Celebs

Brad Pitt 'quite emotional' about Angelina Jolie's surgery decision

May 15, 2013 at 9:21 AM ET

On Tuesday, Angelina Jolie announced she had preventive double mastectomy after being identified as the carrier of a gene that gave her a high probability of breast cancer; today, the reactions are wide and varied -- with her fiance Brad Pitt telling USA Today that he was "quite emotional about it, of course." But she may not be done with her medical procedures yet.

"She could have stayed absolutely private about it and I don't think anyone would have been none the wiser with such good results," Pitt told the newspaper. "But it was really important to her to share the story and that others would understand it doesn't have to be a scary thing. In fact, it can be an empowering thing, and something that makes you stronger and us stronger."

He revealed that for the past two months, Jolie was still taking care of her responsibilities and making appearances around the world, despite the surgery. "This was during Stage 2 (the double mastectomy)," he said. "Literally it was just weeks after she'd had truly major surgery."

Meanwhile, People magazine is now reporting that Jolie is planning further surgery, to remove her ovaries. Jolie's mother Marcheline Bertrand died of ovarian cancer at 56, and doctors told Jolie she had a high likelihood of contracting that disease as well.

Jolie's mother might have been her inspiration for her surgery, but her father Jon Voight (who, over the years has had a contentious relationship with Jolie) found out when nearly everyone else did -- when Jolie's firsthand account appeared in the New York Times on Tuesday.

Regardless, Voight told the New York Daily News that he respected her decision.

"My love and admiration for my daughter can't be explained in words," he said. "I saw her two days ago with my son Jamie. We all got together for his birthday, with her and Brad. But I didn't know. It wasn't obvious at all. I found out (Tuesday) morning. I was as surprised as anyone and deeply moved by the way she’s handled this."

He added, "I completely understand" her need for privacy. "I want the focus to be on the inspiration."

Back home, Pitt said he and the kids did their best to make Jolie's recovery easy and even enjoyable. "We set up our own little post-op recovery that became pretty fun. You make an adventure out of it," he said.

In the end, Pitt says he's happy that they've faced potential tragedy head-on, and have come out the other side. The experience, he said was "an emotional and beautifully inspiring few months. And I'll tell you, it's such a wonderful relief to come through this and not have a specter hanging over our heads. To know that that's not going to be something that's going to affect us. My most proudest thing is our family. This isn't going to get that."

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