Angelina Jolie has said she separated from Brad Pitt for the “wellbeing” of her family, and continues to “focus on their healing”.
The Hollywood star, 45, shares three biological and three adopted children with Pitt, 56.
They met on the set of Mr & Mrs Smith in 2005 and married in 2014 before Jolie filed for divorce in September 2016.
The actress, director and humanitarian told Vogue Global Network: “I separated for the wellbeing of my family. It was the right decision. I continue to focus on their healing.
“Some have taken advantage of my silence, and the children see lies about themselves in the media, but I remind them that they know their own truth and their own minds.
“In fact, they are six very brave, very strong young people.”
The pair’s eldest sons, Maddox and Pax, are from Cambodia and Vietnam respectively, countries that were at war during periods of the 1970s and 1980s.
Jolie admitted to having second thoughts about their adoption, saying: “It’s true, I did think about that. I did originally think not to adopt from Vietnam because Mad was Cambodian and the two countries have a complex history.
“Then I was reading a book on human rights and found myself staring at an image of a Vietnamese fighter held captive by Americans.
“I thought of my own country and our involvement in south-east Asia. I thought of focusing on a future where we were all family. I am very blessed to have been allowed to be their mom. I am grateful every day.”
Ahead of World Refugee Day on June 20, Jolie also addressed the challenges of raising children from different backgrounds.
She said: “Each is a beautiful way of becoming family. What is important is to speak with openness about all of it and to share. ‘Adoption’ and ‘orphanage’ are positive words in our home.
“With my adopted children, I can’t speak of pregnancy, but I speak with much detail and love about the journey to find them and what it was like to look in their eyes for the first time.
“All adopted children come with a beautiful mystery of a world that is meeting yours.
“When they are from another race and foreign land that mystery, that gift, is so full.
“For them, they must never lose touch with where they came from. They have roots that you do not. Honour them. Learn from them.
“It’s the most amazing journey to share. They are not entering your world, you are entering each other’s worlds.”
Read the full interview at vogue.in/culture-and-living/content/angelina-jolie-on-the-global-refugee-crisis-motherhood-and-covid-19