The latest issue of InStyle hit stands recently and its cover features the flawless Halle Berry, who has a new film, Cloud Atlas, coming on October 26. Clad in a red-hot cut-out dress, Berry makes 46 look fabulously fly. But her feature story reveals some pain behind the pretty smile.
Berry and her ex-boyfriend, Gabriel Aubrey, have been engaged in a bitter custody battle over their adorable 4-year-old daughter, Nahla, for what seems like forever. Berry wants to move to France with her fiancé, actor Olivier Martinez, to avoid the harassment of the paparazzi. Unsurprisingly, the child’s father wants to keep his baby girl a little closer to home. A final decision may not be so far off: TMZ reported yesterday that “sources connected to the case” have said a judge could make a ruling as soon as Friday.
There may be great news for Berry, who told InStyle, “I don’t want her to grow up around the tabloids. Because we are followed all the time, she is starting to feel like she is somehow special, and of course she is, but I want her to understand that she’s special because of who she is, not because she was born into this celebrity blender.”
She added, “I want my daughter to get away from it. She hasn’t made a choice to be in this business. I don’t want her to grow up and be some hot damn mess at 18 from all of this!”
That’s understandable. We’ve all seen famous kids and the kids of celebrities turn into adults with questionable grasps on reality. And while some might say Berry’s blowing things totally out of proportion, I have to recall the pictures from earlier this year of the enraged actress flipping on photographers who showed up at her daughter’s school.
I sympathize with a mother wanting to protect her child. What good mother wouldn’t? But while I’m doling out sympathies, I’d be remiss to skip the child’s father, and I wonder about his involvement (or lack thereof) in his child’s life if/when she’s so far away.
Earlier this year, Berry asked a judge that he have no contact with their daughter after a nanny accused him of pushing her while she held the couple’s daughter. He was not prosecuted and reportedly denied the allegation. Otherwise, he seems to be an involved and loving parent, one often seen doting on his little girl as he takes her to the movies, swings her around after ballet class or carries the exhausted child in his arms. What happens to Nahla’s relationship with her dad when she’s so far away? If the goal is what is best for the child, wouldn’t that be having her father as a regular and consistent presence in her life?
I do wonder if Berry’s escape is more about protecting her daughter or starting a new life that conveniently doesn’t involve her old lover. Of course, I’m not sure of all the means that Berry may have tried thus far to protect Nahla, but it logically seems there have got to be other options for Berry to keep her daughter safe than putting an ocean between the child and her father. Berry’s a hot ticket, but so are a lot of other A-list celebs who have somehow managed to avoid the paparazzi wrecking total havoc on the lives of their children, even while living in California.
I’m eager to see what the judge will soon decide. Do you think it will be in Berry’s favor?
Demetria L. Lucas is the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk