Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob ThorntonBilly Bob Thornton has defended himself against a joke in his new film School for Scoundrels that has been claimed to be a dig at his ex-wife Angelina Jolie.

In the film, Billy Bob’s character mocks another lovelorn character by suggesting “one step away from adopting a Chinese baby”.

Billy Bob said recently: “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 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.”