Copyright 2002

[ July 18th 2002 ]

Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie has filed for divorce from her husband of two years, Billy Bob Thornton, according to court documents made public on Thursday. Representatives for Jolie, 27, could not immediately be reached for comment, but a spokesman for Thornton, 46, said the only comment from the actor-writer and musician was, "It's a sad thing."

Word of the divorce filing, first disclosed by the syndicated TV show "Extra," comes a day after Angelina Jolie acknowledged in a magazine interview released on Wednesday that she and Thornton had been living apart in separate hotels and had not seen each other since June 3. In divorce papers filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Jolie cited "irreconcilable differences" and sought sole custody of their 11-month-old adopted son, Maddox, who was born in Cambodia. She also sought possession of "miscellaneous jewelry and other personal effects," as well as her earnings since the day the day she and Thornton separated.

The breakdown of one of Hollywood's most high-profile and eccentric marriages has been the subject of frenzied gossip and tabloid headlines for weeks. "I'm angry. I'm sad. It's a very difficult and sad time," Jolie was quoted as telling Us Weekly in its Aug 5. edition. "Sometimes you don't see things coming, even though they are happening," she told the magazine. "It was a real deep connection, a deep marriage, so it's not that simple to say this or that one thing caused the problems. It's clear to me that our priorities shifted overnight."

Thornton and Jolie met on the set of the 1999 air traffic control comedy "Pushing Tin," in which they co-starred as husband and wife. Several weeks after reports surfaced of their courtship, they married in May 2000 in Las Vegas. It was the second marriage for Jolie and the fifth for Thornton, who reportedly had been engaged earlier that year to actress Laura Dern. The intensity of the couple's romance and their public displays of affection drew ample media attention. They sported tattoos of each other's names, wore pendants filled with each other's blood, and she even reportedly purchased his-and-hers cemetery plots.

Previously, Thornton's publicist had insisted the two had spent long periods apart because of conflicting schedules. Jolie has spent a lot of time in recent months on location in Thailand for her upcoming movie, "Beyond Borders" and traveling around the world as a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. High Commission for Refugees. Thornton, meanwhile, has logged considerable time on the road with his rock band.

Jolie, the daughter of actor John Voight, won an Academy Award as best supporting actress for her role as a young institutionalized sociopath in Girl, Interrupted. More recently, she starred in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Original Sin. Thornton sprang to prominence with the 1996 drama Sling Blade, which he wrote, directed and starred in. The film earned him an Oscar for best adapted screenplay and an Academy Award nomination as best actor. He also received an Oscar nomination for his supporting role in the 1999 drama A Simple Plan.

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