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Berry: I Once Contemplated Suicide

March 22, 2002

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LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Halle Berry said she once defined herself by her relationships with men, and it drove her to suicidal depression.

The Oscar-nominated actress confesses in an upcoming Barbara Walters special that her 1996 divorce made her contemplate suicide years ago.

``I was going to sit in the car ... I went into my garage with my two dogs and I had them in the car and I was going to asphyxiate myself,″ said Berry, who’s up for best actress for the drama ``Monster’s Ball″ at Sunday’s Academy Awards.

The 33-year-old said the breakup with her ex-husband, Oakland Athletics outfielder David Justice, made her question her value as a person.

``I think I was still using men and my mate to identify who I was. And when that was gone, then I was nothing,″ Berry said. She has also discussed that episode in several previous interviews over the years.

Berry said she ultimately decided to spare her own life because she didn’t want to upset her mother.

``It’s almost like I had a flash of, you know, that good angel and the bad angel on my shoulder,″ Berry said. ``And something was telling me on the right side of my brain, ‘Girl, don’t do it. Girl, don’t do it. Think of your mother.’ I couldn’t do that to her. So I got out.″

Now, she’s married to R&B singer Eric Benet, and said she feels like her life has stabilized.

``I took the time to become his friend, get to know him and also have him get to know me, the real me, not the image of me,″ she said.

The Barbara Walters special airs 7 p.m. EST on ABC before the Academy Awards telecast. It also features interviews with Tom Cruise and Sarah Jessica Parker.

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