Hollywood star Halle Berry’s court-ordered community service stemming from her horrific 1997 hit-and-run car accident was a wake-up call that changed her life, and shifted her focus to charity work.
Berry was sentenced to 250 hours of community service for leaving the scene of the accident in West Hollywood, even though she suffered amnesia and needed 17 stitches in her forehead after the crash.
She fulfilled the court order by working at Los Angeles’ Jenesse Center, a charity that helps battered women and their children make a fresh start.
And 13 years later, Berry still regularly volunteers with the organization – which has helped her realize the importance of giving back.
She says, “It changed my life. I hadn’t been doing enough (for others). It was time.”
Actress Halle Berry tried to commit suicide over her failed first marriage, she reveals in an upcoming interview.
Berry, 40, admits to Parade magazine that she tried to gas herself when her fiery union to Atlanta Braves baseball star David Justice collapsed, but pulled out at the last minute.
"I was sitting in my car, and I knew the gas was coming when I had an image of my mother finding me," she tells the magazine.
The image of her stoic mother Judith, now 67, was enough to snap the blues out of Berry. "She sacrificed so much for her children, and to end my life would be an incredibly selfish thing to do. It was all about a relationship. My sense of worth was so low," Berry says. "I promised myself I would never be a coward again."
The actress also describes her subsequent marriage, to singer Eric Benet, as "really horrific ... We were in sex rehab after one year. I wish I had left then, but I was putting everyone's needs before mine," says the Oscar winner, who next appears on-screen with Bruce Willis in the thriller Perfect Stranger.
Twice divorced Berry is now dating model Gabriel Aubry, after meeting the 31-year-old in Nov. 2005 during a Versace advertising shoot. Three months later they went public as a couple. Twice bitten, Berry rules out a third marriage.