Jon Voight, Angelina Jolie’s father, revealed he learned about her preventive double mastectomy on the internet along with the rest of the world.
Jon Voight, 74, who reconciled with Angelina Jolie after a 10 year feud in 2011 praised his “extraordinary” daughter but was understandably surprised – especially as he had seen Angelina just one day before her announcement in the New York Times.
“My love and admiration for my daughter can’t be explained in words,” the actor told the New York Daily News.
“I saw her two days ago with my son Jamie. We all got together for his birthday, with her and Brad [Pitt]. But I didn’t know. It wasn’t obvious at all.
“I found out [Tuesday] morning. I was as surprised as anyone and deeply moved by the way she’s handled this. She’s a very extraordinary person, the way she examined it and what she shared.”
Angelina Jolie made the decision to have the surgery after learning she is a carrier of the BRCA1 gene and had an 87% chance of contracting breast cancer and a 50% risk of getting ovarian cancer.
She continued working throughout three months of procedures and kept them a secret from everyone other than her fiancé Brad Pitt, who was seen leaving a Hollywood studio on Tuesday, and their six children.
Jon Voight says he “absolutely” respects Angelina Jolie’s choice to keep her decision from him for that time.
“I completely understand,” the actor explained.
“I want the focus to be on the inspiration.”
Jon Voight revealed he spoke to Angelina Jolie on Tuesday and she talked him through what it all means.
“She just explained to me and educated me on this stuff,” he said.
Jon Voight fell out with Angelina Jolie in 2002 when he accused her of having “serious mental problems”, while Angelina criticized him for having an affair behind her mother’s back.
It was Angelina Jolie’s fiancé Brad Pitt who eventually engineered their reconciliation and acted as a go-between.
Speaking in October 2011 Jon Voight claimed he’d had an emotional epiphany and that he began living for his family after everything changed “in a moment”.
“I suddenly saw things differently and everything shifted. That one moment changed my whole life,” he said.
“It gave me back my daughter and my family. Being reunited with my Angie is very precious to me. I adore my grandchildren, they are my great love. It makes me so emotional and grateful.”