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Billy Bob Thornton: 'Adoption Joke Is Not Aimed at Angelina Jolie'

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Sep 25, 2006 | 4:33am EDT

Movie star Billy Bob Thornton has hit back at claims he's poking fun at his ex-wife Angelina Jolie's love of adoption in new film School for Scoundrels.

The Monster's Ball star's character pokes fun at a lovelorn Jon Heder in the film, suggesting he's "one step away from adopting a Chinese baby."

And he admits he knew people would read too much into the line, believing it to be a joke at Jolie's expense--her adoption of Cambodian baby Maddox came at the end of her marriage to Thornton.

The actor says, "I knew it would get blown out of proportion. It's an old joke that's been around forever. I'm not the brightest guy in the world but I'm not that stupid.

"I would never come up with something like that as an inside joke because Angelina and I are friends and I have the utmost respect for her.

"First of all, it's kind of a weird kind of blanket ethnic affront. She adopted a baby from Cambodia and Cambodia is not China. This joke is more of a reference to yuppie couples in Brentwood (Los Angeles) and that kind of thing.

"It never occurred to any of us in the film until somebody put it up on the Internet and it was like, 'Oooohhh!' I'm sure I'll have to put up with it for two or three months."

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