Jon Voight claims his estranged daughter Angelina Jolie was “programmed” to hate him by his late ex-wife.

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The 68-year-old actor – who divorced Angelina and her brother James Haven’s mother Marcheline Bertrand in 1978 following a two-year separation – was “heartbroken” after James accused him of abandoning his family.

In an emotional statement, he said: “I find it very heartbreaking that my children want to paint a bad portrait of me.

“I feel that it comes from their inability to let go of years of programmed anger from their mother who understandably felt quite hurt when we divorced.”

James, 34, recently said his father’s actions made him sympathise with widows and orphans.

He said: “I don’t want to constantly berate my father – I wish him well, and I hope he finds peace – but he put my mom through years of mental abuse, and it made me care especially for abandoned women and children. So that’s my religion – helping widows and orphans.”

Voight insists he has tried his hardest to build bridges with his children.

He added: “In all truth I tried to give them and their mother continuous love and support and large sums of money.

“God knows for years, I’ve tried to mend this relationship.”

He believes their anger has worsened since their mother’s death in January this year.

He said: “Perhaps the trauma of their mother’s passing has made it worse. I continuously send them my heart and love and I’m always available to them for whatever they may need from me.”

Angelina, 32, has refused to allow her father to be a part of her or her children’s lives since he said he believed she had serious mental issues following her divorce from Billy Bob Thorton in 2003.

She fumed: “He said some very ugly things to me about what he thought I was like as a person and how I was conducting my life. I don’t have to listen to what he says. I don’t have to care. And I don’t have to have him in my life.”