A new adoption mystery was swirling around Angelina Jolie's (search) supposedly orphan daughter after a British newspaper reported on Friday it had found the girl's birth mother alive.
Ethiopian seamstress Mentewab Dawit (search), 18, told The Sun she had conceived baby Zahara after a brutal rape and then given her up at 4 months old because she was dying of malnourishment.
But the agency that handled the girl's handover to her famous mom flatly denied the claims — saying the newspaper had played on an innocent woman's fantasies.
Dawit, who earns less than $1 a day, was tracked down by The Sun to a mud hut about 100 miles from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
"I am so grateful to this lady for giving my daughter a better life," she said.
"I want them both to know I love them very much, and I want to say thank you to Angelina for giving my baby this wonderful, loving family."
Dawit — upon being handed a picture of the girl from the newspaper — said the girl had her facial features.
"It's true, I am her mother," she said before apparently choking up with tears. "She's got my nose, my eyes, my cheeks."
But Vicki Peterson — director of Wide Horizons (search), which gave Zahara to Jolie in July — told The Post there was no reason to believe the newspaper's claims and insisted Zahara was an orphan.
"I am denying it because it isn't at all consistent with any information we have," Peterson said.
Peterson said the agency was provided with the girl's orphan history by Ethiopian officials who "had no reason to lie."
"Ethiopian officials didn't know that this child was going end up with Angelina Jolie. They had no reason to make up this information."
The Sun, however, reported Saturday that Ethiopian judges mistakenly signed documents saying Dawit was dead.
Jolie's rep, Guyer Kazinski, did not return several phone calls requesting comment.
Dawit told The Sun the baby was the product of a rape by a stranger while the teenager was studying at school.
"I assumed my baby was going to die," Dawit said. "And I couldn't bear to see her in that condition."