Since about 2003 a disgustingly sad label has followed Halle Berry: She’s batsh-t crazy. The year 2003 is when the actress announced her separation from her second husband, Eric Benet, and inquiries quickly shifted from “How could you cheat on Halle Berry?” to “How could a woman so beautiful not be able to keep a man? She must be crazy.”
At that time, Halle’s relationship history was brief, but tumultuous still. We knew about a dentist she dated early in her career who tried to sue her for $80K, saying he lent her money which she never repaid to make it in Hollywood. We also knew of the depression she experienced as a result of her divorce from first husband, David Justice. And we knew there was an abusive boyfriend (rumored to be Wesley Snipes due to an allegation from another of her ex’s, Christopher Williams) prior to that who’d beaten her so bad he ruptured her eardrum.
After parting ways with Eric, Halle went on to date Michael Ealy, making them quite possibly the most beautiful couple ever. But when things got rocky with Gabriel Aubry, the father of Halle’s first child, the “crazy” talk became more than conjecture. And now with news she’s divorcing her third husband, Olivier Martinez, the label has essentially become cemented. The comments on any article on the subject confirm as much.
But guess who’s not being called crazy? The singer, who may or may not have had a sex addiction, that cheated on Halle. The model ex who coincidentally hasn’t modeled in quite some time now that he’s raking in $16K per month in child support while only having joint custody of his daughter Nahla. Or the soon-to-be ex-husband who beat Halle’s baby daddy on Thanksgiving and has had physical altercations with paparazzi as well. While there’s certainly something to be said for being a three-time divorcée, about all any outsider can conclude is Halle uses poor judgement when it comes to men and perhaps jumps into relationships too hastily. But there’s a grave difference between picking bad men and being a crazy woman. There’s also something rather sexist in the implication of the latter.
The assumption of crazy being applied to Halle is wholly predicated on the belief that it’s a woman’s job to keep a man. That means when a relationship goes sour, no matter the reason, the failed union is somehow, someway the woman’s fault. Surely, Halle’s not totally blameless in these relationships as, even though the actress may look perfect she’s still human, but I’d be more inclined to call her crazy if she stayed with an abusive man or tolerated an habitual cheater. Simply because Halle has been the more famous partner in all of these relationships does her past come into question whenever she and another man part ways. But if we dissected all of her lovers’ pasts with the same scrutiny, surely there’d be more than enough evidence to support a claim of crazy for them as well, should we want to spread the sexism around a bit and engage in more finger-pointing.
By now we know good looks may be enough to make a man stray, but they definitely are no shield from a lack of act-right. Over and over again we’ve seen Halle’s looks used as a scapegoat to absolve the men in her life of the responsibility of their actions because we assume no one in their right mind would do someone so beautiful so wrong without provocation. It’s time to face the fact that that assumption is what’s crazy and Halle’s no different from the rest of us out here looking for love in all the wrong places; she just might look a little better doing it.