Zahara Jolie-Pitt’s natural mother is desperate to be part of the 12-year-old’s life.
According to the Daily Mail, Mentewab Dawit Lebiso, Zahara’s natural mother, has issued a heartfelt plea asking the 41-year-old actress to allow access to the child she gave up for adoption as a tiny infant.
The 31-year-old, who still calls Zahara’s birth place of Ethiopia home, has had no contact with the child since she was taken to America by Angelina at just six months old in 2005.
Speaking with the Daily Mail she said, “I just want her to know that I am alive and here and long to be able to speak with her. I do not want my daughter back but just to be in contact with her and be able to call her up and talk with her.”
With an interpreter at her side, Mentewab spoke her native Amharic tongue.
She said, “Angelina has been more of a mother to her than I have ever been. She has been with her since she was a baby, but that does not mean I do not miss her.”
“I miss her all the time. I think about her every day and long to hear her voice or see her face. I know when she has a birthday but I am sad because I can't celebrate it with her. I would so much want to celebrate with her on her birthday and other special days.”
She added: “I long to be able to have regular contact with her.”
Mentewab also touched on Angelina and estranged husband Brad Pitt’s acrimonious custody battle, which has steadily made headlines since the couple filled to end their marriage in September 2016.
Mentewab explained that her relatives in America have sought to keep her abreast of the situation by reading any relevant new stories aloud over the phone - including the child abuse allegations made against Zahara’s adoptive father, 53-year-old Brad.
Angelina reportedly filed for divorce following a fight between Brad and their eldest child Maddox, while the family was aboard a private jet. Several reports have indicated that Brad was “verbally abusive” and became “physical” with the 15-year-old as the altercation slowly spiralled out of control.
Choosing to side with the Maleficent actress in the couple's high profile custody battle, Mentewab said, “I want my daughter to stay with Angelina. She is a good mother and all children should stay with their mother.”
In November, the Academy Award-winning actress released a statement confirming that her six children with Brad - Maddox, 15, Pax, 13, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, and 8-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne - would continue to live with her while Brad would only be granted “therapeutic visits.”
Mentewab said, however, that Brad had been a “good father” to her daughter Zahara.
She added, “I am not worried about Zahara in this as she will be looked after by them both. I know they love the children and they will not want any hurt to come to them.”
When the By the Sea actress adopted baby Zahara, she was informed that the child’s birth parents had died by cause of Aids.
It wasn’t until 2007 that the actress learnt Zahara’s birth mother was alive and living in Africa, when Mentewab gave her first interview.
Despite this knowledge, Angelina has never made contact with Mentewab.
Speaking of her continued love for the child she gave up, Mentewab said, “I would like Zahara to know she has a mother who loves her as much as Angelina.”
“She has a life that I could never give her, but I would still like to have some contact. I would like to see her face. She has grown into a beautiful woman and I am so proud of her. My heart bursts because I am so proud.”
“I would ask Angelina to let me speak with her. I do not think it is too much to ask.”