Now, the 19-year-old is being dragged into the spotlight again due to a new documentary, The Stolen Children, which uncovers the shady dealings behind Cambodian adoptions — and raises disturbing questions about whether Maddox himself was in fact stolen from his birth family.
The film focuses on Lauryn Galindo, who helped hundreds of Americans — including Angelina — adopt children from Cambodia through her Seattle-based agency. But in 2004, two years after Maddox’s adoption, Galindo was charged with visa fraud and money laundering — amid chilling allegations that she hired a team of “babyrecruiters” to dupe poverty-stricken parents into selling their children — and sentenced to 18 months in prison.
A source tells OK! that the 46-year-old “has always said that she did an exhaustive search to verify that Maddox was actually an orphan, but it goes without saying that she and her first child find it heartbreaking to think that parents could have been exploited in this way.”
The humanitarian “has maintained she would never rob a mother of her child,” states the source. “Any suggestion to the contrary is hurtful to both of them.”
Maddox is "very proud of his heritage," says the source, "but he feels he owes his life to Angelina."
As for their fractured family, Brad, 57, is still battling his estranged ex over custody of their five younger children. (The former couple share Maddox, Pax, 17, Zahara, 16, Shiloh, 15, and 13-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne.)
Maddox, who’s moved back home with his siblings in L.A. while he takes remote classes at South Korea’s Yonsei University, has remained tight-lipped about his relationship with his adoptive dad.
“But the truth is, he still finds it difficult to get past what happened between them,” the insider adds. “Anyone who goes up against his mom is not going to get much time from Maddox. He would do anything for her.”