When the world was stunned this week by Angelina Jolie's confession that she had undergone a double mastectomy, Jolie’s father, Jon Voight, was also shocked. The 74-year-old actor admitted Tuesday that he found out the news along with the rest of the world, reading his daughter’s report on the Internet.
Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie revealed this week that after being diagnosed with the BRCA1 gene and being told by doctors that she had an 87 percent chance of breast cancer and 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, she made the decision to undergo the preventive double mastectomy procedure. Voight confirmed to the New York Daily News Tuesday that despite seeing Jolie two days before her op-ed in The New York Times was released, he was never informed of her operations.
“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,” said Voight, who admitted despite his 37-year-old daughter’s lack of warning, he was proud of her public admission.
“My love and admiration for my daughter can’t be explained in words. … I was as surprised as anyone and deeply moved by the way she’s handled this,” said Voight, referring to his daughter as an inspiration. “She’s an extraordinary person, the way she examined it and what she shared,” he said.
Keeping each other at a distance isn’t something unusual for the famous family, Jolie previously accusing Voight of allegedly having an affair, resulting in a decadelong and public battle between the two. Voight reached out to the actress to reconcile in 2011, calling his famous daughter "precious."
Jolie commented on her procedure, saying she hopes her decision to inform the public of her preventive surgery will inspire other potentially at-risk women to get tested for the gene.
“Cancer is still a word that strikes fear into people’s hearts, producing a deep sense of powerlessness. But today it is possible to find out through a blood test whether you are highly susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer, and then take action,” she said. “Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of."