Halle Berry Shares Message About Her Late Father's Addiction Battle

By Paul Gaita 06/28/19

Berry opened up about her late father in a recent Instagram post. 

Halle Berry

Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry posted a heartfelt message about her late father on Instagram, which outlined the difficulties in their relationship due to his alcoholism, as well as her understanding of those challenges.

Berry, who currently stars in the box office hit John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum, was estranged from her father, Jerome Jesse Berry, from an early age, and has detailed his abusive behavior towards her mother and sister in previous interviews. But Berry appeared to strike a note of forgiveness in her recent post, in which she noted, "I now understand how much he loved me and how vital he was and is to my life."

Berry has described herself in the past as a "victim of domestic violence" who witnessed the physical abuse meted out to her mother, Judith Ann Hawkins, and older sister, Heidi, by her father.

At a 2015 event for unite4:humanity, where she was presented with an award for her volunteer work with the Jenesse Center, a domestic violence intervention program, Berry said that at five years of age, she witnessed her mother beaten "day after day after day," which included being kicked down stairs and hit on the head with a wine bottle.

Berry also spoke about her guilt in regard to the beatings on a 2007 episode of the Bravo series Inside the Actors Studio. "The hard part for me was he never abused me," she told host James Lipton. "I was dealing with a lot of guilt because I saw my sister go through terrible beatings. I felt helpless and like a coward because I didn't do anything and couldn't do anything. I spent many of the early years of my life trying to make sense of all that and recover and find my self-esteem."

These experiences spurred Berry to give back to programs like the Jenesse Center. "I understand the good that it does and the lives that it changes and the impact it has on women and the children in our community," she said in 2015.

Berry was estranged from her father after her parents divorced, and said in 1992 that she "[hadn't] heard from him since. Maybe he's not alive." Jerome Berry passed away in 2003. 

In her Instagram post, Berry noted that "While I didn't have much of a relationship with him while he was here, as he was alcohol addicted and that addiction robbed us of the relationship we were meant to have, I now understand how much he loved me and how vital he was and is to my life (sic)!"

She continued by writing, "I miss you today daddy and wherever you are, I know you're smiling down on me because I feel your love (sic)." The post included an image of a photograph of her father, which Berry noted was one of only two pictures she had of him, and which "has become family gold!" 

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, Amazon.com and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.