Angelina Jolie reveals Bell's palsy diagnosis, talks about life after Brad Pitt


Angelina Jolie is opening up about life after her split from Brad Pitt and reveals that she was diagnosed with Bell's palsy last year. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Jolie talked about her health issues, being a newly single mom and her personal connection to Cambodia.

Jolie said that since her well-documented preventative surgeries, including a double mastectomy in 2013 and a 2015 operation to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes, she has suffered other health problems, including hypertension and Bell's palsy. Bell's palsy is a result of damaged facial nerves and caused one side of Jolie's face to droop. 

"Sometimes women in families put themselves last," she told Vanity Fair, "until it manifests itself in their own health." Jolie said she was treated with acupuncture and has made a full recovery from Bell's palsy. 

Jolie also talked about the challenges of being a single mom to six children and said of the divorce and new home, "It's just been the hardest time, and we're just kind of coming up for air. [This house] is a big jump forward for us, and we're all trying to do our best to heal our family."

She defended herself from criticism that her children, who often travel with her, don't lead stable lives. 

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"That was not the problem," she told Vanity Fair. "That is and will remain one of the wonderful opportunities we are able to give our children ... They're six very strong-minded, thoughtful, worldly individuals. I'm very proud of them."

In particular, Jolie reflected on meeting her oldest son Maddox for the first time and how his birthplace, Cambodia, holds a special place in her heart; she just directed an adaptation of "First They Killed My Father," Loung Ung's 2000 memoir of the Khmer Rouge genocide, for Netflix. Jolie first visited the country to shoot "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider," and returned in 2002 to meet Ung and adopt an orphan. 

She told Vanity Fair that when she first met the children at the orphanage, she "didn't feel a connection."  

"They then said, 'There's one more baby,' " she recalled, and then she saw baby Maddox in a box suspended from the ceiling, and the two looked at each other. "I cried and cried," she said. 

Jolie and Pitt are still negotiating the terms of their divorce. Jolie said, "We care for each other and care about our family, and we are both working towards the same goal."

She added, "I do not want my children to be worried about me. I think it's very important to cry in the shower and not in front of them. They need to know that everything's going to be all right even when you're not sure it is."