'Nambians OK with Brad, Jolie'
Langstrand - Namibia's relaxed approach when it comes to celebrity is one of the main reasons why Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt chose this arid stretch of Africa to have their baby - and they should be left alone, locals say here.
Hollywood's golden couple, together with their two adopted children Maddox and Zahara, quietly jetted into Namibia in early April where Jolie, 30, is expected to give birth to their child.
Even in this remote corner of the continent, news of their presence quickly leaked out, unleashing a torrent of tabloid and paparazzi journalists on the small holiday resort of Langstrand, on the country's west coast.
Wedged between the icy Atlantic and rising sand dunes of the world's oldest desert, the Namib, the small resort town has become the scene of clashes between the press pack - straining to get a glimpse of the couple - and Jolie's bodyguards, backed by Namibian police.
A Namibian rights organisation and journalists have accused VIP guards and police of heavy-handed tactics, including a door-to-door search for suspected paparazzi and assaults on photographers with pepper spray.
But ordinary Namibians who live along Langstrand (Afrikaans for "Long Beach") told AFP this week they believed the star couple should be left alone.
"Namibians are not celebrity mad like in Europe or the United States," said Almuth Styles, who runs a tourist information shop in the scenic nearby colonial German holiday town of Swakopmund.
Styles told AFP when Jolie visited Namibia in 2002 for the filming of the movie
Beyond Borders, none of the locals were bothered too much about it.
"Jolie even came into the office asking for directions. I didn't recognise her and only afterwards a young trainee told me that it was her," she laughed.
Another resident, Roger du Toit, who every day takes his dog for a walk past the Burning Shore Lodge, where the couple is staying said "they are just ordinary people to me, enjoying the beautiful, unspoilt stretch of the beach and the view of the Atlantic Ocean."
"Let them enjoy this place like everybody else. It doesn't matter whether they are famous or not," Du Toit said with a typical shrug of Namibian shoulders.
The owner of a cluster of holiday flats next to the Burning Shore Lodge added she discovered a group of foreign paparazzi perched on the balcony of one of her apartments.
"They brought a ladder with them and climbed to the balcony of a chalet that I had rented out," Merylin Leippert told AFP.
"When I arrived the people who rented the chalet informed me of their unwelcome 'guests'," she said.
"They (the paparazzi) told me they had permission from the owner and I told them: 'I am the owner and that they certainly did not have my consent,' so I made them leave promptly."
Around this time of year, Langstrand's long white beach is empty and most of the resort's holiday homes are locked.
Its misty shores where the desert and the ocean meet, are only frequented during vacations and long weekends, when most residents drive here to escape the oppressive heat of the interior.
Langstrand's Burning Shore Lodge is a down-to-earth place.
The resort does not boast a single shop, just a small seaside restaurant and shopping for groceries has to be done either in Walvis Bay, Namibia's crusty port town 15km to the south or in Swakopmund, an equal distance to the north.
Jolie this week broke her silence on her life with Pitt, 42, saying the intense media and public interest in their relationship just made her "giggle."
"It's just kind of funny...If (Brad) saw this, he would probably understand why I was laughing. Because I just don't know how to address that kind of thing," Jolie told NBC television's Today show, in an interview taped in Namibia.
Brad Pitt has transformed himself into the most desired man in the world. Brad graduated from Kickapoo High and soon after heading to the University of Missouri, dropped his plans for majoring in advertising and set out to fulfill his boyhood dream, acting in Hollywood. Before he left, he lied to his parents and told them he was going to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. What really happened were odd jobs wearing a chicken costume for El Pollo Loco and driving strippers around for bachelor parties in a limo.
He didn't have to embarrass himself too long before getting roles in Dallas and Cutting Class, the latter in which he met and dated Jill Schoelen. His role in the movie Thelma & Louise rocketed himself into the hot hunks of Hollywood status and caught the attention of co-star Geena Davis, whom Pitt also dated briefly. Pitt then starred in Too Young To Die? with Juliette Lewis. Perhaps the title should have been, Too Young for California Law as Pitt had a lengthy relationship with the then 16 year old Lewis whom he also starred with in Kalifornia. Brad then made a name for himself as a good actor and not just a tightly abed pin-up when he starred in A River Runs Through It and Interview With A Vampire. Pitt then followed up with Seven, where once again he sacked his co-star Gwyneth Paltrow, the relationship stretched over 2 1/2 years and included a period of engagement as well.
Besides dating several of his co-stars, Pitt has dated several other celebrities as well, and what would you expect, since he could easily score any single (or even most married) woman in Hollywood? Brad's first celebrity dating was with Robin Givens in 1989, and the romance was quickly extinguished by crazed boxer and ex-husband Mike Tyson. Pitt rebounded from his relationship with the very young Lewis with Jitka Pohlodek. He also spent some time with Katja von Garnier, who was actually Pitt's age in this case when they dated in 1997. Others rumored to have pleasured Brad not already mentioned include Nicole Appleton, Demi Moore, Julia Ormond, and Uma Thurman. His current girl toy and wife is Jennifer Aniston. Although some gossip mongers have said Pitt was shacking up with Kelly Brook while in the UK filming the movie Fight Club. Pitt and Aniston lead a very reclusive life as a couple, many of their friends claim it is impossible to get the two to ever go out. Pitt even bought the homes to either side of his house to ensure privacy. Part of the speculation surrounding their privacy is the fact that the two are both insanely jealous of each other and cannot trust each other apart.
Brad Pitt besides being the desire of every woman (including even lesbian rocker Melissa Etheridge whom admitted to such in an interview) is the desire of many homosexual men. Several gossip mongers even claim that Pitt is bisexual, although there seems no concrete evidence to support such claims. Perhaps its a case where these men 'wish' he was bisexual as the National Examiner recently quoted from the editor of the Gay and Lesbian Times "He's a gay icon." Topping the list of celebrity women lusting after Pitt is Britney Spears, the internet's darling who admitted to her crush but was disheartened to learn she got beat to the punch by Aniston, whom Pitt married July 29, 2000 amid a huge amount of press coverage and celebrity attendees.