With Baby 'Imminent,' Brad Skips Cannes

05/23/2006 at 07:00 AM EDT

With Baby 'Imminent,' Brad Skips Cannes
Anja Niedringhaus/AP

Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt sent his regrets for failing to make it to the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday – though he had a good reason: "imminent" fatherhood.

The star was due to join costars Cate Blanchett and Gael Garcia Bernal for Tuesday morning's screening of their movie Babel, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu.

Instead, Pitt sent an e-mail that was read aloud at a press conference after the screening: "With the imminent arrival of the newest addition to our family, I am unable to join Alejandro, Cate, Gael and the rest of the cast and crew introducing the film."

He went on to say, "I am tremendously proud of Babel and want to congratulate everyone involved for this great achievement."

More on this story

The ensemble drama tells several interweaving stories set in Mexico, Japan and Morocco – where Pitt shot scenes with Blanchett last year as speculation about his romance with Angelina Jolie reached a fever pitch.

Babel's gala world premiere is scheduled to take place at the Cannes Palais du Festival on Tuesday night.

Pitt has been vacationing in Namibia with the pregnant Jolie and their kids Maddox, 4, and Zahara, 1.

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