Contrary to tabloid reports, the Ethiopian birth-mother of Angelina Jolie‘s adopted daughter has come out denying that she ever tried to fight the adoption of baby Zahara.

“I have never disputed the adoption,” Mentwabe Dawit told Reuters news service when interviewed at her home in the Ethiopian city of Awasa. “This was a mistake. It was something I never said.”

When Zahara was only 5 months old, Mentwabe fled her hometown, leaving the baby to her grandmother, because the young mother had no food for her newborn. “I decided to flee than watch her die,” she explained.

Zahara’s grandmother assumed Mentwabe had died and put the infant up for adoption until she was ultimately taken in by the globe-trotting Oscar winner.

“I think my daughter is a very fortunate human being to be adopted by a world-famous lady,” said Mentwabe. “I wish them both all the success they deserve.”

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