Angelina’s band-aid family

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IOL Ang REUTERS Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie says her family have "helped to heal" her.

The 'Maleficent' star, who has six children, Maddox, 12, Pax, 10, Zahara, nine, Shiloh, seven, and five-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne with fiancé Brad Pitt, admits she has gone through very "dark" times in the past, but credits them for enabling her to open up again.

The 38-year-old actress told E! News she can relate to her character in the movie, explaining: "I understood that journey. I've been dark, I've been hurt, I've gone walls up, angry and changed, and then children have softened me and opened me up again, and made me remember all those wonderful things and they've helped to heal me."

She added: "Our friends can do that, our loves can do that and our children do that, so it's a wonderful thing."

The 38-year-old actress has gone through some tough times over the years.

The brunette beauty underwent a preventive double mastectomy after learning that she carried the BRCA gene, a mutation that puts a person at higher risk for breast and ovarian cancer, last year because she was left devastated by the death of her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, from ovarian cancer in 2007.

Angelina also revealed in 2010 that she used to self-harm and cut herself because she felt her life was empty before she became a mother.

She explained at the time: "I used to cut myself or jump out of airplanes, trying to find something new to push up against because sometimes everything else felt too easy.

"I was searching for something deeper, something more. I tried everything. I always felt caged, closed in, like I was punching at things that weren't there. I always had too much energy for the room I was in."


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