Inside Angelina Jolie's Relationship With Her Brother James Haven

Angelina Jolie is a true A-list actress in every sense of the word. Since bursting on the scene in the late 1990s, her projects have always made headlines and made bank at the box office. But as one of Hollywood's biggest stars, her private life is also a tabloid staple. Outside of Jolie's never-ending drama with ex-husband Brad Pitt, one relationship in her life has always garnered interest from fans and tabloids. 

In her early days of fame, Jolie's older brother, James Haven, was always by her side. Though she never described her upbringing as picture-perfect, there were two people she always spoke highly of: her late mother and her brother. From tagging along with her to events and publicly defending her controversial choices, Haven has perfectly played the role of big brother.

Despite having their relationship scrutinized heavily over the years, the two have remained supportive of one another during the good times and the bad. Since they no longer have shocking red-carpet moments together and have each settled into quiet adult lives, many have wondered where they stand today. Here's everything we know about Angelina Jolie's relationship with James Haven.

The two siblings share a love for acting and activism

Angelina Jolie and James Haven were born to two actors, Marcheline Bertrand and Jon Voight. With acting in their blood, it's no shock that these two eventually aspired to be in front of a camera. For Jolie, it wasn't long before she made a big splash on screen. In 1998, a then-22-year-old Jolie starred in the HBO television film "Gia." Though it was a breakthrough role for her, Haven also had his time on screen. Luckily for him, he was given a small role in the same film as his younger sister. Jolie's career took off the following year with the critically acclaimed "Girl, Interrupted," which earned her an Oscar nom. While her star continued to rise, Haven nabbed his own roles in films like "Hell's Kitchen," "Monster's Ball," and "Original Sin".

Outside of acting, Jolie and Haven share a love for humanitarian work. The two have used their platform and devoted their time to causes worldwide. For Haven, his involvement in causes like environmental and animal rights comes from his little sister. "Angie was the catalyst. She'd say, 'I just heard this is going on in Darfur...' and I'd want to be involved," he told Marie Claire in 2007. Haven also believes that their empathy for those in need comes from the rocky childhood that they experienced. He explained how his father's mistreatment of his mother made him sensitive to other abandoned women and children.

They were both estranged from their dad

Growing up with a famous actor for a father might sound like a glamorous childhood to many. However, it was the complete opposite for Angelina Jolie and James Haven. Over the years, Jon Voight's two children accused the actor of abandoning them, not helping them when they struggled financially, and mistreating their mother. The two even dropped the Voight name. In a 2007 interview with Daily Mail, Haven didn't bite his tongue. He spoke in depth about how their estranged relationship with their father left emotional scars. "Angie has been driven to be an independently wealthy woman now because we saw what it was like to be at the mercy of someone who controls the money and pulls the strings," Haven explained. He recalled he and his sister often begging their famous father to pay child support.

Following the explosive interview, Voight responded publicly. "God knows for years, I've tried to mend this relationship," Voight said. "Perhaps the trauma of their mother's passing has made it worse. I continuously send them my heart and love, and I'm always available to them for whatever they may need from me."

In 2011, Voight mended his relationship with his kids. "I suddenly saw things differently, and everything shifted. That one moment changed my whole life," he told Daily Mail. Haven and Jolie's then-husband, Brad Pitt, helped the two reconcile, and in 2022, Voight even made a rare public appearance with his son.

James was Angelia's date to the Oscars

There's no bigger night in Hollywood than the Oscars. In 2000, Angelina Jolie made a splash at the awards show not just because she won, but because she arrived with her brother James Haven. Jolie was up for Best Supporting Actress for her dramatic role in "Girl Interrupted." On her big night, Haven was by her side on the red carpet and cheered her on as she graced the stage to accept her award. Haven's support on her biggest night meant a lot to Jolie, who praised him during her acceptance speech. "I'm in shock, and I'm so in love with my brother right now. He just held me and said he loved me, and I know he's so happy for me, and thank you for that," an emotional Jolie said during her speech. The actress also thanked her parents but chose to conclude the speech with once again highlighting the man who sat by her side. "Jamie, I have nothing without you. You are the bravest, strongest man I've ever known. Thank you. I love you so much."

However, the beautiful and heartfelt speech wasn't the biggest talk of the night. It was what occurred between Jolie and Haven on the red carpet. As the two siblings walked the red carpet, they shared a kiss on the lips. To say the rest of the world was shocked by the lip lock would be an understatement.

They came under fire for their strange relationship

The infamous kiss on the Oscars red carpet put Angelina Jolie and James Haven's relationship under plenty of scrutiny. The kiss and acceptance speech even seemed to overshadow Jolie's big win. The endless jokes on late-night television didn't sit well with Jolie's mother –– something Jolie blatantly addressed in an interview with Jay Leno. The actor confronted the talk show host about some of the incest jokes he made about her. "When somebody says stuff about your family, it's just not okay. And my mom's just not been okay about the stuff about me and my brother ... Just do me a favor and read these things you've said," she said, handing Leno a list of his most offensive jokes about her and her brother. "I highlighted the two that she really appreciated — it made her sick."

In other interviews, Jolie attempted to explain the actions and bristled at any accusation that the two siblings had an inappropriate relationship. "First, we're the best of friends. And it wasn't some odd open-mouthed kiss. It was disappointing that something so beautiful and pure could be turned into a circus," she told People in 2004. 

By 2007, Haven had enough of the questions surrounding the kiss. "[It was] so long ago! Can we please move forward? Someday, I'll get married, and on my wedding day, they'll be saying, "Okay, we have to ask about that infamous Oscar kiss" he told Marie Claire.

They grew closer after the loss of their mother

Though Angelina Jolie and James Haven had an estranged relationship with their father, the two remained close to their mother until she passed away in 2007. The siblings were by each other's side when they received the news and helped each other cope with the loss. In an interview with Daily Mail, Haven revealed that the painful loss of their mother rattled the two. "When I first lost my mother, I couldn't stop crying. Fortunately, I was with Angie when we heard. It was such a big moment," he recounted. 

Haven and Jolie's mother, Marcheline Bertrand, was just 56 years old when she passed away from cancer. The grieving process wasn't easy for both siblings, especially Jolie, who was under the spotlight. "Angie has become very thin because she's grieving," Haven admitted that year. "It's even difficult for her to eat. I keep saying to her, 'Don't forget to eat,' but you know she doesn't pay much attention to food anyway, and she's been going through a process of grief like me. She has not wanted to eat, nor has she been able to." 

The loss of their mother and the fractured relationship with their father left both Jolie and Haven feeling like orphans. Haven admitted that it helped them connect to children in need. "If Angelina understood something about missing parents before, she understands completely now. Angelina and I are orphans, too, in a way. When you see those kids in orphanages, they cling to each other," he explained.

Angelina gives James dating advice

When your sister is a star as big as Angelina Jolie, it's expected that her personal life is something that's fixated on by the media. But for Jolie, the romantic life of her older brother, James Haven, is something she admittedly has always been involved in. "I've always been tough on anyone he's dated. I've been the nightmare for any girl. But if I like her, I'm fantastic," she admitted to People. 

According to Haven, Jolie's high standards for the women in his life stem from the upbringing the two experienced together. "She wants me to be with the right woman. When you come from a divorced home, divorce is what you desperately want to avoid," Haven explained to the Daily Mail in 2007. Haven's love life is a bit of a mystery, but the actor explains that when the right woman comes along, she will need to go through Jolie. "Maybe I haven't found the right woman because my sister is too picky for me. Any woman has to go through two filters, me and then my sister," he said. 

Despite being the older of the two and overprotective, Haven isn't too tough on the men Jolie has dated in the past. "I trust her opinion. If she says, 'I like this guy,' then I see his great qualities," he told People. In 2007, Haven expressed high hopes for her relationship with Brad Pitt. "If it keeps going the way it's going, they'll be together for life," he told Express.

Angelina named Shiloh after James

Angelina Jolie has always made it clear that her children are the most important people in her life. With her love for her children, it's no surprise that she picked names for each of them that hold a special meaning to her. For her daughter Shiloh, Jolie selected a name that honored another important person in her life, her older brother, James Haven. In 2007, Haven explained that Shiloh was a middle name his parents almost gave him. "Before I was born, I was going to be [named] Shiloh, and at the last second, my parents gave me Haven [as a middle name] instead. So it was great when Brad and Angie came to me and said, 'We're thinking of names, and our favorite is Shiloh. Would it be okay?' I was almost in tears," said Haven in an interview with Express. Haven expressed much pride in being an uncle to Jolie's children and even gushed over the similarities he sees between himself and Shiloh. 

"I can see Brad in little Shiloh, my sister, too. She's got my dimples, and there's a little bit of my mom in her," he continued. Much like her uncle, Shiloh lives a life under the radar despite her high-profile parents. 

Jolie picking that name further displayed the sibling bond between her and her brother — something he deeply appreciated. "It's an honor beyond any honor I've received in my life," said Haven.

Angelina hired James as a nanny

In 2016, Angelina Jolie's marriage to Brad Pitt began to crumble. The shocking news of her divorce filing left one question on everyone's mind — what would happen to the couple's six children? One day prior to the filing, Jolie's brother, James Haven, was spotted out at a park with Jolie's three biological children, Knox, Vivienne, and Shiloh. Though this seemed like a regular outing for an uncle and his nieces and nephews, rumors began to circulate that Haven was now a nanny for the Jolie-Pitt brood. Daily Mail reported that Jolie hired Haven as a full-time nanny for the children. He was reportedly just one of the six nannies Jolie hired. 

Haven made frequent trips with the children to Cambodia, where Jolie was shooting a film at the time. According to the outlet, Haven was a rock for Jolie during the tough period. "She trusts him; he's always been her best friend, and Brad drove a wedge between them for years, so it's pretty big that he's now back in the fold." the source revealed. 

It was an easy adjustment for the children who were used to having Haven around. Months before news of the divorce, OK! Magazine reported that the kids allegedly spent more time with Haven than with their own father. "Brad's absolutely working his butt off right now, and the kids rarely see him," a source said. "He leaves for the set before they wake and comes home after they've gone to bed."

Angelia reportedly fired him as a nanny

A year after hiring her brother as a full-time nanny for her children, rumors began circulating that Angelina Jolie dismissed him from the job. According to Grazia, James Haven didn't last long as one of the six nannies for the Jolie-Pitt children (via Yahoo). The source claimed that the firing didn't stem from a rift between the siblings or a disagreement over the caretaking. It reportedly was because Jolie began to see the job taking a "heavy toll" on her older brother. "Things haven't been easy with Brad and Angelina's divorce, and James has done more than his fair share helping out while the family goes through a major upheaval," the insider told Grazia. "But he's done. He's loved spending so much time with his nieces and nephews, but it's hard work, and he's absolutely shattered." Haven's schedule as the nanny was grueling, and he was reportedly working around the clock. 

"It was his job to be there if any of the kids woke up during the night and to deal with the nannies if they had any issues. He was virtually running the household, and it became very draining," the insider added. As Jolie moved forward with her high-profile divorce from Brad, the actress knew she had a long battle in front of her and needed to stand on her own. "She's grateful that James was there but knows she can't rely on him every step of the way," the source continued.

James Haven spoke about where he stands with Angelina today

James Haven has navigated his sister's career by remaining under the radar and being completely supportive of her. After he was fired as the nanny for nieces and nephews, many wondered if there was a rift between him and Angelina Jolie. In a rare interview with the "90who10" podcast, Haven gave some insight into his relationship with Jolie today. He told co-host Jessica Entner that he's still a protective big brother. "I think it's natural. That's where it all started. It started with the protection of her and her children, my nieces and nephews," he revealed. 

Despite no longer being the family nanny, Haven still loves to spend time with the children whenever he's available. "I just want to be there any time, very much like my mom," he said, referring to his and the actress' late mother, Marcheline Bertrand. "Any time I'm blessed to be in their presence, I want to be in their presence." Now that the majority of the Jolie-Pitt clan are grown up, Haven believes it's important to be there for them during their formative years.

The divorce drama is not over yet for Jolie and Brad Pitt. The two have yet to come to a custody agreement regarding their three youngest children. However, Jolie still has her big brother in her corner. "I want to be there for them or for her, whatever she's going through," Haven said.