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February 2nd, 2012 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
Canadian model Gabriel Aubry has pushed back an effort by Halle Berry to keep him out of their daughter’s life.  Read the latest here (Radar Online, 2/1/12).

As the whole world and several outlying planets know by now, Aubry and Berry have been fighting over custody of their daughter Nahla and everything related to it.  To date, the pair have had joint custody of the girl, but, given the ongoing disagreements, it came as no surprise that Berry moved to decrease, or eliminate altogether, Aubry’s parenting.

Sure enough, Berry asked a Los Angeles family court to issue a restraining order against Aubry that would have effectively deprived Nahla of contact with her father.  The reason (or perhaps “excuse” would be a better word)?  Berry claimed that Aubry yelled at the little girl’s nanny and pushed her out of his house with Nahla in her arms.  Aubry stoutly denied doing any such thing.

It seems that, while Nahla was living with Aubry, she took sick, so he kept her out of school for two days.  When the nanny went to the school to pick her up, Nahla wasn’t there; she was at home with her dad.  So the nanny went to his house where the alleged fracas allegedly took place.

There seems to be not even an allegation that Aubry hurt anyone and indeed, he says the event never even happened.  But that didn’t stop Berry from trying to bootstrap the nanny’s allegations into sole custody of Nahla.  What also shouldn’t surprise anyone is that the nanny is now suing Aubry. 

I think that’s called ‘synergy.’  The nanny makes a false claim out of which she can get money from Aubry; at the same time, Berry can use the same claim to try to take his child.  Hand in glove.

All of that is pretty much a standard, off-the-shelf claim of DV used to separate a child from its father.  But in a marked departure from the business as usual of family courts, it seems to have failed.  Social workers with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services investigated the matter and agreed with Aubry.  Here’s what they said in their report to the court.

“Social workers recommended that absolutely no changes be made in the current custody agreement, which the judge gives tremendous weight and consideration to,” a source close to the situation tells RadarOnline.com. “Halle and Gabriel essentially have joint custody of Nahla. DCFS found absolutely no basis to the claims that Gabriel physically assaulted the nanny, or has ever physically abused Nahla.

“There was nothing found to substantiate the nanny’s claims, and social workers felt that a restraining order that Halle was seeking wasn’t necessary, and would actually harm Nahla by keeping her from her father.”

The judge has yet to rule on the recommendations but is expected to concur with them and order no change in custody and no restraining order.  Neither are the police expected to file charges against Aubry.  Doubtless the nanny’s civil suit against Nahla’s father will remain in place.

Needless to say, most guys don’t make out as well as Aubry did.  I suspect that has something to do with his financial ability to hire good attorneys and private investigators.  The social workers at DCFS are less likely to run roughshod over a man like Aubry in a high-profile case than they are a less-well-known, less-well-heeled father.  Those everyday guys are still routinely abused by the family law system as countless recent articles have shown.

So on one hand, it’s good to see justice prevail and a little girl not be denied contact with her father based on false allegations.  But on the other hand, let’s not pretend that Gabriel Aubry’s case has much to do with those of the run-of-the-mill dads who daily battle the misandry of the family court system all for that most humble of desires – to play a part in the upbringing of their children.

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