Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry is becoming increasingly embroiled in an acrimonious child custody dispute with her ex-boyfriend, Canadian model and restaurateur Gabriel Aubry, the father of the couple's two-year-old daughter.
In December, after the couple broke up, Aubry filed a petition to establish his legal paternity in a bid to secure his father's rights to child custody. In response, Berry has asked the court to limit Aubry's interaction with the child.
In fact, Berry has pulled out of her latest film project "New Year's Day," which was scheduled to begin shooting this week in New York, in order to focus on the child custody litigation.
Each parent accusing the other of ignoring the best interest of the child
Both Berry and Aubry appear to be accusing the other of failing to keep the toddler's best interests foremost in their mind while vigorously denying doing so personally. Berry has hinted that Aubry may abuse or neglect their daughter. Aubry has accused Berry of being unreliable and, perhaps, seeking to alienate the two-year-old from him.
"Halle has serious concerns for her daughter's well-being while in the care of her father for any extended period of time and is prepared to take all necessary steps to protect her," a spokesperson for Berry told PEOPLE magazine.
Aubry, who claims that Berry has disappeared for days at a time while shooting movies, nevertheless seeks a shared parenting arrangement.
"Gabriel fully believes that a consistent and balanced living situation and two loving parents are crucial for their child, even if Ms. Berry feels otherwise," his spokesperson told reporters. "He will always defend his rights as a father and will always consider [their daughter's] best interest. Halle's continuing allegations in the press are untrue and irresponsible."
While they were a couple, Berry and Aubry declined to establish legal paternity and obtain court orders for child support, child custody and visitation, as many unmarried parents do. Without those orders, however, unmarried fathers' rights are unprotected.
Berry appears to be seeking sole custody over the toddler with limited visitation by Aubry. Aubry intends to protect his fathers' rights and apparently seeks shared legal custody and liberal visitation.
- San Francisco Chronicle, "Gabriel Aubry releases statement about Halle Berry battle," February 2, 2011
- San Francisco Chronicle, "Halle Berry challenging ex over custody of their daughter," February 1, 2011