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Peddling sex, highs and videotape

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IOL Lara byline

HOLLYWOOD is nothing if not consistent in its hypocrisy. One day you’re top of the bill, the next you’re over the hill (as the ol’ song goes) and the very same industry that affords leverage to the onslaught of reality stars turned actors/singers/producers/directors will simultaneously seek to dethrone those who earned those titles through actual (gasp!) talent and hard work.

The latest in their firing line? Dear Angelina Jolie. Just nano seconds after the Queen of England (yes, the actual queen) bestowed the distinction of Dame on Angelina in honour of her humanitarian work, out crawled the cockroaches, in search of their fetid piece of the money pie.

Lo and behold, a video showing the then 24-year-old in a less than favourable light has suddenly materialised, at the very moment in her life when the Dame is receiving wider recognition for her good deeds than her movie career.

The timing is, of course, purely coincidental (cough, cough, splutter). Never mind that the “astonishing” footage was shot 15 years ago by a convicted drug dealer, who claims he recorded the 16-minute video with Jolie’s consent, after she had summoned him around to her Manhattan hotel-cum-home for another “hit” of heroin and cocaine.

A drug dealer who just happened to have a camera on him when an up-and-coming starlet (Angie had just finished filming Girl, Interrupted for which she would go on to win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar) just happened to “invite” him over to her place of residence at some random hour, and who just happened to say “Yeah, sure” when he supposedly asked if he could record her, because… well, just because. Ah-huh.

Oh, and this same dealer, one Franklin Meyer, just happens to have spent the past decade making a living off peddling precisely this sort of sensationalism pertaining to Angelina in particular, following his release from prison way back when.

Nay, of course Frankie isn’t looking to score (another) quick buck. Perish the thought! He’s simply a conscientious citizen who wishes to demystify the illusion surrounding the world of showbiz and the people who populate it. Aw, bless. What an upstanding guy.

Granted, Angie was obviously aware she was being caught on candid camera, given that she looks directly at it. And yes, her restless demeanour and not-so-heroin-chic emaciated appearance (complete with tell-tale track marks on her arms) reveal that she did indeed dabble in nefarious activities.

But here’s the kicker: she’s never attempted to secret away her questionable past, which is why her many misdeeds during her younger days are well documented. In fact, when she first entered the proverbial Hall of Fame, Angelina’s entire image was built on being the bad girl who balked at all forms of socially accepted convention. Hence her forthrightness – even if not always solicited – about her penchant for sadomasochism, her lesbian love affairs and those infamous viles of each other’s blood she and former hubby, Billy Bob Thornton, used to wear.

What, then, makes this latest video so “shocking” and, more importantly, why is it even newsworthy? If something similar we’re to be released featuring the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Taylor Swift or other (yawn) squeaky clean, holier-than-thou celebs, perhaps then we’d have cause to gossip around the water cooler.

For my money, this reminder of the devil-may-care Angelina only makes her transformation into the incredible person she’s become all the more remarkable.

LARA DE MATOS

TONIGHT EDITOR

[email protected]


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