When Laura Dern left their shared home for a longtime work project, he married another woman behind her back.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on February 26, 2021. It has since been updated.
There's no dearth of complicated relationships in the world around us. Unfortunately, betrayals and conflicts are a part of it. Many of us might have gone through a toxic relationship because of a bad partner at some point in our lives. One of the ways toxic partners manipulate us is by gaslighting us or ghosting us. These can be sudden as well and may leave us confused in the beginning. Perhaps, in time, we'll be able to realize that not having that confusing person in our life is the best thing for us. And, celebrities are not immune to falling prey to bad partners either.
Laura Dern, 56, of Jurassic Park fame used to be engaged to Billy Bob Thornton, 67, Angelina Jolie's ex-husband at one time. However, Dern was engaged to Thornton when he met Jolie, 48. Dern and Thornton met in 1997 and started dating before they got engaged. However, the Bad Santa actor left his fiancée without a hint to marry his co-star, Jolie, who was 24 years old then and 20 years younger than him. This wasn't the last time Jolie started a relationship with someone who was married.
Dern and Thornton had been together for three years and she could have been his fifth wife. However, when she left the home she shared with him for a long time work project, he married another woman behind her back, according to Mirror UK. The Marriage Story actress had no idea that her relationship was over until the news of the wedding was all over the news. What's worse? He never contacted her or gave her an explanation.
"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," she told the Talk Magazine, as per Mirror. Not hearing from him made it hard to get any closure either. "It’s like a sudden death. For no one has there been any closure or clarity," said Dern.
It was also revealed later that Dern used to babysit Jolie when she was a child. The 56-year-old's father, Bruce, also an actor, said that he was friends with Jolie's father, Jon Voight.
"Jon Voight's a friend of mine, so I remember Laura babysat one night for Angelina when Angelina was two and Laura about eight. Because Jon and I were doing [a movie together called] Coming Home. They were staying over at [director] Hal Ashby's house, so they asked [Laura] to come over [to watch Angie]," Bruce had said.
According to ABC News from back then, fans didn't have high hopes for the longevity of the Thornton-Jolie union, and they were right. The marriage lasted for only three years, and Thornton is on to his sixth wife, while Jolie is divorced from her third husband.
In 2001, Thornton only half apologized for his actions. "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," she said, as per the Guardian.
Since they had been living together before he married Jolie, Dern and Thornton's breakup was so bad that other people had to get involved. Dern enlisted friend Melissa Etheridge's help to haul back her stuff from their shared home.
“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…” Etheridge said, as per Sirius XM. "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," she added.
Thornton reportedly spoke about his failed relationship with Dern, and said that he'd "f****d up". He told the Guardian, "I've been wrong. In relationships, I've been, like, not present. Or doing some wrong things. People talk about working on things. I don't like to work on things. I never like working on things. When I write, I don't work on it. I start, and I finish. If it don't come out in one long stream of consciousness, it ain't for me. I don't want to construct when I love, when I write. I don't want to go to couples therapy to solve a relationship. I don't want to work on it. I don't believe in it, never have."