May 28, 2006

Pitt and Jolie have baby girl in Africa

By Shafiek Tassiem and Howard Burditt

WALVIS BAY, Namibia (Reuters) - A star is born.

Hollywood heavyweights Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt --
described as the "World's Most Beautiful Family" by 'People' --
have had a baby daughter in one of the most anticipated
celebrity stories of the year, the magazine said on Sunday.

A representative for the couple said Jolie, 30, had given
birth to Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt on Saturday in Namibia, a
sparsely populated desert country in southwest Africa. There
were no further details available, People reported.

The couple, dubbed "Brangelina" by the tabloids, have been
closely followed by the paparazzi in Namibia since arriving
there weeks ago to have their baby.

Jolie reportedly took a shine to Namibia, better known for
dunes and diamonds, while filming the movie "Beyond Borders."
She is a frequent visitor to Africa and is a Goodwill
Ambassador for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

The couple have been staying in a sealed off beach resort
in the tiny village of Langstrand and it was unclear if the
child had been delivered there or at one of the private
hospitals in the nearby towns of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.

Local residents in the Walvis Bay, shrouded in fog on
Sunday morning, were thrilled by the celebrity birth.

"It's great ... She has put us on the map. It is a great
thing," said resident Della van Noorten.

Another resident, who asked not to be named, was also very
happy but told the media to lay off.

"I am happy for her -- and leave them alone," the resident


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

Representatives for Jolie and Pitt could not be immediately
reached for comment.

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

The couple's stay in Namibia spurred a local media frenzy
with increasingly wild and unconfirmed stories including
suggestions that the new baby would be named by an African
chief or delivered underwater in a "water birth."

Green cloth screens mask the beach resort where they are
staying and bodyguards and Namibian security have kept a tight
cordon around them, hounding some journalists out of town.

Photographers from all over the world have come to the area
hoping to capture the first picture of the baby, which is
expected to garner a multimillion-dollar price tag.

In a sign of media fascination with the pair, "New York"
magazine recently said the baby was the most anticipated since
Jesus and would be more newsworthy than the recent birth of a
daughter to Hollywood stars Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.

A South African photographer was arrested on Wednesday for
the second time after he was caught on private property trying
to snap a picture of Pitt and Jolie.

Jolie, who won an Academy Award as best supporting actress
for playing a psychiatric patient in "Girl, Interrupted," was
divorced from actor Billy Bob Thornton in 2003. Before that she
was married to actor Jonny Lee Miller.

Pitt, a heart-throb famed for his looks and roles in movies
such as "Fight Club" and "A River Runs Through It," and
"Friends" star Jennifer Aniston were divorced last year.

(Additional reporting by Christopher Doering in Washington)