Angelina Jolie has responded to the recent claims that she mistreated Cambodian child actors during the auditions for her new movie First They Killed My Father.
In the same interview that revealed Jolie suffers from Bell's palsy and "cries in the shower" following her divorce, it was insinuated that the actress took real money from Cambodian children - asking them what they needed it for before "snatch[ing] it away" - to get an authentic reaction from them.
"In order to find their lead, to play young Loung Ung, the casting directors set up a game, rather disturbing in its realism: they put money on the table and asked the child to think of something she needed the money for, and then to snatch it away," the Vanity Fair profile read.
As soon as the interview was released, critics slammed the 42-year-old over the claims.
"What a cruel psychological game to play with impoverished children," one person wrote on Twitter.
Now Angelina has responded, releasing a statement overnight which says her words were misinterpreted and that "the suggestion that real money was taken from a child during an audition is false and upsetting."
"I would be outraged myself if this had happened," she said to the Huffington Post.
Read the full statement below:
Every measure was taken to ensure the safety, comfort and well-being of the children on the film starting from the auditions through production to the present. Parents, guardians, partner NGOs whose job it is to care for children, and medical doctors were always on hand everyday, to ensure everyone had all they needed. And above all to make sure that no one was in any way hurt by participating in the recreation of such a painful part of their country’s history.
I am upset that a pretend exercise in an improvisation, from an actual scene in the film, has been written about as if it was a real scenario. The suggestion that real money was taken from a child during an audition is false and upsetting. I would be outraged myself if this had happened.
The point of this film is to bring attention to the horrors children face in war, and to help fight to protect them.
This article previously appeared on marie claire.