Namibia 'bowed to pressure' from Pitt and Jolie over birth

Oscar-winning actor Angelina Jolie has given birth to a daughter fathered by Hollywood movie star Brad Pitt.

Jolie, 30, gave birth to Shiloh Nouvel Jolie Pitt, in Namibia, Africa, People magazine reported yesterday.

Pitt, 42, and Jolie met in 2004 while working together on the film Mr. and Mrs. Smith, in which they played married assassins ordered to kill each other. The movie ends with the two still alive and happily married.

Jolie already has two adopted children - son Maddox, 4, and daughter Zahara, who is about 15 months old.

The new baby had become the ultimate big game hunt.

The Republic of Namibia - the impoverished country of 1.8 million known for its wild remoteness - not only welcomed the movie stars, it handed over control of its international land borders and airspace to them.

As the world awaited the birth of the child at a luxury villa complex on the coast, Namibian authorities said they had bowed to pressure from Jolie and Pitt and granted them the right to ban foreign journalists from entering the country - a remarkable move for the Government of any sovereign state.

The stars told ministers they would quit the country unless allegedly intrusive journalists and paparazzi were brought to heel.

As many as 50 of the world's most determined paparazzi had been lured to the Burning Shore Beach Lodge on the Atlantic coast by the prospect of getting the first picture of the child, though some reports say the pair have already sold the rights for the photo for $5.4 million, all proceeds going to charity.

But the exceptionally high-profile presence of Pitt and Jolie promises to be a massive boost to tourist income in the desperately poor country, where the average wage is $46 a week.

Three weeks ago, one South African and three French photographers were expelled from Namibia, a move attacked by human rights groups as a clear breach of the country's civil liberties legislation.

Nonsense, said the Government. "This lady is expecting," Prime Minister Nahas Angula said at the time. "You guys are harassing her. Why don't you allow her some privacy? Harassment is not allowed in Namibia."

- REUTERS, INDEPENDENT

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