The Truth About Laura Dern And Billy Bob Thornton's Relationship

Prior to her marriage to musician Ben Harper in 2000, actress Laura Dern was engaged to Billy Bob Thornton. The couple dated for three years after guest-starring on an episode of "Ellen" (via InStyle), before their relationship came to an abrupt end in 1999. "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 in 2000 (via Honey Celebrity). "It's like a sudden death. For one has there been any closure or clarity."

As it turns out, Thornton had married Angelina Jolie after reportedly forming a relationship while on set of the comedy-drama "Pushing Tin", which co-starred John Cusack and Cate Blanchett. A year later, the couple eloped to Las Vegas (via InStyle), leaving Dern without a clue as to what had happened.

Jolie and Thornton quickly became one of Hollywood's most talked about couples, while Dern was left to deal with the breakup. 

Laura Dern and Angelina Jolie actually knew each other from their childhood in Hollywood

Billy Bob Thornton gave an apology (of sorts) to Dern in 2001 in an interview with the Guardian, saying, "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."

While Jolie and Dern weren't in the same circles as actors, they did have prior history. As it turns out, Dern had babysat Jolie due to their father's being some of Hollywood's biggest actors. "Jon Voight's a friend of mine, so I remember Laura babysat Angelina when Angelina was two and Laura was about eight," Dern's father Bruce said at the Motion Picture Academy's Governors Awards (via Yahoo Movies).

After only two years of a highly publicized marriage (remember the blood vial necklaces?), Jolie and Thornton parted ways in 2002. "We just had different lifestyles," Thornton explained to the HFPA in Conversation podcast (via E! Online). "Hers is a global lifestyle, and mine is an agoraphobic lifestyle. So, that's really — that's the only reason we're probably not still together, maybe, because of a different path in life we wanted to take."