Gabriel Aubry: Another Bad Apple for Halle Berry?

Custody fight over daughter Nahla gets ugly as Aubry hits back at Berry.

ByABC News
February 2, 2011, 1:35 AM

Feb. 2, 2011 — -- The woman scorned: It's a role with which Halle Berry is all too familiar.

On Monday, the Oscar-winning actress declared that she dropped out of her upcoming film, "New Year's Eve," to fight for custody of her 2½-year-old daughter, Nahla.

"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 representative for the actress told People magazine. "She has attempted to resolve these custody issues amicably with her daughter's father, Gabriel Aubry, directly, but given his lack of cooperation, Halle has no choice but to seek swift judicial intervention."

According to People magazine, verbal abuse brought Berry to the brink.

"Once they broke up he became verbally threatening to Halle," Aubry's former friend and business partner Stephane Bibeau told People, saying that he's the type to speak first and think later. "He doesn't even realize the strength of his words. He is a vindictive guy." Bibeau also claimed that Aubry used a racial slur against Berry.

Aubry stepped up to defend himself on Tuesday. His representative released a statement to "Access Hollywood" stating that "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. ... Halle's continuing allegations in the press are untrue and irresponsible."

It's an out-of-the-blue, uncharacteristic move for the couple. Until now, it seemed that Berry, 44, was on good terms with Aubry, 34, a model whom she dated from 2005 to 2010. The two welcomed Nahla, Berry's first child, in 2008 and currently share custody.

In May, the couple split but vowed to "remain friends and committed parents to their daughter," Berry's publicist said at the time. Though they've both found new love since -- he briefly dated reality TV star Kim Kardashian, she's with French actor Oliver Martinez -- their switch from sunny to stormy terms comes as a surprise to many.

"This is really surprising because it seemed like they were really getting along," said Joey Bartolomeo, a senior writer for People magazine. "We saw them out together after they split up, spending time with Nahla. Everyone thought from the outside that he was good guy. She had come from a bad divorce. He was there to take care of her, they seemed to be really happy."

Perhaps, like Berry's past beaux, Aubrey failed to measure up to the man she wanted in her life.

"It seems like she has a history of picking the wrong men for herself," said Bartolomeo. "Her marriage to David Justice was very troubled. After that marriage broke up, she was damaged by the whole relationship. Then she married Eric Benet, and that seemed to be a great thing for her -- she was very happy, he had a daughter, they were raising that daughter together, then they split up and there was talk that he had been unfaithful."