Paparazzi, Halle Berry and Child Custody[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="English: Actress Halle Berry at the 2010 New York Fashion Week. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)"][/caption]
Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry's plans to move herself and her four year old daughter to France to escape American paparazzi has apparently been temporarily shot down by a California family court.
Berry and former boyfriend Gabriel Aubry are in an ongoing child custody court battle over their daughter, Nahla. Berry claimed the dogged pursuit of flocks of paparazzi photographers, stalkers and death threats endanger the child and petitioned the court to be allowed to move to Paris with her fiancee, French actor Olivier Martinez. France's anti-paparazzi laws would make for a better life for them, the actress pleaded. Paparazzi have stricter limitations on how they can interact with celebrities, even if the celebrity is in a public setting.
The court-drafted child custody report recommended that Nahla "shouldn't be separated from her father," and that will be a "big factor" for the judge to consider when he makes his ruling. A source explained to the Huffington Post that the report makes it clear that "separation from Aubry would be detrimental to Nahla, as he is a huge part of her life." The child custody report criticizes both Berry and Aubry for being inflexible in their estrangement, "unable to put differences aside for the sake of their daughter," the court evaluator stated. The evaluator also expressed concerns about Berry embarking on her third marriage, raising concerns about her qualifications as custodian.
Berry and Aubry broke up in February 2010. In June, a California family court ordered Berry to pay Aubry $20,000 a month in child support. The actress asked the court for permission to move to France, citing Richard Franco's (a man convicted of stalking Berry) release from jail, while Robert Hoskins, a man who allegedly threatened to kill her, briefly managed to escape from a mental hospital last February. Berry told the court their "life was in danger" in Hollywood, and she can't lead a normal life amidst buzzing paparazzi.
The Huffington Post also reported Berry enlisted the help of fellow actress Salma Hayek to testify on her behalf. The Mexican-born actress has been hounded by paparazzi herself. Last week, Berry's lawyers filed a declaration from Hayek, in which "she states she has firsthand knowledge that France is a safer place for celebrities because of the restrictions on photographers," the online newsmagazine reported. Hayek, in her declaration, said that she spends "a lot of time in France" with her husband, French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault, and daughter Valentina, and they are not hounded by the tabloid press like they are in the United States.
Celebrity gossip website TMZ reported that Aubry's lawyers contested Berry's logic, and claim that "danger lurks in France" for the actress as well, citing the tragic death of Britian's Princess Diana, who died in a car crash while being chased by photographers through a Paris roadway tunnel in 1997.
Although aglow in the glitz of Hollywood scandal, the child custody case hinges upon the court's decision of which parent -- Berry or Aubry -- is the most suitable for the best interests of an innocent four year old girl.