Zahara Jolie-Pitt may have a bright future ahead of her, but the story of her past is less uplifting.
According to her biological mother, the two-year-old adopted daughter of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt was the product of rape.
Mentwabe Dawit, 24, told Reuters that she was walking home in the dark after a day of a work in the southern Ethiopian village of Awasa when a man approached and attacked her.
"He pulled a dagger, put one hand on my mouth, so that I could not scream. He then raped me and disappeared," she recalled.
Dawit soon found that she was pregnant as a result of the violent encounter and initially decided to keep her condition to herself.
"I feared the consequences of being raped in a community where rape is considered a taboo, even if what happened happened forcibly," she said.
But as the weeks passed, her belly expanded past the point she could conceal it, and she ultimately decided to confide in her mother.
"It was not as I feared. I found my mother understanding and consoling. She urged me not to do anything rash, which might endanger my life," Dawit said.
She gave birth to the baby girl in her family's home, giving her the name Yemsrach, which means good news in the Amharic language.
However, soon after delivering the child, Dawit realized she was unable to provide her with enough food. Rather than staying to watch the baby waste away, she fled.
"My baby was on the verge of death. She became malnourished and was even unable to cry," she said. "I was desperate and decided to run away, rather than see my child dying."
Dawit said her mother searched for her for months, but finally reached the conclusion that she had died and put the baby up for adoption.
Dismissing recent media reports claiming that her mother was coerced into giving the child away, Dawit said she stood behind her mother's actions.
"My mother was not misled by anyone, as was alleged by some media outlets. Her motive was to save the child from dying, which I fully understand," she said.
Dawit also denied that she was seeking to be reunited with the child.
"I have never disputed the adoption of my baby by Angelina Jolie.
"I think my daughter is a very fortunate human being to be adopted by a world-famous lady. I wish them both all the success they deserve," she said.
Jolie adopted Zahara in 2005 through the Wide Horizons for Children agency. On the child's documents, it said her birth mother had died of AIDS and that her birth father was unknown.
Despite the apparent resurfacing of the child's mother, the agency reaffirmed last week that Jolie's adoption was completely legal and binding.