The star thought she found bliss with model Gabriel Aubry-but it didn't last

By Julie Jordan
May 17, 2010 12:00 PM

Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry looked every inch the happy couple on a trip to the Los Angeles Zoo on April 2, smiling as their daughter Nahla, 2, squealed over the animals. “Nothing seemed out of the ordinary,” says an eyewitness, who later saw Aubry carry his tuckered-out daughter in his arms. “They looked really happy together-and Nahla seemed to be in heaven.”

Turns out that picture was not so perfect: On April 30 news broke that Berry, 43, and Aubry, 34, the French-Canadian model she fell for in 2005, had quietly ended their romance several months ago. While they’ve continued to spend time together amicably with their daughter-“Her happiness and well-being are the most important thing for both of us,” Aubry told Access Hollywood-several sources who know Berry shot back at a report suggesting Aubry had initiated the split. “She kicked him out months ago because he wasn’t able to pull his weight in the relationship, and she wanted to move on,” says a source close to both. “She just realized she was growing beyond the relationship and thought it best to end things.”

What went wrong? A few friends saw hints of trouble for the couple, who met in 2005 at a Versace photo shoot. By last year the two were often arguing, says a longtime friend of Berry’s: “I got the sense that he was jealous of her, that this is another example of a man not being able to deal with a successful and beautiful woman.” Another source who knows Aubry says the model likes to flirt with younger women. “He is around them all the time for work. He wants to be free for a while.”

Following two divorces (from baseball player David Justice in 1997 and singer Eric Benet in 2005), Berry is taking her time moving on. “She doesn’t have a new boyfriend,” says her longtime friend. “She’s picked the wrong guys in the past [her ex-husbands]. I don’t think she has any desire to get married again.”

But she has a lasting joy: her daughter. She and Aubry “are amazing parents,” says Stephane Bibeau, who owned a restaurant with Aubry. Says Berry’s friend: “They’re going to co-parent and go on with their lives. They will be in each other’s lives forever.”