A Jewish obstetrician from France delivered Angelina Jolie’s twins.
Dr. Michel Sussmann, a former vice president of the Nice Jewish community whose daughter lives in Israel, basked in the media spotlight after he delivered the world’s two most widely anticipated newborns, Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline, the children of actors Jolie and Brad Pitt, on July 12.
“The delivery was very emotional and exceptional as Ms. Jolie is a superstar, but I think that it happened on Shabbat made it that much more moving,” Sussmann said during an exclusive interview with JTA at his office in one of Nice’s most elegant Art Nouveau districts.
Sussman said the twins, each approximately 5 pounds at birth, are in ideal health.
Sussmann, 56, became the obstetrician for Jolie several months ago – a secret he kept until Jolie entered Lenval Hospital’s Santa Maria Clinic in Nice on June 30. Sussman had put Jolie on bed rest prior to the birth.
Sussmann told JTA that Jolie chose him because she had a friend who had been his patient. The Jolie-Pitt clan, including four other children aged 4 to 6, is living in a 35-room chateau in Provence.
Sussmann said he never discussed his religion – or any other personal matters – with Jolie.
“I am her doctor; I don’t want to be her friend,” he said. “We had an excellent rapport. She is so, so nice and never complained about anything. There are negative things sometimes written about her on the Internet, but don’t believe them.”
For more about Sussmann and Jolie’s twins, read this JTA story.