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Billy Bob's Ex: Baby Tragedy Mirrors Liam's Wife

6/1/2009 11:37 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Billy Bob ThortonBilly Bob Thornton's ex wife claims their daughter did nothing wrong during the events that led to the death of a 1-year-old child she was babysitting back in October -- and claims the incident was eerily similar to the death of Liam Neeson's wife.

TMZ spoke with Melissa Parish (former Melissa Gatlin), who told us her daughter Amanda Brumfield had "no reason" to call 911 when the baby fell from her playpen on that fateful night, because there were "no signs of distress. "

Parish compared the incident to the mysterious death of actress Natasha Richardson, who died a few days after a seemingly harmless fall while skiing, saying "When you have a situation that does not indicate distress ... there are no signs of distress, then there is no reason to immediately call police."

After the fall, Brumfield fell asleep with the child -- when she awoke hours later, the child's body was limp. Officials later determined the child died from a subdural hematoma caused by the fall.

Brumfield was later arrested and charged with child neglect.

Melissa told us Amanda was best friends with the baby's mother and was the baby's godmother -- and is devastated by what occurred.


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To the person who posted the #2 comment... Natasha did NOT receive immediate medical care. She didn't receive medical attention until hours later when she compained of a severe headache.
I don't believe this story. I have babysat for several families over the years, and have several friends with children. I've never heard of a child this age "falling out of a playpen". A child of approx one year old is shorter than the sides of a playpen and would have to climb, and the sides of a playpen are not solid they are a mess fabric. I don't beleive a word of this. They did right to arrest and charge her, and force a full investigation.

1972 days ago

who has the facts? ME    

Carol R - enough with the conspiricy theories. My son learned to climb out of his playpen at 15 months - then I took it down. Fortunately he did not hurt himself, but he could have. My prayers to Amanda and her family.
PS Billy Bob is a piece of sh*t for abandoning his daughter.

1972 days ago


yes there is an eerie similarity except for a few things:
People would expect that Richardson could somehow take care of her
body better than an infant could. I'm not blasting Richardson or the
infant, it's just that you can't justify the events that happened to
an infant and a careless babysitter using the events that happened to
an adult. There are different factors at play.
We can't blame anybody for Richardson's fall because she was an adult
and well capable of taking care of herself. What happened to her was
an accident and she, herself said that she was okay after the fall. And because she
was an adult people around her thought 'okay..if you're sure'
The infant, is just that- an infant. They can't be held responsible
for what they do or say (if they could already speak) they don't know
that falling and bleeding is bad, that's why we leave them to the care
of others who are old enough to know otherwise.
You can't justify the neglect.

1972 days ago


This young Lady is being villafied in the press, online all over I've seen local sites in Florida from Family that are calling for her head on a platter ...Hey florida13 By the way you are posting you are either close friend or relative so I want to first of offer my condolences to you because you must be hurting as well and I in no way mean to hurt or offend any one in this process that's not what this is about! In reading all of the press that's being geneated it's all negative towards Mrs. Brumfield. I just read the police report and what's being reported all over the United States in just bout every rag in the country now that it's been brought out that it's BILLY BOB'S DAUGHTER! you can read about it in more publications than anything I've seen recently since OCTO-MOM went off on a tear. It's even being taunted in the UK and GERMANY. I'm interested because someone very close to me was railroaded some 10 years ago by false accusations and people talking out of their (*&^. ) ruined someones life that I cared about tremendously and had nothing to do with the accidental death.

I'm just saying use your common sense people! These are two families that are devastated at the loss of a precious little girl in a tragic accident. Not a murder Not on purpose, Not Neglect, An Accident Here's girl that's not just the baby sitter as she's being put out there to be a common hourly employee working for peanuts. Here's a girl that was there for the mother when supposed real family turned their backs. Someone that was there when the baby was born (yes it's part of the records at the hospital. Oh I just found out that wow she was the baby's Godmother. Doesn't sound like a common baby sitter to me. Yes I'm an outsider and can see this why can't you people that are supposed to be close to the family? You say I have no business commenting on this? Why not there are others that are calling this girl a Murderer! An inexperienced babysitter, stupid, careless and other things I don't want to repeat.

When I read all of this I did a little bit of digging and yes I have not only a Law Enforcement background was a reporter for many years and CEO of many companies and I can tell when someone is being railroaded! I hope I can get more information on the case. I've got some of my people looking into this on a deeper level. Wonder who leaked to the press it was Billy's Daughter? Had to be a leak, that's not something that's commonly looked at to see if someone in OCOEE Florida is related to a famous person. Thought that was strange. Oh there we go let's get some some publicity and blow this thing up with someone's daughter where dad had a vial of blood around his neck and is constantly in trouble with the press. His comment on TMZ this morning was A rep for Thornton sent TMZ this statement: "Mr. Thornton is estranged from Amanda and has had no contact with her for quite some time, however when informed about this situation he commented that, 'Anytime a baby's life is lost is an unimaginable tragedy and my heart goes out to the baby's family and loved ones.'" SO if someone was thinking oooooooohhhhh money train? Not there! You know what. That's none of your business either. That's a relationship between a Father and his Daughter. Oh the comments that he's getting about that comment. I'm telling you just can't win either way.

back to Mrs. Brumfield, this caring mother of three loved that little girl from what I've heard like it was her own oh yeah do you realize she has two little girls and a step son and according to the report this was not the first time the child was in her care for ann overnight stay. By the way have you even read the report or or are you another one that just wants to spout krap and cause trouble?
Here's one of the reports that opened my eyes a little from the Chicago Trib "Brumfield walked out of the room and when she retured the baby was balanced trying to get out of the playpen. She called out the babies name and the baby fell to the floor. The floor, part carpet and part concrete! CONCRETE, hummm Ever accidently had a melon or something like that not to mention a fragile curious little girl oh well you get the picture. You can imagine the panic that must have gone through her mind at the time. Don't try and 2nd guess the situation YOU WERE NOT THERE SHE WAS! Brumfield told police that after the baby had fallen, she discovered her tongue bleeding, so Brumfield cleaned it with a paper towel. She then says she began playing with the child, feeding her bananas and fruit snacks, and said she was "happy" playful and laughing just like normal. She then notified the mother via text message and no red flags were brought up at that time so nothing was done back to just loving and taking care of the little one.

Brumfield then said she laid the child on the couch next to her and fell asleep. She says was

1972 days ago


to CaringDad:
the fact that the child fell and showed bleeding should have been the sign to call for help. the sitter is NOT a doctor neither was she one during the accident, and therefore was in no position to think "oh. the child is fine". She was scared to call the emergency room because doing so would have outed her neglect. When she saw the child "okay" it gave her the excuse NOT to call. She's human and tried to save her own skin... I'm not faulting her for it but it doesn't mean that she should just be able to stroll free on the block.
Blaming the sitter is not going to bring the baby back, but still it would make the family feel better. if you think that it won't then maybe it's time to reconnect with mankind today. Cause a hell of a lot of people say that they feel better once the people who wronged them was punished by law.
And as for your background issues, if you really want to change people's view on the subject, call your buddies and your connection. Get your face splattered on the tv screens and then tell your side. Cause you'll convince more people that way.


1972 days ago


I'd like to start by thanking "Caring Dad" for your view of the situation. As I stated previously, Amanda is a wonderful mother and friend to everyone! We couldn't be any happier to have her in our family! I just get SO disgusted by the way the world wants to immediately judge people and situations to which they are not familiar! Amanda has no relationship with "the actor" and was raised by a WONDERDUL step father! She is a wonderful mother to her daughters and step son! She would...and anything for her children and family! People look at the headline..."the actor's" daughter charged in toddlers death, then they see an unflattering mug shot (seriously, unless you're Paris Hilton...when do mug shots look good?!)...and they instantly start saying she's on drugs...she's trailer trash...and as you said, many other things I don't even want to repeat because they make me SICK!!! How TMZ got involved in the "official announcement" that "the actor" was her father is beyond me. Amanda doesn't hide the fact of who her biological father is, but it's also not something she broadcasts to be proud of. He has done practically nothing to be considered her father but donate his sperm! If her father were John Smith, this case wouldn't have gotten past local FL newspapers. As "Caring Dad" stated correctly, she was best friends with the childs mother and a godmother to the baby. You'd think that the fact the mother didn't implicate Amanda 7 months ago would say something?! Unfortunately, people today are so jealous of celebrities and their families that they JUMP at the chance to just totally drag them through the dirt....even when they really aren't the "celebrities" actual family!?! So, I wish everyone would look into the case as well as "Caring Dad" did before posting just purely HATEFUL things about someone they don't even know! Amanda is a CARING, WONDERFUL, THOUGHTFUL...I hope you get the point....person! We love you Amanda!!! Your friends and family are ALWAYS here for you!!!

1971 days ago


Terrible ACCIDENT! My 6 month old rolled of my bed onto a wood floor and was fine for 12 hours, but while rocking her that night, I noticed a spongy spot on the back of her head and called the ER. They said to bring her in right away. They called CPS and we were treated like criminals for the next 48 hours. We were told her injury was NOT consistent with the fall, she was traumatized with MRI, CT scans, and they Xrayed every bone in her body!!to look for previous injuries. Thousands of dollars later, they determined there was no subdural hematoma and we left with no treatment for her. None. But I decided (until natasha richardson) that I would never go to the ER with a head bump again. Accidents do happen.

1971 days ago


It could very well have been an accident, and let's be realistic - though it's ideal to take kids to the hospital after they fall, if parents were to do that they'd spend most of their time in the ER. Usually a child will cry, you'll soothe them, and you keep going...if there's no indication there's any further injury, one normally wouldn't take a child to the hospital (unless they are a newborn). I had a friend who's baby cousin died less than a day after falling- the family couldn't tell she'd sustained an injury that left her bleeding internally. These tragic accidents do happen, unfortunately.

1948 days ago
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