter film, Milo Addica, was also set to write the script for "The Last Boy'," but it looks like that version of the project did not come to fruition. In 2019, a movie with that title was released, but neither Addica nor Haven were involved.

No sister-in-law for Angie yet

Rumors about an incestious relationship between Angelina Jolie and her brother, James Haven, existed for years, thanks in part to that super awkward red carpet kiss. It's worth nothing, yet again, that other than that weird moment of PDA the rumors are almost certainly merciless.

Case-in-point: Haven has been linked to someone else for a long time. In 2011, the Daily Mail reported that Haven had been in his first serious relationship with a theater studies graduate named Ashley Reign. The pair has always done their best to stay out of the spotlight. "The reason we have such a good relationship is precisely because I don't talk to the media about James," Reign told the Daily Mail at the time. While the notoriously private pair hasn't shared exactly when they got together, we do know that there has been something going on since at least 2010, because that's when Haven brought Reign to the premiere of "Salt." A Daily Mail source alleged Brad Pitt was "very relieved" Haven found a significant other, claiming that the relationship was "a distraction to stop him from taking such a strong interest in what Angelina was doing." 

According to the Daily Mail, Reign works as a karate instructor.

Branjameslina was awkward for everyone

We've already discussed at length just how awkward that infamous red carpet kiss between Angelina Jolie and her brother James Haven was for all those unlucky enough to witness it. We've also outlined how Haven moved in with Brad Pitt and Jolie to serve as a full time "manny" for their many kids. And at first, it seemed to be a good fit. As a source told Us Weekly in 2016, "Brad thinks highly of James. He's always been incredible to the kids and is welcome in his home."

Well, there's an old adage about how complicated things can get when you do business with family, and apparently, it might've proved to be true when Jolie and Pitt enlisted the help of Haven.

In 2017, just after Jolie and Pitt filed for divorce, documentarian Ian Halperin shared his take on the family's dynamic to Radar Online. "James was so close to them that he was actually living with them," Halperin claimed. "It put Brad over the edge. Brad gave Ang the ultimatum: it's him or me." According to Halperin, "It really made Brad uncomfortable how close James was. He wanted to be 'hands on Brad dad' and he didn't need another nanny because they already have so many nannies."

Did the siblings grow apart?

The last time James Haven made major headlines was when she shared the infamous kiss with Angelina Jolie in 2000. If you're keeping track, that's over 20 years ago. But in January 2021, he popped up again and, once again, questions began to swirl about his dynamic with his famous sister. Time may pass, but some things never change. 

As the Daily Mail reported, Haven was spotted for the first time in years outside of an apartment building in Los Angeles. While he was once rumored to be Jolie's full-time nanny, he was reportedly fired sometime after she filed for divorce from Brad Pitt, and the relationship has yet to recover. "They used to be inseparable; he was very much her go-to companion and was her best friend for so many years as well as a devoted brother," a source told the outlet.

Despite the close bond, the pair evidently grew apart with shocking speed. "But all of a sudden and with no real explanation their communication seemed to just stop out of nowhere," the source continued. "He does his thing, she does hers, and while they may be cordial from a distance, you certainly don't see or hear of them being together. An air of mystery may still surround the relationship between Haven and Jolie, but here's hoping, as her divorce and custody battle wraps up, and her kids grow older, they'll find a way to work things out.

James Haven leads a modest life

James Haven's father, John Voight, is an Oscar winner. His sister, Angelina Jolie, also has an Academy Award and happens to be about as A-list as it gets. Yet Haven reportedly leads a pretty down-to-earth life. According to the Daily Mail, Haven reportedly spent most of the COVID-19 pandemic with his girlfriend, Ashley Reign, in an apartment in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley. Canoga Park, the area where the apartment is reportedly located, is about 25 miles away from Jolie's Los Feliz home. Given his Tinseltown roots, one might assume he would put his feet up in shockingly expensive digs, but the suburb is less pricey than the neighborhood where his sister resides. According to Point2Homes, the house value average in Canoga Park is over $500,000; in Los Feliz, that number is well over $1 million.

Shortly after the Daily Mail ran the story about Haven staying with his longterm girlfriend, the outlet reported he was seen out and about at a Malibu beach with a "mystery blonde." Their source said the two "spent around an hour and a half together on a blanket near the ocean at a popular spot for surfers" and he appeared "to be having a lot of fun." A casual beach hangout may not be as glamorous as, say, a Marvel movie premiere, but is definitely not a bad way to spend an afternoon.