DM LOS ANGELES - Angelina Jolie, saint or sinner? It is so confusing! Around a decade ago, the Hollywood actress and former bad girl reinvented herself as a savior of the weak and oppressed. Since then, she has campaigned with zeal for refugees and for an end to sexual violence in war zones. She has become internationally recognised as a woman of importance; a starlet who swapped nubile for noble shortly after sticking a loaded gun in her stocking top in the 2005 film, Mr & Mrs Smith.

Since then our Angel has become noted for arranging her fondant features into a consecrated vision of beauty and compassion at every opportunity, taking caring for those who cannot care for themselves to a whole new level. Never mind that there are many thousands of aid workers who toil in the trenches, who work longer and harder for a fraction - make that none - of the acclaim and goodwill that Jolie harvests in return for her patronage.

The inescapable fact is that the 39-year-old Oscar-winner harnesses her star power for worthy causes, something she does not have to do. For this she has been feted by the likes of former Foreign Secretary William Hague, who often trotted at her heels like a starstruck schoolboy. Perhaps Hague was instrumental in organising the honorary damehood, which Jolie received in a private audience with the Queen in October.

Elsewhere, she has adopted three children and given birth to three more. She married their father Brad Pitt this year, in a fairytale ceremony in Provence. Her beatification was complete. Mum, wife, philanthropist, superstar. Jolie reigns supreme as one of the highest paid and most successful actresses in all Hollywood, while her second film as a director has just been released. It all seems too good to be true. That is because it is. For like the doodles her children scrawled on her wedding veil, ugly blots have begun appearing on Angelina’s angelic character. This week, a leaked email exchange between Sony studio executives gave a tantalising glimpse of how this paragon of good works is regarded in the Hollywood corridors of power.

Jolie is unflinchingly described as ‘a minimally talented spoilt brat’, a woman who is pierced with ‘insanity’ and who has ‘a rampaging spoiled ego.’ She is also accused of turning a massive film project about Cleopatra - in which she wants to star alongside Brad and all of their kids - as a ‘£115 million ego bath’.

To be fair, the emails do not reflect well on the two executives who wrote them. However, they certainly are burnished with the ring of truth. Peel back the velvet curtain, put aside the golden glow that comes with charitable works and do-gooding, and I am convinced you will find the usual bunch of self-obsessed stars who have gone mad with fame and prestige, who have turned into monsters who leverage their popularity into power.

The whole of Hollywood is bracing itself for more exchanges, terrified that the public will see them for who they really are. Are we to see that those who publicly maximise their philanthropy are the ones who are most rotten inside?

Certainly, Angelina has come a long way, in terms of her image, from the woman who used to wear phials of her second husband’s blood around her neck, had substance issues and married two bad boys before settling on Brad Pitt - who was still married to Jennifer Aniston at the time.

The fact that she has turned her life around so spectacularly is to her credit, particularly as unforgiving Hollywood can be a harsh place in which to reinvent yourself. Is she really as preposterous as the leaked emails suggest? Perhaps. Most Hollywood stars are. After steaming and sweating in the sauna of fame for too long, they just cannot help themselves. All of which implies that gullible William Hague and his ilk might one day come to regret lionising, paying tribute to, bowing and scraping to this ‘talentless, insane’ woman who has been honoured by the Queen.