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In 2002, Halle Berry appeared to be on top of the world. Not only had she made history by becoming the first African American to win an Oscar for best actress, but she was also married to R&B singer Eric Benét, who wasn’t afraid to showcase his love for her in the public eye.

On the surface, it seemed like Berry and Benét had the perfect relationship. But behind closed doors, the pair’s marriage was slowly deteriorating.

Halle Berry and Eric Benét
Halle Berry and Eric Benét | Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

A timeline of Halle Berry and Eric Benét’s relationship

Berry met Benét in 1997 while attending a concert at Los Angeles’ House of Blues. Though the Boomerang actor didn’t feel “any sparks” with the singer initially, she started developing feelings for him after they had been swapping emails for more than a year.

“I turned to him and said, ‘You know what? I think I love you,'” Berry told People in 2002.

Three years after their first encounter, the couple became engaged at the Cleveland premiere of Berry’s HBO film Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. They married in January 2001.

Halle Berry and Eric Benét
Halle Berry and Eric Benét | Dave Allocca/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

The actor also adopted Benét’s daughter India, who lost her mother in a car accident when she was just 15 months old.

After tying the knot, it appeared to onlookers that Berry had finally found her happily ever after.

However, immediately after she became the first Black actor to win a Best Actress Academy Award (for her role in Monsters Ball), rumors began to swirl that Benét had been unfaithful.

Why did Halle Berry and Eric Benét break up?

When Berry first heard about the cheating rumors, she didn’t believe the claims. She even threatened to sue a tabloid for printing what she thought were false stories.

But Benét eventually came clean about his infidelity. He even entered treatment for sex addiction in an attempt to save his marriage. Though she was heartbroken, Berry stayed with the “Spend My Life With You” singer because she wanted to fix their marriage.

Though Berry tried to be understanding toward Benét’s sex addiction, she realized two years later that they couldn’t heal from his cheating. In 2003, she filed for divorce.

“Eric and I have had marital problems for some time now and have tried to work things out together,” Berry said in a statement. “However, at this point, I feel we need time apart to reevaluate our union. We ask that you respect our privacy as we are going through this emotional time.”

Their divorce was finalized in January 2005.

Being cheated on taught Halle Berry an empowering lesson

Though she was heartbroken that her marriage to Benét had failed, Berry knew she had to file for divorce because her trust had been broken.

Although she loved love Benét and only wanted the best for him, the actor couldn’t bring herself to trust the singer again, no matter how hard she tried.

But despite ending their marriage, Berry learned a vital lesson from her relationship with Benét, which she revealed during a 2004 interview with Oprah Winfrey.


Inside Actress Halle Berry’s Three Marriages

“I’ve learned that when I see a flag in a relationship next time, recognize it as a flag. Don’t think ‘Oh, that’s just a shadow. That’s a flag,” she told Winfrey. “And when I look back at our relationship, I saw the flags. I didn’t see flags of sexual addiction, but I did see flags of something not right.”