After going blow-for-blow in her directorial debut Bruised, in which she also stars, it seems Halle Berry might have another opponent on her hands.
Per Variety, the Academy Award-winning actress is being sued by MMA star Cat Zingano, who claims she passed up a key UFC fight to take part in Berry’s film—only to be released from UFC and the film as a result.
Zingano is claiming “promissory estoppel,” and is arguing that she relied on Berry’s promise to include her in the film when she turned down the UFC fight. According to the suit, Zingano alleges that Berry asked her to appear in the film during a meeting in July 2019. However, a week later, she was contacted by UFC with an offer to participate in a fight slated for October 2019 that would position her for a title fight down the line. After that, Zingano alleges that Berry “advised her to pass on the fight” if she wanted to do the film, citing insurance reasons as to why Zingano couldn’t do both at the same time.
More on the suit, per Variety:
“Zingano was torn between the significantly valuable career-advancing opportunity to fight for title contention, and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be involved with Defendant Berry in a feature film about a character whose story so closely mirrored Zingano’s own life story,” the suit states.
Zingano informed UFC that she would not participate in the fight. UFC then released her in August 2019. Two weeks after that, Berry allegedly told Zingano that she could not appear in the film, because only UFC fighters could participate. Berry then cut off communication with Zingano, who later signed with Bellator MMA.
According to court documents obtained by TMZ, Zingano says she relied on Berry’s word concerning her appearance in the film and is now suing for damages. So far, reps for Halle Berry have yet to respond to the suit.