HALLE BERRY GIVES CHEATING HUBBY A 2ND CHANCE

Published on: August 15, 2002

Halle Berry wants the world to know she's still standing by her man!

Exclusive ENQUIRER photos show the Oscar-winning actress out with husband Eric Benet on August 7, in public together for the first time since his release from a rehabilitation center where he had undergone treatment for sex addiction.

Halle, Eric and his 11-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, India, had lunch at a Moroccan restaurant in Beverly Hills and "seemed to be a happy family," an eyewitness told The ENQUIRER.

"They were constantly talking and laughing, but most of the conversation was focused on India.

"From time to time Halle and Eric glanced at each other and gave a small smile.

"After lunch Halle dropped Eric off at an office building, then headed off to go shopping with India."

In our July 23 issue, we revealed exclusively that after discovering a shocking series of infidelities, the actress contacted a divorce attorney and told her husband of 18 months his only hope of saving their marriage was to get treatment.

Eric, 35, entered a posh rehabilitation clinic called The Meadows in Wickenburg, Ariz., in early June.

Halle told Eric that as long as he never cheats on her again, there'd be no divorce.

Now she's showing her support for Eric by being seen in public with him, even holding hands. But sources say it will take some time before Halle feels comfortable in their marriage.

"Halle is emotionally tired of fighting an uphill battle with Eric and if he can't -- or won't -- get it together, she'll move on," said a friend of the 36-year-old actress.

"This is the time in her life she should be enjoying after winning an Oscar and getting married, but she's very unhappy.

"She was ready to walk away and never look back.

"But after Eric admitted to Halle what he did and agreed to go into rehab, she decided to give him one more chance.

"Halle loves Eric but she was very hurt that he did this to her, and for the entire time he was in rehab she was going back and forth on whether to call it quits.

"Halle put off making a decision because of his daughter, India. India's mother died when she was just a toddler and ever since Halle married Eric, India has called her mom. Halle decided she couldn't uproot this girl and break her heart.

"So as much as Halle was leaning toward leaving Eric, she wanted to give him another chance for all of them -- especially India."

During Halle's shopping trip with India, they were seen looking at baby items, fueling rumors that have been circulating -- even among her friends -- that the "Monster's Ball" star is pregnant.

But Halle was shopping for close friend Holly Robinson Peete, who was about to have a baby. And a source close to the actress said it's doubtful she's expecting: "I don't see that happening for a long time unless there was an accident. Halle, I think, wants to have her marriage on solid ground before she brings another child into their household.

"It's a terrible shame that Eric hasn't been a good husband to her. But now she's showing incredible reserve and compassion by standing by him."