Celebrity marriages and divorces have been fixtures in supermarket tabloids for decades. The relationships of famous couples continue to draw the attention of the mass public, even when the reported split is seemingly repaired.
Now it is actress Halle Berry who is drawing headlines with a new twist to her personal life. Publications like the Daily Mail, New York Post, New York Daily News, E! Online, Entertainment Tonight and TMZ.com jumped on how the Academy Award winner may have her divorce to French actor Olivier Martinez on hold.
The estranged couple filed divorce papers in October 2015, but were issued a court ultimatum for not following through, with TMZ reporting Wednesday that Berry and Martinez are trying to patch up things up despite Martinez's reported anger issues.
Such reports of marriage ambiguity are nothing new. In July, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, among the most famous married couples in Hollywoods, also did not file for divorce despite announcing they were splitting. Affleck's ex-wife, Jennifer Lopez, has been married and divorced several times, with the media consistently covering her potential divorces.
The gossip can prompt questions about the celebrity's lifestyle choices, even when the actor mostly avoids paparazzi. It also allows for the sometimes-less-famous ex to gain an opportunity for more attention.
In the case of Berry, the actress has drawn headlines for her relationships for over 20 years, and with more notable figures than Martinez, a Paris-born actor who is a relative unknown in the United States. Her other marriages were to celebrities, who have not experienced the same sustained fame.
Berry, 50, had a high-profile relationship with then-baseball star David Justice, and the couple were married in 1993 before divorcing in 1996. She later tied the knot with Eric Benet, a singer-songwriter, whom she publicly thanked in her Best Actress ("Monster's Ball") acceptance speech for the 2001 Academy Awards. The marriage ended after two years, and Benet was later admitted into a rehab center for sex addiction.
In 2012, Berry was profiled by Joyce Maynard in New York Times Magazine, with Maynard openly asking Berry about her poor choices in men. Berry laughed it off by saying her “picker’s broken” and then adding she's become better at picking men.
After learning of Berry's split with Martinez, both Justice and Benet took to social media in what may have looked like an opportunity to gain some extra attention. Neither Justice nor Benet had any Twitter comments after news that Berry and Martinez have yet to finalize their divorce.
"Yup.. Me, Eric, Gabriel [Aubrey] and Olivier were all her 'Knight in Shining Armor', until it ends.. Then we all become the worst guys in history," Justice wrote in a Twitter post that was later deleted.
"Only the guys in the relationship with Halle know the real deal there will be another, of course. He’ll be called 'The Best' until it ends."
Justice wasn't done. He also issued some advice and warning to Martinez.
"Just wait, Olivier. It's coming! She insinuated that her daughter wasn't safe around Gabriel. Look it up and see the reason! Just wrong."
My man at @23davidjustice is tweeting some truth dis' mornin'!
— Eric Benet (@ebenet) November 3, 2015