Angelina Jolie Reveals Why Her Marriage To Billy Bob Thornton Ended: ‘We Had Nothing to Say To Each Other’

Superstar Angelina Jolie often makes headlines due to her movies and humanitarian work. The Maleficent star’s high-profile relationships, especially her previous marriage to Brad Pitt, also keep her as a hot topic in the tabloids.

Jolie’s rush to the altar with second husband Billy Bob Thornton in 2000 was also put in the spotlight, complete with many unique details of their union. The two were openly passionate about each other, yet divorced just two years later. The Oscar-nominated actor previously shared what drove them apart.

Actors Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton attend the 59th Annual Golden Globe Awards
Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton | Vince Bucci/Getty Images

Billy Bob Thornton was engaged to someone else when he married Angelina Jolie

Playing husband and wife on the 1999 film Pushing Tin, Jolie and Thornton had an instant connection. Tying the knot in May 2000 in Las Vegas, the couple’s marriage was a particular surprise to Big Little Lies star Laura Dern, who was engaged to Thornton at the time. 

“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,” Dern told Talk magazine of Thornton in 2000“It’s like a sudden death. For no one has there been any closure or clarity.”

The unlikely pair proceeded to fill magazine covers, revealing many idiosyncrasies about their relationship. In addition to their 20-year age difference, wearing vials of each others’ blood around their necks, swapping underwear, and gifting each other with his-and-her grave plots set the couple apart from a typical husband and wife.

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”People think they know a lot about our relationship,” Jolie said, according to the New York Times. ”They know very little. What little they know, they’ve got pretty strong opinions about. Can’t help that. But I don’t think there’s anything weird about us. … I’m just a very normal woman who is crazy about her man. And I’m also a lot of other things.”

Angelina Jolie went global, Billy Bob Thornton didn’t

According to Vanity Fair, the two were still married when Jolie adopted her first child, son Maddox. Thornton was touring with his band at the time, when rumors of his infidelity began to swirl. He denied the allegations, though Jolie wasn’t so sure.

“I don’t think they are untrue,” the Salt star said of the reports, adding that Thornton also didn’t want to commit to expanding their family. “He wasn’t, uh, ready, but, uh, he sent me his love. It’s kind of tragic.”

Jolie still held Thornton in high regard, sharing how they simply went from being in sync to going on different paths.

“He’s a really good man,” she told Vanity Fair in 2005. “He’s hysterical—we had a lot of laughs. … What went wrong, or not even wrong, but what wasn’t meant to be was he was focusing on his music and I was upstairs reading. I went through a change in my life and started paying more attention to the news and learning about other countries and becoming more politically active.”

‘I never felt good enough for her’

The By the Sea director described how their opposite interests continued to drive them apart.

“I was saying, ‘Ok, well, listen, you’re going to finish this song and I’m going to Washington and I’ll see you Monday,'” Jolie recalled. “Then I’d come back and we wouldn’t discuss what he wrote in the studio, and we wouldn’t discuss what I learned in Washington.”

With Jolie pursuing more humanitarian efforts and Thornton focused on his music, the couple grew apart to the point of no return.

“In a year I became who I am today, very much, and he became who he is today,” she explained in 2005. “It was just totally different paths in life, and then we just looked at each other one day and we had nothing to say to each other.”

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Thornton seemed a little more bewildered shortly following their breakup, unable to pin down specific reasons for their divorce.

”I don’t think either one of us knows why we split up,” he said in 2003, according to Entertainment Weekly. ”It was like, say you’re going to a nightclub one night with your friends and you’re in line and the next thing you know there are guys with helicopters and there’s machine-gun fire and you don’t know what happened. And that’s kind of like what our breakup was like.”

The couple maintain a strong friendship to this day. In a 2016 interview with GQ, Thornton expressed his continued fondness of Jolie yet admitted, “I never felt good enough for her.”