Angelina Jolie has granted her first post-Brad Pitt-split interview to Vanity Fair, and she's opening up on everything from her health battles with hypertension and Bell's Palsy to what life's like now that she's single again for the first time since 2004.
Jolie revealed in her interview that 2016 not only ushered in the end of her marriage to Pitt — she filed for divorce from the actor on Sept. 20 — but she also began suffering new health crises, including hypertension and Bell's Palsy, a condition caused by facial nerve damage that made her face to droop on one side.
"It's just been the hardest time, and we're just kind of coming up for air," said Jolie, who had her ovaries removed in 2015 to prevent cancer, even though the procedure has caused her to go into instant menopause.
Now besides Bell's Palsy and hypertension, Jolie, 42, has also been battling gray hair and her skin has become dryer — but she's trying to make the best of this time in her life.
"I can't tell if it's menopause or if it's just been the year I've had," said Jolie. "Sometimes women in families put themselves last until it manifests itself in their own health."
However, she continued, "I actually feel like more of a woman because I'm being smart about my choices, and I'm putting my family first, and I'm in charge of my life and my health. I think that's what makes a woman complete."
Now that she's moved into a new $25 million home with her six kids — Maddox, 15, Pax, 13, Zahara, 12, Shiloh, 11, and 9-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne — Jolie's "been trying…to be really good at just being a homemaker and picking up dog poop and cleaning dishes and reading bedtime stories. And I'm getting better at all three."
"This house is a big jump forward for us, and we're all trying to do our best to heal as our family," she added.
As for the end of her longtime love affair with 53-year-old Pitt?
Jolie admitted that before her shocking September split with the actor, "things got bad" over the summer while she was busy on post-production for her new Netflix movie First They Killed My Father.
"Our lifestyle was not in any way a negative," she said of her family, largely avoiding the subject of Pitt.
"That was not the problem. That is and will remain one of the wonderful opportunities we are able to give our children…They're six very strong-minded, thoughtful, worldly individuals. I'm very proud of them."
The kids, she noted, have all been "very brave...in times they needed to be."
"We're all just healing from the events that led to the filing...They're not healing from the divorce. They're healing from some…from life, from things in life."
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