Halle Berry & Gabriel Aubry Custody Fight Heats Up

Halle Berry and partner Gabriel Aubry at Keep a Child Alive's 6th Annual Black Ball at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on October 15, 2009 Halle Berry and partner Gabriel Aubry at Keep a Child Alive's 6th Annual Black Ball at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on October 15, 2009

The custody battle between Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry over their nearly 3-year-old daughter, Nahla, intensified on Wednesday, with claims of racism bandied about in the media.

According to People, a source close to the actress claimed that Aubry unleashed a nasty side of himself on the actress following their split.

“Once they broke up, he became verbally threatening to Halle,” Stephane Bibeau, a former friend of Aubry’s who remains close to the actress, told the mag.

Bibeau and other People sources close to Berry claimed that Aubry used a racial slur against Berry. TMZ sources also claimed that the model routinely hurled expletives at the actress and was heard using the “N” word with her. TMZ also claimed that sources close to Halle say that Nahla has been crying and throwing tantrums whenever Gabriel picks her up for visits.

However, an anonymous friend of Aubry’s told Access Hollywood otherwise.

“Gabriel’s a good guy with a good heart – anyone who’s met him knows that. Halle’s planted claims are ridiculous – how do you live with a man for five years and all of a sudden decide he’s a racist?” the friend told Access. “It’s sad, even pathetic to see how low she will go to take his kid away. It’s even sadder to see how she could care less how this will ultimately hurt Nahla.”

Radar Online, however, claimed later on Wednesday that it was in fact, Aubry, who had numerous e-mails, text messages and voicemails from Berry, which documented her angry rages; evidence which he intends never to leak to the press, but rather, save only for private court dealings.

People also reported that the couple’s problems intensified with their post-split romances, pointing to Aubry stepping out with reality star Kim Kardashian last fall as a catalyst.

“Halle was very upset,” a source close to Berry told People. “She did not want a reality star in Nahla’s life. She was very aggravated.”

The mag also reported that Berry’s romance with French actor Olivier Martinez – whom she has been dating since summer – also caused a riff with the duo. The former couple’s financial imbalance also reportedly contributed to their current strife.

“Halle got tired of footing the bill and was sick of him having no ambition,” another Berry source claimed to People, adding that the actress supported the model for most of their relationship.

Additionally, a person close to the situation told Access that Berry is not the one leaking information to the press. This source also claimed that Aubry “won’t cooperate” in their custody situation and said the actress is “not necessarily” trying to get full custody of their daughter.

As previously reported on AccessHollywood.com, on Tuesday, Aubry released an exclusive statement, via his rep at Wilhelmina Models, to Access about his custody fight.

“While Gabriel is disappointed in Halle’s decision to falsely malign him publicly and for her own purposes, he refuses to be pulled into her dispute over a canceled film production. Gabriel also refuses to air their issues in the press as he believes this may ultimately harm their daughter. The fact is that Gabriel is a caring father who shares custody of Nahla,” the statement read. “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. He will always defend his rights as a father and will always consider Nahla’s best interest. Halle’s continuing allegations in the press are untrue and irresponsible.”

On Monday, Berry’s rep had released a statement explaining why she pulled out of the upcoming movie, “New Year’s Eve,” citing her custody battle with Aubry as the reason.

“Halle Berry was forced to pull out of a film production in New York this week due to pending custody litigation involving her daughter. 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,” the actress’ rep said in a statement also issued to Access. “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. Halle has always made the needs and safety of her daughter her first priority and, both while Halle and Gabriel were a couple and since their break-up, Halle has only acted in her daughter’s best interest.”

Back in December, Aubry filed paperwork in Los Angeles Superior Court, asking the court to formally recognize him as the father of Nahla.

The former couple’s split was first revealed in May 2010. They met and began dating following a Versace photo shoot in 2005

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