FOR MONTHS, HALLE BERRY HAS BEEN putting a positive spin on the breakup of her three-year marriage to Atlanta Braves outfielder David Justice. Her divorce would leave her with “a few battle scars,” the actress told PEOPLE in May. But “as long as I can learn something from it, all the pain will be worth it.”
That, of course, was then—before the legal proceedings got messy and the pain quotient skyrocketed. Justice struck the first blow Sept. 11 when he demanded that Berry disclose details in court papers of her past relationships with Wesley Snipes and Eddie Murphy. Berry in turn filed a motion accusing Justice of trying to intimidate and embarrass her. Then, on Oct. 1, Berry filed for a restraining order against Justice in Los Angeles superior court, demanding that he stay at least 500 yards from her Hollywood Hills home, which the couple bought together in 1994.
The actress alleges in the order that Justice, who lives in Atlanta but was in L.A. for a play-off game, had arrived at her doorstep at 9:30 the previous morning and “demanded entry to the house” in order to pick up some belongings—which, in fact, were in the garage for him to retrieve. For four hours, she claims, he remained outside, at one point telling someone on a cellular phone that if he were not admitted to the house, “he would break every one of the f—king windows…and break the door down.” Stephen Kahn, an attorney at the Beverly Hills law firm handling Berry’s divorce, says, “[Justice] threatened to come back, and we didn’t want that to happen.” As a result, he says, Justice was served “at the ballpark the next day” with a temporary restraining order.
Justice denies Berry’s version of the incident, saying through a spokesperson that “I pose absolutely no threat to Halle.” He has in the past accused her of overreacting. “Every time she saw a picture of me with a woman, any woman who might have been standing by my side, she thought I was cheating,” he said last spring. “I’ve never known a girl who could throw a tantrum like she does.”
Berry sees things otherwise and has a different take now on potential “battle scars.” Says she, in court papers: “I am in fear of my personal safety and well-being.”