Did you really think that US was going to quietly let that whole Angelina Jolie thing go? Janice Min is reportedly peeved that People always gets the (apparently rigged) auction for the photos of her new Vietnamese son Pax Thien, and the mag's (diffy) story about the adoption in last week's issue clearly did nothing to quell her thirst for revenge.
This week's cover lays it out more starkly than ever before, screaming, "HER TWISTED DOUBLE LIFE" and then, all PowerPoint style: She lied about becoming a stay-at-home mom! She and Brad are fighting about her adoption addiction! And the trump card: She uses her kids to manipulate the media! Oh, SNAP.
Inside, Mara Reinstein's story reads like a big fuck-you to both People and Angelina. Let's examine the charges.
Charge: She lied about becoming a stay-at-home mom.
Jolie recently started shooting Wanted, an action movie, in Chicago. But according to US, Jolie "recently announced with much fanfare that she would be a stay-at-home mom, then accepted the Wanted role. Hypocritical? Perhaps. Then again, Jolie, 31, thrives on manipulating her own image. After all, despite not having a publicist (unheard of for a celebrity of her caliber), the actress has expertly reinvented herself as a devoted mother and girlfriend—despite her wild past as a self-confessed drug-using goth who dabbled in bisexuality and had a string of 'lovers.'"
Assessment: Bringing up the goth/bisexuality bit is a low blow for the mag. There's also a sidebar called "Angelina's Wild Past," in which her "outlandish interests" pre-humanitarianism (death, cutting, bisexuality, and blood lust) are detailed. But really, how many more times do we have to hear about how she and Billy Bob Thornton wore vials of each others' blood around their necks? Regarding the stay-at-home mom hypocrisy, we're inclined to decide this one a little more in Us's favor. After all, Jolie also adopted Pax Thien as a single mom, even though she and Brad Pitt are raising all the kids together, to circumvent Vietnamese adoption rules that prevent unmarried couples from adopting.
Charge: She has an addictive personality, and Brad thinks she should chill out with the adoptions.
"After adopting three kids in five years, it's possible that [Angelina's] picked up a form of domestic addiction... Sources tell Us that the couple of more than two years have been at odds about expanding their brood so quickly after Shiloh's birth. 'They had a huge argument before she left for Vietnam,' says a source. 'He wanted her to slow it down, spend time with Shiloh and have more biological children." Also, Us asks, "Will Brad & Angie's Relationship Last?" The answer, according to an "expert": "Angelina's behavior may cause problems because it's hypocritical. Either you want to build a stable family or you want to be a woman with the career who's flying off here, flying there, doing this film, doing that film. But you can't have it both ways."
Assessment: Equating Angelina's adoption with her drug struggles and seeming sex addiction is a shrewd move, and raises the "she's actually crazy" specter subtly yet effectively. Then there are the allegations that she and Brad are at odds over the new adoptions, which would poke holes in their attempts to show the world that they're one big happy family. Regarding Shiloh, Us also brings up the famous quote from British Elle, in which Angelina says she feels "so much more for Madd and Zee because they're survivors, they came through so much... Shiloh was privileged from the moment she was born. I have less inclination to feel for her... A newborn really is this...yes, a blob!" Angelina's said that she was just responding to the interviewer's suggestion that Shiloh was a blob, not actually calling her daughter a blob—but word is that she often refers to her only biological child that way, and shows her other children blatant favoritism. Again, Us goes for the low blow by suggesting that the pair's relationship could be in trouble because of Angelina's quest to adopt more kids.
Charge: She uses her kids to manipulate the media.
"The day Jolie picked up Pax at the orphanage, where paparazzi swarmed, she said, 'Photographs make him upset... I'm sorry for bringing this into his life." And yet, just days after picking up Pax, Jolie staged photos of herself, Zahara, Maddox and Pax and sold them to U.K.'s Hello! magazine and People magazine... Jolie has a long history of using the media to her advantage. In April 2005, she and Pitt were photographed—in a shoot widely believed to have been orchestrated by Jolie—in PDA-free poses on a beach in Kenya with Maddox standing between them..."
Assessment: Jolie did come under fire for allowing the media frenzy surrounding her adoption of Pax, and some whispered that it was unseemly for her to have subjected Pax to a photo shoot so quickly after adopting him. But would Us not have published those photos? It's also interesting that they're finally coming clean about the Kenya photos by saying that the shoot was "widely believed to have been orchestrated by Jolie." That's code for, "The shoot was orchestrated by Jolie and we knew it, but we played along and bought the photos because it was such an explosive story, and we proceeded to run months' worth of unflattering stories and photos of Jennifer Aniston because we were on Team Jolie, but now we feel like we have been mortally betrayed."