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Actress, Celebrity Angelina Jolie had Double Mastectomy
Angelina Jolie says that she has had a preventive double mastectomy after learning she carried a gene that made it extremely likely she would get breast cancer.
The Oscar-winning actress and partner to Brad Pitt made the announcement in the form of an op-ed she authored for Tuesday’s New York Times under the headline, “My Medical Choice.” She writes that between early February and late April she completed three months of surgical procedures to remove both breasts.
Jolie, 37, writes that she made the choice with thoughts of her six children after watching her own mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand, die too young from cancer.
“My mother fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56,” Jolie writes. “She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms. But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was.”
She writes that, “They have asked if the same could happen to me.”
Jolie said that after genetic testing, she learned she carries the “faulty” BRCA1 gene and had an 87 percent chance of getting the disease herself.
She said she has kept the process private so far, but wrote about with hopes of helping other women.
“I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made,” Jolie writes. “My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.”
Phone and email messages left by The Associated Press late Monday night seeking comment from Jolie representatives were not immediately returned.
She is anything but private in the details she provides, giving a description of the procedures.
“My own process began on Feb. 2 with a procedure known as a ’nipple delay,’” she writes, “which rules out disease in the breast ducts behind the nipple and draws extra blood flow to the area.”
She then describes the major surgery two weeks later where breast tissue was removed, saying it felt “like a scene out of a science-fiction film,” then writes that nine weeks later she had a third surgery to reconstruct the breasts and receive implants.”
Many women have chosen preventive mastectomy since genetic screening for breast cancer was developed, but the move and public announcement is unprecedented from a star so young and widely known as Jolie.
She briefly addresses the effects of the surgery on the idealized sexuality and iconic womanhood that have fueled her fame.
“I do not feel any less of a woman,” Jolie writes. “I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.”
She also wrote that Brad Pitt, her partner of eight years, was at the Pink Lotus Breast Center in Southern California for “every minute of the surgeries.”
Bertrand, Jolie’s mother, died in January 2007. She had small roles in the movies “Lookin’ to Get Out” in 1982 and “The Man Who Loved Women” in 1983. She raised Jolie and her brother after divorcing their father, Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight, when Jolie was a toddler.
Jolie has appeared in dozens of films including 2010’s “The Tourist” and “Salt,” the “Tomb Raider” films, and 1999’s “Girl, Interrupted,” for which she won an Academy Award.
But she has appeared more often in the news in recent years for her power coupling with Pitt and her charitable work with refugees as a United Nations ambassador.
Photo by Associated Press: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt arrive at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012, in Los Angeles.
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Last Update on September 19, 2014 07:07 GMT
DARRELL HAMMOND TO TAKE OVER SNL ANNOUNCER'S ROLE FOR LATE DON PARDO
NEW YORK (AP) -- It's a new gig -- and an old one -- for Darrell Hammond. The former "Saturday Night Live" cast member is now the show's new announcer, taking over the job Don Pardo had until he died earlier this year. Hammond says his goal is to get viewers to recall Pardo's voice -- without doing an impersonation of it. That wasn't the approach Hammond took some years ago -- when he occasionally filled in for Pardo. Hammond went behind the mic six times when Pardo couldn't go. NBC didn't announce the replacement -- and few people figured it out. Hammond is already the longest-running cast member of SNL. And he suggests his role may get even larger. He says he doesn't know if he will revive his impersonation of former president Bill Clinton -- should his wife Hillary decide to run for president.
AP Entertainment Editor Oscar Wells Gabriel reports Darrell Hammond will be the new announcer for NBC's "Saturday Night Live."
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Sound of the opening theme for "Saturday Night Live."
BOSTON (AP) -- A Massachusetts woman who pleaded guilty to stalking Kevin Spacey will get some time behind bars for her trouble -- and have to cough up a huge chunk of change as a result. Linda Louise Culkin of Quincy was sentenced yesterday to more than four years in prison -- and must pay Spacey $124,000 for bodyguards he brought on because of the stalking. Prosecutors say she took part in a "persistent and malevolent" cyberstalking pattern. She claims she's mentally ill.
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Is Cher a racist? That's what three backup dancers are suggesting in a lawsuit. The singers claim that Cher complained her "Dressed to Kill" tour had "too much color" -- and told the choreographer not to hire any more dark-skinned dancers. Choreographer Kevin Wilson -- who is black and danced in the tour -- was fired in July. A second black dancer claims she was let go -- also for racial reasons. A publicist for Cher says the accusations against the veteran performer are "ridiculous" and "couldn't be further from the truth." The lawsuit seeks more than $10 million in damages. Cher had to postpone three weeks of shows because of a viral infection earlier this month.
Three backup dancers are suing Cher. The AP's Jamie Friar reports the dancers charge racial and age discrimination
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Excerpt of Cher
Excerpt of Cher, performing "Believe."
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Excerpt of Cher
Excerpt of Cher performing "If I Could Turn Back Time."
NICKI MINAJ-WIG SUIT
ATLANTA (AP) -- Hair today -- gone tomorrow. A federal judge in Atlanta has yanked off a lawsuit filed against Nicki Minaj. The suit was laid down by the rapper's former wig designer. Terrence Davidson sued Minaj and her company for, among other things, flipping out on launching a reality TV show and a wig line. The suit also claims Minaj swiped his design for hairpieces. Lawyers for Minaj filed a motion to dismiss, claiming the suit's roots weren't solid in that the plaintiff failed to state a viable claims. The judge agreed -- and shook the case out of court.
DOWNTON ABBEY-NEW SEASON IN U.K.
LONDON (AP) -- The good news for "Downton Abbey" fans: the show's new season begins this weekend. The not-so-good news: it will be January before the season begins airing in the U.S. It airs in the U.K. first. Not to cough up any spoiler alerts, but the members of the cast say the tough economic times are starting to take their toll. Elizabeth McGovern says "all of the characters are adjusting to a changing world" -- with some being more successful at doing so than others.
Elizabeth McGovern says the economic crisis is putting a strain on her character's marriage. ((Note length of cut))
NEW YORK (AP) -- "What does a Jewish woman make for dinner? Reservations." If you thought that sounds like a joke Joan Rivers would tell -- you'd be right. It's one of several the late comedian agreed to contribute to a book about Jewish food. Her brand of comedy is featured in "Eating Delancey: A Celebration of Jewish Food." The book is due out in December and features foodie memories from people like Don Rickles and Itzhak Perlman. Rivers died earlier this month a week after suffering cardiac arrest during a medical procedure at a New York City outpatient surgery center.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Michael Sheen says it's easier playing Dr. Williams Masters on "Masters of Sex" than it is playing other real, but more famous people like British Prime Minister Tony Blair or TV interviewer David Frost. Sheen says he feels more freedom in playing Masters because --"very little is known about" his inner life.
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