Jolie's African Child Conceived in Rape, Mom Reveals

Says Zahara's lucky to be with actress
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2007 2:56 AM CST
Angelina Jolie, right, a cast member in "Beowulf," poses with Brad Pitt at the premiere of the film in Los Angeles, Monday, Nov. 5, 2007. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The sickly Ethiopian baby adopted by actress Angelina Jolie was conceived after a knife-point rape, revealed the child's biological mother, Mentwabe Dawit, who said she's happy her daughter has found a good home. Her attacker "pulled a dagger, put one hand on my mouth so that I could not scream," raped her and disappeared, the 24-year-woman told Reuters.

Mentwabe gave birth at her family's home, but was unable to feed the baby, who became seriously ill.  "I was desperate and decided to run away, rather than see my child dying."  The infant was left with her mother, who put her up for adoption. Mentwabe said she has "never disputed" Jolie's adoption of the baby, renamed Zahara. "My daughter is a very fortunate human being to be adopted by a world-famous lady. I wish them both all the success they deserve," she said.