Sarath Mounh, who ran a non-government organization in Cambodia and helped Jolie adopt Maddox, became close to the 46-year-old during her visits to the country, where Maddox, 19, was adopted from.
Mounh reportedly signed legal documents stating he was Maddox's father, which he is not, in order to help Jolie get approved quicker by Cambodian courts. However, there is no suggestion that Jolie was aware of Mounh wrongly signing the documents.
While talking to the Daily Mail, Mounh hinted that one of Maddox's parents may have still been alive when he was put up for adoption. "I'm not 100% sure that Maddox was an orphan even though he came from an orphanage. At least one of the parents was possibly alive at the time of his adoption," he said, admitting: "But I never asked these difficult questions, nobody did."
Mounh confessed that this was not an unusual situation in the country. "There were many babies who were left in orphanages or sold to them by their parents because they couldn't afford to look after them," he explained.
However, Kek Galibru — the head of the human rights agency Licadho, who investigated the adoption — reportedly insisted that she was sure Maddox, 19, "was not a real orphan and was not abandoned."
Meanwhile, Jolie — who shares Maddox, Pax, 17, Zahara, 16, Shiloh, 15, and 13-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox with ex Brad Pitt — claimed she went through great lengths to ensure that Maddox was an orphan, a claim she has since maintained.
"I would never rob a mother of her child," the brunette beauty said. "I can only imagine how dreadful that would feel."
Despite Jolie's insistence, a few eyebrows will most likely be raised following Mounh's claims and the new documentary, The Stolen Children, that looks into whether babies in Cambodia were being taken from their families to be put up for adoption.
Filmmaker Elizabeth Jacobs' parents used the same adoption agent, Lauryn Galindo, that Jolie used to adopt Maddox in 2002. Shortly after Maddox's adoption, Galindo and her sister Lynn Devin — who ran the Seattle International Adoptions adoption agency alongside Galindo — faced criminal charges.
Devin was given a $150,000 fine for falsifying documents to obtain US visas for "orphans." Galindo was imprisoned for 18 months for the same crime and money laundering, it was reported.
When the scandal was exposed, Jolie claimed to know nothing of the illegal trade. (Jolie and Pitt, 57, also adopted Zahara in Ethiopia and Pax in Vietnam.)
Meanwhile, Mounh — who reportedly had a falling out with Jolie after he was accused of misusing funds donated by her — alleged that Jolie may not have gotten their hands dirty, but she has enough money to make sure someone did the dirty work so they could get what they wanted.
"When it comes to money, everything is possible. This is what I kept on hearing at the time from those around Angelina: 'Make it happen,'" he said. "Angelina didn't personally get involved. It was those around her that were handling the process and asked me to help."
While acknowledging that he "can't say for sure if [Maddox] was an orphan" — noting that the world may never know the truth — Mounh said he doesn't want Jolie's son to be caught in the crossfire in the wake of these new claims.
"I want Maddox to have a good life and bright future. I still have a lot of love for him and Angelina, even though I haven't seen them in a long time," he candidly stated.
In regards to the falsified documents, Mounh said: ''It's true that it was misleading when I signed the adoption papers. I was concerned that this was not honest, but I felt an obligation to sign the papers."
"Because of my friendship with Angelina, I wanted to help her as best I could," he added.