ANGELINA ON HER OWN
Infidelity. The breakup. The bad feelings. Once one-half of Hollywood's most intriguing and in-love couple, new single mom, Angelina Jolie opens up for the first time and addresses the reality and rumors about her painful parting from husband Billy Bob Thornton.
By Ken Baker
For the last few weeks, ever since the news of her surprise separation from Billy Bob Thornton became public, Angelina Jolie and her 11-month-old adopted son, Maddox, have been living quietly in a small Santa Monica, California, hotel --- a far cry from her sprawling Spanish-style gated house in Beverly Hills, just 9 miles away. These days, the once love-and-lust filled home is strictly off-limits, an uncomfortable place where the actress, 27, might cross paths with Thornton, 46, who has also been living in various nearby hotels. I am not sure where he's been staying, she says. We haven't spoken. For now, a friend of theirs is taking care of their $3.8 million mansion - the couple bought it in 2000 from Slash, the Guns N'Roses guitarist - as well as a pair of poodles that she and Billy Bob purchased at the height of their passion. Jolie calls them bratty poodles, adding, They are more dogs of Billy's and his sons (from a previous marriage). So it's mostly up to them to decide. Ruefully, she admits regretting ever acquiring the poodles: "It was one of our lapses in judgment."
Sadly, it may not have been their only one. For a woman who seems driven by impulse (she said I do to the four-times-wed Thornton in a Las Vegas wedding chapel in May 2000), Jolie, on this warm summer evening, is unusually reflective, calm and measured as she discusses - for the first time, in an exclusive interview with US - what went wrong in her marriage. As Maddox (in baggy Levi's and a button-down shirt from the trendy Fred Segal store ) giggles and plays with his uncle, Jolie's older brother, James Haven, 29, across the room, the Oscar-winning actress confesses that she hasn't spoken to Thornton in at least 4 weeks and has spent only one week with him in the last 4 months. Were not sure what to say, she admits. And, she says, the last time she saw Billy, as she calls him, was June 3, the day before her birthday, when he left her home alone with their son to go on tour with his band. "I'm angry. I'm sad. It's a very difficult and sad time, she says. Sometimes, you don't see things coming, even though they are happening. It was a real deep connection, a real deep marriage, so it's not that simple to say this or that one thing caused the problems. But, she adds, "It's clear to me that our priorities shifted overnight (Thornton's publicist refused to comment for the story, stating, They remain very married. )
Jolie, reflecting back, times the shift in their relationship to late March, when the two moved out of a temporary rental house they had been sharing in Montreal, where they were both shooting movies (he, Levity; she, Beyond Borders). Indeed, while all couples evolve, Jolie and Thornton - whose wacky antics of devotion included his-and-hers tattoos and grave plots and pendants filled with each other's blood - soon seemed to be pursuing completely incompatible interests. A Goodwill Ambassador with the United Nations concentrating on refugee aid since March 2001, Jolie, with Thornton, had met young Maddox in a Cambodian orphanage in November 2001. On May 8, immigration officials finally allowed Maddox to join Jolie on-set in Africa, where she was continuing to shoot Beyond Borders. By early June, the whole family was back in the United States. But instead of staying home to bond with his baby, Thornton - who has a daughter, Amanda, 22, from his first marriage, and two sons, William, 9, and Harry, 8, from his fourth - resumed his tour in support of his rock album Private Radio, a gig that had also kept him away for virtually all of April and May. He's focused on his music and his career, says Jolie. "I'm focused on my baby. (Maddox) is so important to me." She adds, "It comes down to what's important to you. Good for him. But I have other priorities."
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