Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Thornton ex-wife defends daughter in neglect case

MIAMI – Actor Billy Bob Thornton's estranged daughter, charged with neglect in the death of her infant goddaughter, was a longtime friend of the baby's mother and is "very distressed" about the situation, the woman's mother said Tuesday.

Thornton's first wife, Melissa Parish, told The Associated Press that her daughter Amanda Brumfield is "very distressed and very sad about what happened" to 1-year-old Olivia Garcia. She said Brumfield, 29, lost touch with the star of films such as "Monster's Ball" when he moved to California more than 20 years ago.

Brumfield and the infant's mother, Heather Murphy, have been friends for years.

"Amanda was always offering to look after her kids. She was even at the hospital when Olivia was born," Parish said. "Amanda has bought formula and clothes for the kids."

Parish said Murphy and her daughter were still close after the child's death in October and grieved together but said the relationship quickly fizzled since the arrest.

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