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Yet according to James, it was a constant battle - to the point that Angelina and her older brother were reduced to pleading with him to pay the child support he owed."I tried hard when I was alone with him," recalls James. But it was when he dealt with my mother that we really saw him pulling the strings."And that made us very sad and angry. Now we're protective of women on their own and, of course, of children." It was an experience which drove brother and sister closer and even today their relationship borders on intensity. Notoriously, she gave him a long and passionate kiss when celebrating her Oscar success for Girl, Interrupted in 2000.
James, who has the same striking looks as his sister, travels with Brad and Angelina on many of their foreign expeditions, and spends hours in the company of her growing brood.
Angelina and I were very protective of her for that reason."It was their mother, Marcheline Bertrand, who provided the emotional underpinning to their lives, he says - the one point of stability amid the chaos. "But you know she doesn't pay much attention to food anyway and she's been going through a process of grief like me.
Her loss to cancer, aged just 56, has been devastating."Angie has become very thin because she's grieving," he admits. She has not wanted to eat, nor has she been able to."It ought to have been a privileged childhood for James and Angelina.
"But I do have horrible memories of my father and the way he behaved. He was always around but he never did his job as a father.
"I think one of the reasons Angelina and I care so much for other people is his treatment of our mother.
But the 'Brangelina' circus rumbles on, unperturbed, which on past form is no surprise.
Since she first hit stardom, she has been defiantly unconventional, whether it is boasting about unusual sex, showing off her collection of knives, or her large, and some will feel disfiguring, collection of tattoos.
"Angie and I would walk in and comment on how we could smell things cooking and baking in the kitchen."My mum was methodical in making sure we did our homework perfectly. Angie is now the same with her kids."Marcheline, a beauty of mixed French-Canadian and Iroquois heritage, was an actress in her own right when she married Voight in 1971. They separated in 1976, shortly after Angelina's birth.
She is eating little and already seems to be losing her famous curves.
Now, more than ever, says her brother, she is determined to place her faith in the lives of the children - and who knows how many more there will be - she is gathering around her."I have no memory at all of my mother shouting at me or at my sister," James explains. We saw him around Christmas time or at school recitals.
James and Angelina refuse to talk about the reasons for their parents' break-up - although there have been persistent rumours of womanising.
For all Marcheline's efforts to create a happy home, it was impossible to escape the destructive influence of Voight.