"I will never, never get married again.”
Halle Berry uttered that short phrase (packed with not one but two nevers) back in the spring of 2007 during an interview with InStyle magazine … and six years later, has taken it back. The Oscar winner is engaged to French actor Olivier Martinez, with whom she's expecting a child, and the two are rumored to be tying the knot this weekend.
Hey Halle, here’s another double-never phrase for you: Never say never.
So what's different this time around? It's not just that the 46-year-old thinks she's found the right guy in Martinez, 47, and wants a family with him. At the time of the InStyle interview, Berry was in a relationship with model Gabriel Aubry, with whom she'd go on to have daughter Nahla, now 5. The couple split in 2010 after five years together and ended up in a bitter custody battle punctuated with abuse allegations.
At the time, she had two marriages under her belt, both of which ended very publicly and very badly. There was her three-year marriage to pro baseball player David Justice that ended in 1996 with a restraining order against the athlete. Berry later told Parade magazine she contemplated suicide in response to the split. She didn't fare much better with her second husband, musician Eric Benét, who checked himself into a sex addiction treatment program after the two separated in 2003 years after less than three years of marriage. And then, despite her insistence on not making her relationship with Aubry legal, that one went down the drain too, when their daughter was just 2 years old.
This time around, with Martinez, it seems Berry is seeing things differently. Here are a few factors that might have changed the A-lister's mind about marriage.
She wasn’t fooled by that "swept off your feet" feeling … you know, the one that often fades.
"When I first met Olivier, there wasn’t the initial 'I'm in love!' It was something that grew more gradually — and it feels more real because of that," the "Cloud Atlas" actress told InStyle in November 2012, when it became clear she was already reneging on her previous statement about the institution of marriage, adding that it's "another one of those never-say-never things. I'm a hopeless romantic, and I won’t stop till I get it right!"
Her "picker" has gotten better with age.
In an October 2012 interview with T, The New York Times Style Magazine, Berry admitted that, yes, she wasn’t great at choosing men. "My picker's broken. God just wanted to mix up my life. Maybe he was thinking, 'This girl can't get everything! I'm going to give her a broken picker,'" she told the magazine, explaining her picker is "fixed now," in part because her low self-esteem issues are a thing of the past. "Just because they see my face doesn't mean they see me. A person's self-esteem has nothing to do with how she looks. If it's true that I'm beautiful, I'm proof of that. Self-esteem comes from who you have in your life. How you were raised. What you struggled with as a child."
Martinez has already passed the good dad test.
Since the couple started dating in 2010, they’re frequently spotted on outings with Nahla, who (at least based on photos) appears to have formed a bond with her future stepfather and the trio seems to be operating like one happy family. And that family is about to expand. Their son is due later this year. "This has been the biggest surprise of my life to tell you the truth," Berry told CNN in early April. "I thought I was kind of past the point where this could be a reality for me. So it's been a big surprise and the most wonderful."
He'll fight for Halle … when pressed.
Not that we’re condoning violence, but when Aubry allegedly lost his cool and took the first swing at Martinez on Thanksgiving of 2012 when dropping Nahla off with the couple (reportedly in response to Martinez trying to discuss the couple's wishes to move with the little girl to the actor's native France), Martinez sprung into action, defending himself and his new family. Aubry walked away with a black eye.
Finally … a fun guy!
In the recent InStyle interview from 2012, Berry alluded to the fact her previous guys were drips … unlike her new man. "He's silly, a clown, and very much the life of the party, which is good for someone like me. Danny Downer ... been there, done that," the beauty admitted. "Now I like Louie Lightfoot!"
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