Wild child Angelina Jolie has always been open about her unconventional girlhood. But the future Hollywood star's struggles were more challenging than the world ever knew. RadarOnline.com can now reveal that Jolie's mother, Marcheline Bertrand, cruelly banished her step-grandmother from the family nearly 30 years ago, according to a source close to the family. And these never-before-seen photos reveal just how close they once were.
Jolie, seen here on Halloween in the early 80s, was once incredibly close to her maternal grandmother, Elke Bertrand.
"Elke used to see Angelina and her brother James all the time," a source close to the family said.
"Marcheline would drive them up from Los Angeles every holiday and in the summer," said the source.
A young Jolie gazed adoringly at her grandmother on Valentine's Day in the early 80s.
But Jolie and her brother James Haven would be blindsided when their mother allegedly cut Elke out of their lives, according to the source.
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When Marcheline's father Rolland Bertrand died of cancer in 1985, he left the bulk of his fortune to Elke, whom he had married after his first wife — and Marcheline's mom — Lois, died at age 45. But disagreements over his personal items sent Elke and other family members, including Marcheline, to court.
RadarOnline.com could find no record of the court case, but insiders say the judge sided with Elke, and furious Marcheline never let her children see her again after Rolland's funeral.
"It was just silence from Marcheline – as if Elke had never been part of their lives," the source said. "Elke has no idea what the children were told about her. When her husband died, she didn't lose just him. She lost her whole family."
Now 76 and retired, Elke "would love to see Angie and James again," the insider said.
"She still thinks about them every day," according to the source.
When reached for comment, Elke said she still loves and misses her grandkids. But she declined to comment further, insisting it all went down "too long ago."
"Elke always knew Angelina was special, and she's very proud of her," said the source. "She just hopes that Angie and James remember her fondly, and have happy memories of her."