'Brangelina' Author Sees Split in '15-18 Months'
By Mike Hess Posted Dec 1st 2009 07:05AM
Angelina Jolie have ascended to be the Hollywood couple of our time, celebrity author Ian Halperin decided to take a look at what makes the supercouple tick -- and how they got to where they both are -- in 'Brangelina: The Untold Story of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.' That means all of the history, from Angelina's drug and mental issues to incest allegations to whether or not she and Brad were having an affair before his split from Jennifer Aniston. Halperin sat down with PopEater to talk about his new book, saying "there's been so many stories about them, so many rumors and innuendo, and I really feel I was able to get the story behind the story and break it down properly." He's also making a very bold guarantee to any detractors who question the legitimacy of his book. See for Yourself:
Ian's 'Sleep Naked in Times Square' Challenge
When you decided to write 'Brangelina,' was there something specific that caused you to start writing, or just a
general curiosity about them?
I started following them in 2004 because I was at the 'Ocean's Twelve' premiere, and I though something was very strange when Jen didn't show up with Brad. I remember arguing with my publicist saying 'I guarantee they split. I just have this feeling that something was wrong. Why wouldn't Jen show up to such a big premiere?' And she (his publicist) was saying "No, they're America's couple, they'll never split." We argued and shortly after we all know about what was going on.
The impetus now about releasing the book is there's really been nothing about them in book form for some reason. I felt that after interviewing about 900 people -- I had several researchers work on it with me -- I really think that this is the golden couple of Hollywood. Each era sort of has this one golden couple, and that's what Brad and Angie are now. I respect them now immensely. I think the book is sympathetic, I'll say that. The media, some say it's a hatchet-job, but I really balanced it in a sense that I don't think she's evil, but she's definitely manipulative but she's definitely scheming. She's an amazing deflector of criticism in the press. She knows how to do amazing spin doctoring. She's also a very talented artist who's lasted well over 10 years in showbiz, which is my barometer for respecting anyone in the media. Anyone who lasts 10-15 years plus, I take my hat off to them.
So why the book digging into their lives?
The issues I raise are about the couple. First, they lied from the get-go. Brad went on 'Oprah' and said he was faithful to Jennifer Aniston until the divorce papers were finalized. That's not true. I spoke to people who worked on 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith,' and they said there was fireworks between them from the first day of shooting. I think Angie had a plan to get Brad. She knew he was the most desirable man in Hollywood. There's been so many stories about them, so many rumors and innuendo, and I really feel I was able to get the story behind the story and break it down properly.
You mention you spoke to 900 people for this book. What was the range of these people in relation to Brangelina, and how would you consider them as sources?
Family members, personal friends, a lot of people who worked on films with them. When I was undercover as a paparazzi at the Chateau Miraval in 2006 when she was giving birth to the twins, I was able to befriend several people working for them. Everyone was at the hospital at Nice while Angie was in there, but I stayed behind. I knew that was my golden opportunity to befriend several people close to them. That's when I made my really key sources. I'm the only guy who's actually in regular contact with people in the household.
Still to this day?
I've toned it down in the past month since the book was coming out, but I do have access still.
What was the most shocking thing you took away from your research?
The whole era with the incest allegations and deflecting that. She's what magicians would call misdirection. That's what she's a master of in her camp. She checks herself into a mental institution, and next thing you know she elopes with Billy Bob Thornton and that was a very concerted effort to make sure she was never with James Haven again because Hollywood was ready to blacklist Angie. They just couldn't accept her open-mouth kissing her brother at the Oscars, and denied or not, she did it at the Golden Globes, several parties. And when Hollywood stepped in, they gave them a stern warning. They said 'Angie, you're never going to work again. You better deflect the media's attention,' and she did a great job of doing that with Billy Bob.
The Jon Voight situation, that's another master misdirection. On one hand, she's at the Oscars and Golden Globes saying he's the greatest father, she couldn't do it without him, and so on. All of a sudden, she turns on him and tries to convince the world that he's persona non grata and that was shameful, because John worked hard to be an admirable father. He always put his children first and so did her mother.
You talk a lot in the book about Jolie controlling her image via the media. Doesn't every celebrity do that? How does she differ in that sense?
She's the master because she's made so many controversial maneuvers and she's been able to get out of every one. I've never seen a celebrity with that much controversy around them come out smelling like roses the way she has. Look at the Jennifer Aniston thing. There were housewives across America who were livid and who vilified Angie, and she was able to turn that around by going on this campaign to discredit Jennifer. It was brilliant, but it was her only way out and only one person could do it -- Angie Jolie. She's got a high IQ and she's a talented actress. She keeps coming back with great roles, I respect her as an artist. Also, her philanthropy -- there's a lot of celebrities who donate to charity for tax purposes, but with her, she's genuinely concerned about charitable causes. She travels to war-torn countries and puts herself in dangerous situation. She's sincere.
Angelina Jolie Snapshots
Angelina Jolie is seen here pondering a set of photographs at the MOCA anniversary gala in Los Angeles on Nov. 14. Click for More Angelina Pics >>>
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Going back to the Jen Aniston angle of the book and the claims that Angelina Jolie spread rumors saying that Jen couldn't have children or didn't want to have children as a way to vilify Jen, how do you think both Jen and Angie handled the situation? Should Jen have come out and addressed it?
It broke Jen down emotionally. They did have a turbulent relationship though. Just yesterday, I was talking to a close friend of Aniston who told me that Aniston would regularly check herself into hotels just to get a bit of separation between them towards the end. But, she was still madly in love with him and wanted to have children with him, so it devastated her. What she did was perhaps the most commendable way I've ever seen a Hollywood star deal with such devastation. She was able to keep quiet about it all, get into spiritual counseling and really move forward slowly but surely without sounding like a victim or sour grapes. She could have come out and lambasted Jolie, and she chose not to.
And what about Angie's role?
She didn't let it blow over. She was concerned because there was so much animosity toward her, so she went on the attack saying Aniston didn't want to have children, which was the furthest thing from the truth. I think there's a lot of negativity Angie exudes towards Jennifer to this day.
And the claims about Jolie spreading rumors about Aniston and not wanting to have kids, how would you classify the sources you have who told you this?
Rock solid. These are people who have worked in the camp, in the household, and they were very concerned about this. Angie has a history of being attracted only to married or attached men. Billy Bob Thornton was attached to Laura Dern. In this particular case, it didn't bode well with the rest of America.
There's a prediction that Brad and Angie will split in or before 18 months. What do you think the odds are on that?
They won't be different than other Hollywood number 1 couples. They won't be together forever. I'll bet my last dollar on it. They've made the attempt. In the beginning, they were enamored with each other, but she's an extremely sexual person and she gave him the attention that he'd never had before. It was paradise at the beginning. But look at Pitt today, he looks like he's been hit by a truck compared to four years ago. She has brought a lot of good things to him -- the children, for example -- but he didn't know what he was getting into and that's why I think they're going to split. I hope it plays out well because there's six children involved, but I don't think it will. I give them 15-18 months.
Do you think the media -- and maybe even your book and others like it -- might contribute to that?
I think they ignore the media and the tabloids. I don't think they'll ignore my book. Even though a she [Jolie] or her spokesperson said she won't read it, I have a feeling Pitt will be the first guy in line to read it because there's a lot about Angie he doesn't know. I know for a fact his family is going to read it. But the media following them, that's part and parcel with the gig.
Did you speak to their camps at all?
I made official requests to their camps because I wanted the book to be fair. I really tried to go out of my way to be fair, and I contacted their reps and let them know what I was doing. Usually I don't contact my subjects, I contact everyone except the subjects usually because you get the same lines from these people. In his case, to prove to everyone how sympathetic I wanted to be, I contacted them but they wouldn't cooperate and that's fine.
Since the publication of the book, has there been anything major that's developed with Brangelina?
Just on the adoption -- I learned she recently filed an adoption request for a seventh child, and incredibly on the form it's only her name. Not Brad's. If they were going to stay together, why isn't Brad Pitt's name on the form. Apparently the papers were filed in Syria.
Last week, you clashed with Star Jones on 'The Insider' after she called your book and journalistic style "sleazy." There's been some other negative press as well. Do you expect that nowadays?
They try to spread false things about me all the time. Everything I print has been substantiated. That's why I've lasted so long in this business. Publisher's know when I write something, I'm not talking out of my butt. As for Star Jones, there was a lot more to that interview that was cut. They called out how I wrote that Jolie's kids call their nanny "mommy." I asked if anyone was parents, because that's a big deal. Star and the other guy Chris aren't parents.
Star Jones -- I hope you print this -- I'd like to go head to head and have a good debate with her. She's just someone who talks a lot, and I think if I got on the stand with her, I'm going to quiet her down.
Check out A Year in the Life of Brangelina on Moviefone.
Ian Halperin Visits PopEater
Author Ian Halperin peers over the top of his 'Brangelina' book during his visit to the PopEater offices.
Ben Trivett, AOL
Ben Trivett, AOL
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