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What Halle Berry's Relationship History Says About Divine Timing

"If you make a wrong move, course correct and re-spin and start again!"

Culture & Entertainment

Halle Berry is a girl's girl, but it's no secret she has love for men too. However, her list of high-profile relationships has been met with harsh criticism like "she can't keep a man." In true Halle Berry fashion, the star addressed the trolls with a classy clapback via Instagram last year writing:

"Who said I wanted to keep them? I'm all about living your best life, if you make a wrong move, course correct and re-spin and start again!"

We couldn't have said it any better! The Hollywood star is all about the re-spin and so are we. The 53-year-old mom of two chatted with friend Lena Waithe over an Instagram Live a year ago about how it's been navigating singledom after her last divorce with actor Olivier Martinez. "I have decided to take time. I'm very much a relationship-oriented person, I always want to be with someone. But I decided, no I'm going to slow my roll, I'm going to take a minute and I'm going to spent time with me," she said.

"One year led to two years and two years is now leading to three years. But I'm fine because I think the next relationship I have I think I will have a better chance of attracting and choosing what's right for me because I've taken this time to think about what's important to me."

She continued, "I no longer feel the need for a relationship so I don't feel the need to rush or accept something that's not totally right for me. Not that anything's wrong with the people I've been with but I'm going to wait for my match or I will stay solo and be with my kids and do my life the way I'm doing it."

Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images

Fast forward a year later, and Halle has hit another re-spin! She and new beau Van Hunt made their official couple debut on the 2021 Oscars red carpet. The couple was the talk of the awards show, but we want to talk about how Halle is living proof that simply just settling should never be an option. She looks happier than ever since she started dating the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter in September 2020.

Below see Halle's dating history (including three marriages) that led her to her newfound love at 53. Say it with us, respin.

Danny Wood (1989):

Larry Busacca/WireImage

Halle's first relationship thrust into the limelight was with New Kids on the Block's Danny Wood. It was brief but the paparazzi loved the pair even though Halle hadn't shot to stardom yet.

Christopher Williams (1991-1992):

Aside from dating Halle Berry, R&B crooner Christopher Williams is most known for his hit singles "Talk to Myself" (1989), "I'm Dreamin'" (1991), and "Every Little Thing U Do" (1993).

David Justice (1993-1997):

Ron Davis/Getty Images

This pro-baseball player was Halle's first husband. It's safe to say that things did not end amicably between the two since after their split Halle filed for a restraining order against David Justice. In the past, the actress has also been transparent about trying to commit suicide after the failure of their marriage. She told Parade magazine via PEOPLE:

"It was all about a relationship. My sense of worth was so low. I promised myself I would never be a coward again."

Shemar Moore (1997-1998): 

Although Halle dated the Criminal Minds actor during the prime of her career, they were very private. Only in recent years has Shemar Moore opened up. "She was the first woman to really knock my socks off. I fell hard for Halle. A lot of people now know we dated, but we had to keep it hush-hush at the time because she was fresh off her divorce from David Justice. I'm still grateful for that relationship," spilled in an interview circa 2013.

Eric Benét ​(2001-2005):

Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images

This R&B/neo soul singer-songwriter and actor, who has received a total of four Grammy nominations, was the second man to put a ring on Halle's finger. After meeting in 1997, the pair got engaged three years later and officially tied the knot in January 2001. Eric Benet and Halle Berry quickly went from Hollywood "it" couple to divorce after he admitted to infidelity on his part. Halle opened up to Oprah Winfrey about their marriage saying she had an emotional breakdown when he told her about his affairs, but that she became stronger after the marriage failed.

"I had an emotional breakdown... I knew for a fact, 'this is not my fault.' Because I knew I'd been a good wife. I'd given a lot of myself and I learned from mistakes I thought I made in my first marriage. I knew I had grown in many areas."

Michael Ealy (2004-2005):

Halle had chemistry with her Their Eyes Were Watching God co-star Michael Ealy on and off-screen. Although it didn't work out, the actors remain friends till this day.

Gabriel Aubry (2005-2010):

Steve Granitz/WireImage

When Halle began dating this Canadian model, the two were pictured everywhere. They share a daughter, Nahla, together who they've famously battled over in court.

Olivier Martinez (2013-2016):

Halle Berry married French actor Olivier Martinez shortly after her split from Aubry. Their son Marco, was born soon after that. Olivier famously got into a fistfight during his time with Halle with her ex Aubry that made headlines.

Alex da Kid (2017): 

After her third marriage didn't work out, Halle dated this British musician for a couple of months.

Van Hunt (Present):

Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images

Halle gushed about her new man in a sweet birthday post ahead of their Oscars debut:

"A real woman can do it all by herself, but a real MAN won't let her. Happy birthday VanO. I only wish I'd known you sooner so I could have loved you longer!"

#Respin

Featured image by Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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