It seems the entire Upper East Side is aware that Maddox, the adopted son of Hollywood golden couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, has begun school at the Lycée Français de New York on East 75th Street.
Classes began on Sept. 4, and the school is still adjusting to the chaos that ensues whenever Mr. Pitt or Ms. Jolie drops off or picks up their 5-year-old.
The Lycee’s director of operations, Dan Cooke, is confronting the matter head-on. On Sept. 14, he dispatched a letter to parents.
“I’m sure you are aware the school has received much media attention recently during the arrival and dismissal times because of the presence of celebrities Ms. Angelina Jolie and/or Mr. Brad Pitt,” read the document, according to a source who shared it with the Transom over the phone. “I want to make you aware that before the first day of school I met with their security team to discuss the best manner in which for them to drop off and pick up their son. Our foremost goal was to cause the least amount of disruption to the school and to ensure the security of all of our students and families.”
The letter went on to explain that the Jolie-Pitt family had agreed to “stagger” the arrival and pickup times of young Maddox, in order to disrupt as few students and parents as possible.
Then it addressed some troublemakers.
“Regretfully, I have seen some parents taking pictures, asking for autographs, talking to the media and even shouting at Ms. Jolie and Mr. Pitt for recognition,” the source quoted with some glee. “Therefore, in the best interests of the school and safety of your child(ren) I must ask for everyone to please respect the family’s privacy and discontinue these practices.” (“It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment,” Mr. Cooke told the Transom.)
“The French are quite civilized,” commented the source, who has a sibling at the school. “But sure, you have the moms who get there a little earlier to get a little glimpse.” She further noted that Ms. Jolie has earned a gold star from some parents by personally apologizing for the flashbulb-popping pandemonium that she has brought to the school.
A rep for the couple didn’t return calls, but all that relentless picture-taking has apparently also had an effect on little Maddox. Kindergartners were recently asked to bring in a picture of themselves. “He was terrified,” the source reported. “He refused. He started crying. Obviously the poor kid has grown up in fear of having his picture taken.” Extreme camera-shyness aside, Maddox is doing just fine. “He’s been quite happy,” said the source. “He’s always smiling.” Though so far, she said, “his French is pretty minimal.” Miaou!