Laura Dern recalls how fiancé secretly left her for another woman

 Billy Bob Thornton abruptly leaving his fiancée, actress Laura Dern, for another woman made headlines back in the day. Dern was among those caught by surprise. Her life suddenly turned upside-down and she needed time to recover from the shock she experienced.

Speaking of Thornton’s decision to marry Angelina Jolie, who was twenty years his junior, Dern said caused a detour in her relationship plans.

As per E! Online, Thornton and Dern started dating in 1997, shortly after she separated from Jeff Goldblum and while he was still in the process of divorcing his fourth wife, Pietra Dawn Cherniak.

Thornton and Jolie, who was quite wild back in the 1990s, met on the set of Pushing Tin in 1999, unaware that they would be tying the knot just months later. While Thornton was engaged to Dern, Jolie was in a relationship with Timothy Hutton. In May, the couple made their marriage official with the help of a minister in L.A. At the time, Jolie was 24.

Their relationship was a fascinating one and attracted the attention of many.

During the first year of marriage, the two went over the top with their public displays of affection: Jolie tattooed his name on her, they wore vials of each other’s blood around their necks, and engaged in excessive PDA. However, their relationship didn’t last long, with trouble arising in less than two years.

Speaking to InStyle, Dern reflected on her sudden break-up with Thornton and said, “I left our home to work on a movie, and while I was away, my boyfriend got married, and I’ve never heard from him again.”

In a 2021 interview, Thornton expressed regret but never openly admitted to any wrongdoing, as reported by The Mirror.

“Others may say that you left our girl and married someone else. But it made me happy and somebody else happy. I’m sorry it caused pain,” he was reported to have said.

As reported by Yahoo, Dern and Jolie had a prior connection from when Dern babysat Jolie in their younger years, adding an unexpected twist to the story.

Bruce Dern, Laura’s father, recollected that period. Bruce remarked, alluding to the 1978 film Coming Home, “Jon Voight’s a friend of mine, so I remember Laura babysat one night for Angelina when Angelina was 2 and Laura about 8 … because Jon and I were doing Coming Home. They were staying over at [director] Hal Ashby’s house, so they asked [Laura] to come over [to watch Angie].”

Following the sudden breakup, Dern received support from her friend Melissa Etheridge who helped her during the process of moving out of the house she shared with Thornton.

In an interview with Andy Cohen on his SiriusFM radio show, Etheridge said, “I was around when Angelina was not doing nice things with Billy Bob to Laura Dern. I went through that on a personal level, and then to know the side of Jennifer and Brad. I helped Laura move out of her house with Billy Bob — I like broke into their home to get their stuff out because it was so nasty.”

Eventually, Dern married Ben Harper, with whom she had two children, and has recently been connected to former NBA star Baron Davis.

Thornton divorced Jolie in 2002 and has stopped dating celebrities ever since. In 2014, he married puppeteer Connie Angland.

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