Actress Angelina Jolie was inspired to adopt her orphan son MADDOX after witnessing the tragic death of a young boy in Sierra Leone.

The Tomb Raider beauty recalls with horror the moment she unsuccessfully tried to save the dying boy's life, an incident which ultimately compelled her to improve the lives of impoverished orphaned children around the world.

Jolie - who became a United Nations goodwill ambassador in 2001 and adopted Cambodian-born Maddox in 2002 - says, "He was dying and I didn't know what to do. I had the attitude of, 'I'm going to save everybody and I'm going to solve it - let's get him airlifted out of here.' But he was just one of 20,000 children in that area and you can't do that. In the end I didn't do anything, and he died.

"Afterwards I had to return home to find a dress to wear to an awards ceremony. It seemed so pointless, I just couldn't care."

And Jolie is eager to adopt more children as soon as possible: "I'm just trying to figure out how I can balance it with work. I'd like to have seven. I just want to be sure I can do it."

21/02/2005 17:43