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HALLE RECOUNTS HER BRUSH WITH SUICIDE AFTER BREAKUP

  (NY Post - June 2000)

Halle Berry details how close she came to dying by her own hand when her marriage to baseball player David Justice hit the rocks.

InStyle Halle Berry has spoken for the first time about her heartbreaking suicide attempt four years ago. The sexy star of the new flick "X-Men" says she was so devastated by the bust-up of her marriage to baseball star David Justice, she decided to end it all.

Grabbing her two pet Shih Tzus, Berry marched into the garage of her Los Angeles home, got into her car and started up the engine. 

"I sat there for a while and could smell the fumes," she tells the July Issue of InStyle.  "I felt worthless, like such a failure. I worried, what would people think about my marriage being over?" But as she breathed in the poisonous air, Berry began to have second thoughts. 

"I started to think how selfish I was being. I hadn't thought about my mother one bit in this whole trauma," Berry says. 

"It was a struggle for I don't know how long." That's when she began praying for an answer - and made "a very serious pact with God that I would never contemplate taking my own life. Never. Never. Never." She grabbed her pets, fled the fume-filled garage and never looked back. 

Now engaged to singer Eric Benet, Berry hit another rough patch last February when she was charged in a hit-and-run car crash. She received three years probation and 300 hours of community service after pleading no contest. But Berry insists she doesn't remember the accident, even though she drove home and needed 60 stitches to sew up her forehead. When the cops showed up to quiz her, "I never felt so much fear in my entire life," Berry, 33, tells In Style. "There's something very [disturbing] about when the police show up." Berry insists she's paying her debt to society by performing community service. "Now I can look at myself in the mirror. Nobody can say, 'She got off.'   Because I didn't. Thank God no one was killed. There were blessings that night." 

The woman in the other car, Heta Raythatha, 28, doesn't buy Berry's story. "[She] left me in a smoking car wreck. She sped off and made no attempt to get me help. I find everything she has [said] unbelievable," Raythatha told the mag.

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