After Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Kofi Annan, and Ban Ki-moon, could secretary-general of the United Nations be Angelina Jolie’s next starring role?
That intriguing possibility has been raised by the gossip website TMZ, which claims to have been briefed that Jolie’s claim that Brad Pitt was physically abusive to at least one of their kids and her fight for sole custody of the children was part of a bigger strategy to move to London to bolster her diplomatic résumé and later to take on one of the highest profile jobs on the planet.
Jolie’s reps have stoutly denied the claim, telling TMZ that there is no move planned, that Angelina is focused on the health and well being of her children, and that “Angelina wants to continue therapy with the kids and Brad.”
But the website claims with conviction that Jolie has “been looking for an opportunity to end the marriage and bolt for her dream job with all six children in tow.”
It has been previously reported that Jolie was interested in moving to the U.K., where she has a network of close political advisers. She was also hired as a visiting professor by the London School of Economics this year.
Hence, the story goes, Jolie’s claim that Pitt physically abused their son Maddox on a private jet—a tale that was swiftly shot down and rejected by California’s child-protection agency. Pitt was cleared of any such abuse following their 'exhaustive' investigation.
Jolie’s camp has kept up a steady stream of allegations that Brad is a “bad dad” who has anger issues, reinforcing Jolie’s initial statement that she was filing for divorce for “the health of her family.”
Jolie is seeking sole physical custody of the couple’s six children—Maddox, 15; Pax, 12; Zahara, 11; Shiloh, 10; and twins Vivienne and Knox, 8.
Divorce papers cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the split, which looks increasingly likely to be dominated by a bruising custody fight.
Followers of international politics will know, of course, that the Angelina for Secretary-General campaign is likely to be a slow burner: Portugal’s former prime minister, Antonio Guterres, will take over the post on Jan. 1 for at least five years.
The role of UN secretary-general may have always been occupied by elder statesmen with extensive diplomatic experience, but, however unlikely it seems, it’s far from impossible to imagine Jolie thinking she could land the job.
The actress has become an increasingly powerful voice for poverty-sticken and disenfranchised refugees over the course of her career; she has said that she first become aware of the extent of the problems people around the world face when she filmed Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in Cambodia in 2001, saying that seeing and meeting the people of that war-ravaged country “opened my eyes.”
Jolie has made refugee issues the focus of much of her work and the cause has seen her visit countries such as Sierra Leone, Haiti, Tanzania, Cambodia, Syria, and Iraq.
Her Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation, which is named after her first son, Maddox, who she adopted from Cambodia, is dedicated to eradicating extreme rural poverty in Cambodia.