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Billy Bob's Son Alleged Sex Crime Victim

4/30/2008 12:59 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Willie ThortonLaw enforcement sources tell TMZ Billy Bob Thornton's son is at the center of a criminal investigation -- the alleged victim of "unlawful sex."

Here's what we know. Willie Thornton, age 14, was dating a 22-year-old woman. Her ex-boyfriend apparently became jealous. Sources say the ex called the LAPD, informing them his former GF was having sex with a minor.

Law enforcement sources tell us there is an "active investigation" into the crime of "unlawful sex" -- translated, an adult having sex with someone under 18. We're told Willie is cooperating with the sex crimes unit. And, we're told, cops have also interviewed Billy Bob.

BTW, the picture was taken four years ago.


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It doesn't matter how old he "looks," he's still 14. And legally, he is NOT old enough to be with a 22-year-old. That makes him a suspected victim of a sex crime. Reputable news agancies do not publish the names or photos of sex crime victims.

Come on TMZ, don't let this one story slander your reputation. Show everyone you have class. Take this off.

2366 days ago


Yeah, I'm sure a 14 y/o was "dating" a 22 y/o. More like the woman was trying to get her hands on Billy Bob's money and/or fame and took the kid out to the movies. As for the sex, yes it is different if the minor is a boy vs. a girl. In order for the sex to happen the boy has to be enjoying it otherwise "Little Willy" doesn't come out to play.

2366 days ago


Hey, 14 is the new 30! no big deal. How bout a picture of her???

2366 days ago


Sounds like some Britney drama. Ding dang!

Serioulsy, his name shouldn't be publicized. He's a child! What if that were your child? I

I smell a lawsuit...

2366 days ago


Shame on whoever gave TMZ that information. How low can you go to try to benefit from a bad situation involving a child. Yeah, I am sure the 14 year old wasn't raped, but the 22 year old should know better -- and why would you be attracted to a CHILD anyway? Yuk. She needs therepy. TMZ, shame on you too. It's one thing to dish dirt on adults, but on a child? I realize this is a gossip site, and yes, I admit I looovee reading your stuff, but this is a kid, not someone who chose to put themselves in the limelight. Please tell me you did not pay someone to give your dirt on a kid. Have some morals.

2366 days ago


I was speechless when I saw this yesterday and really hope TMZ will be held accountable for this post. To the woman that slept with a 14yo, if this is true I hope she does some time behind bars.

2366 days ago


Shame on TMZ! Why would you identify an underage sexual abuse victim? That is just WRONG!

2366 days ago


I've always heard it is almost impossible to find a straight man in Hollywood, must be getting harder. As the aunt of several young men, it can be hard to judge age going by their height, etc. Throw in how much money these kids have to spend, who they're with, where they're at, and what drugs they're doing and I find it reasonable she might not have known until it was too late. Big mistake, but where were his parents, especially if this was an ongoing relationship?

2366 days ago


TMZ may feel that adult's are fair game, but CHILDREN!!?? Why are you violating this child's privacy? No legitimate news purveyor would reveal his identity let alone provide a picture. Your decision to run this story is despicable.

2366 days ago

Just Another Hater    

This is the second time that TMZ has identified the alleged victim of a sex crime. They obviously have no shame. This goes beyond the usual mean-spirited B.S. (Like Fergie's overweight daughter, for example) and is highly unethical. This site has no integrity. class or compassion. And it starts at the top.

Perhaps these flaws could be overlooked if they actually had some funny writers instead a group of snotty losers who aren't even talented enough to be on reality shows.

2366 days ago

glace neuf    

TMZ - gossip is one thing, but you've crossed the line showing a picture and other identifying information of this minor. just because his dad is famous does not mean you can reveal his information!

2366 days ago


Way out of line.

Adults, including those working at TMZ, have a legal and ethical responsibility to protect children, including those who knowingly and willingly have sex with perverted adults. Doesn't matter what the child wants or doesn't want, doesn't matter what the child thinks or doesn't think, doesn't matter what the child knows or doesn't know. Children can not and do not always make good decisions, hence the need for adults to protect children - not exploit them!!! Yes, adults must protect children even from themselves, as well as the from the countless low-lifes who prey on them. Guess we can add TMZ to that list now...

Way out of line.

2366 days ago


I've deleted TMZ from my favorites. I just think it's wrong you guys keep stating minors names in sex crime stories. Is not really good press but then again neither is TMZ. All time low. I've gone back to People magazine for my gossip-fun gossip.

2366 days ago


As "boys" we are fine with a 14 year old having sex with a 22 yo girl, way to go Little Billy Bob, now if he was having sex with a 22 yo boy we would have a big problem, His dad drops his anchor in any harbor that comes along and you're suprised his kid is the same way? He probably got tired of girls his own age and went looking for someone who could "educate" him a little. I hope he learned a lesson here, when you're doing a hot 22 yo keep it to yourself, don't tell your friends and don't brag in front of the wussy ex boyfriend who is crying over his girlfriend leaving him for a 14 yo! What a loser!

2366 days ago

idaho potato    

NEW YORK (AP) - Breaking with standards widely followed by the mainstream news media, the celebrity Web site TMZ posted a story Wednesday about a 14-year-old who's a movie star's son and an alleged sex crime victim, and it ran the boy's picture.

The story said the boy was in a relationship with a 22-year-old woman, whose ex-boyfriend tipped off police that she was having sex with a minor. Police have opened an investigation, the story said.

Almost all news organizations refrain from identifying sex crime victims, let alone show their picture, because of the stigma often attached to it, said Kelly McBride, ethics group leader at the journalism think tank Poynter Institute. The Associated Press' policy is not to identify people in such cases.

"The reason the story is even interesting to TMZ is because of who the child is," McBride said. "I'm not sure that alone is enough to justify" identifying the boy.

Harvey Levin, managing editor of TMZ, refused to speak about the decision to run the story.

"The story speaks for itself," he said through a spokeswoman.

The story was not reported on the Web site's syndicated television show.

TMZ is owned by Time Warner Inc., the media conglomerate which also owns Time Warner Cable, Warner Bros., the magazine publisher Time Inc. and a group of cable channels that includes HBO, CNN, TBS and TNT. A Time Warner spokesman referred calls on the matter to the company's Telepictures division, and a spokeswoman for Telepictures did not immediately return a call for comment.

If the victim in this case were a girl, McBride said she's not sure TMZ would have made the same decision.

"They think, `Good for this boy, when any young boy has sex with an older woman it's not a crime'," she said, "when of course it is. It's just as harmful for boys as it is for girls."

The Internet means that the gatekeepers who traditionally control the news are no longer in charge, said Jay Rosen, a New York University professor who runs the Web site Press Think.

In many cases, such as coverage of politics, that's a good thing, he added.

"This, to me, is not one of those cases," Rosen said. "There are very good reasons for keeping these names out of the news no matter how much interest there is in them."

2366 days ago
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