After three failed marriages, Academy Award winner, Halle Berry is opening up about the “pain and anguish” experienced in those relationships and proving there is life beyond divorce.
In a candid Q&A on Saturday with the 2017 City Summit and Gala in Los Angeles, Entertainment Tonight reports that the 50-year-old revealed what she has learned about herself from three failed marriages.
“[It’s] not been easy, especially when there’s children involved,” she said. “[As] women, we go into marriage thinking it’s going to last forever and that this is our prince on a shiny horse — that’s what fairy tales taught me as a kid … and I’m kind of anti-fairy tales today.”
She added that each of us in relationships goes in with that hope but when it all falls apart, it often feels like a huge failure and disappointment.
“I’ve often felt guilty and responsible. I’ve suffered a lot of pain and anguish,” she said.
Berry’s recent divorce from actor Olivier Martinez was finalized in December. The two are parents to a 3-year old son named Maceo. The actress was previously married to baseball player, David Justice, and singer, Eric Benet. Berry also has an 8-year-old daughter, Nahla, with model Gabriel Aubry.
Serving as the keynote speaker for the event, Berry also shared that her heartbreak has led to many learning lessons.
“In every one of those situations, as hard — and sometimes embarrassing — as it was, I learned so much about myself,” she said. “All of those relationships were necessary for me. We all come here with lessons that we have to learn and those relationships provided me with lessons that got me to where I am right now. For that, I’m grateful, but it has been hard. It’s been a difficult part of my life.”
For now the star of the upcoming thriller, Kidnap, says she’s focused on her children.
“Right now, being mom is my most important job and I now know that everything I do, everything I say and everything I offer them is really important,” she explained. “I say lots of things, but I think what’s more important is that my children watch what I do.”
Berry goes on to share how much more mindful she has become with her children watching her every move.
“If I want them to be kind, I have to show them kindness,” she began. “If I want them to be curious, I have to show them my own curiosity. If I want them to be smart, I have to show that I’m continuing to learn every day. If I want them to be humble, I have to teach them how to give and care about other people. If I want them to be grateful I have to make them know that they have to give their toys away once a year and give to others. I’ve learned it’s not just the words — it’s what action I put behind those words.”
Most recently, those actions include taking her son and daughter to donate their old toys to under-privileged children, before they receive new gifts every Christmas. The trio are known to make annual visits to the Jenesse Center, a domestic violence prevention and intervention organization. It’s a spot Berry says her kids delight in bringing joy to other youngsters.
Berry’s work with the Jenesse Center is rooted deep in motivations from watching her mother fall victim to domestic violence growing up. Regardless of working hard with the organization for 18 years, Berry said raising funds for domestic violence shelters remains incredibly difficult.
“People say to me, ‘Halle, why don’t [victims] just leave? And I’m like, ‘Oh, if it were only that simple!’ So it’s been my life’s work [to bring awareness]…because the subject is so taboo,” she said. “It affects so many people and not just the underprivileged and impoverished — it touches all walks of life.”
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