*People magazine nabbed an interview with David Justice after his series of tweets ridiculing the divorce of his ex-wife Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez made national headlines.
The former Atlanta Braves all-star and the Oscar winner divorced 24 years ago, but he says rumors about their split continue to haunt him.
“Over the past 20 years, I’ve heard people saying, ‘Isn’t that the dude who hit Halle Berry in the head?’ ” he tells People.
After their divorce, Justice went on to win two World Series pennants and the 2000 ALCS MVP award. But fans continued to heckle him about the domestic violence rumors. “They’d scream, ‘Hey Justice, hit the ball like you hit Halle!’ ” he remembers.
His current wife Rebecca, whom he married in 2001, had heard the stories too before they started dating, but chose to give him the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, Justice says most people will “believe everything they read,” like the flight attendant he says came up to his seat recently and asked, “Aren’t you the guy who hit Halle Berry?”
After refusing to discuss it for decades, Justice unloaded on Twitter last week. In the messages, the 49-year-old stated that he never hit his ex-wife during their relationship. While Berry has spoken publicly about an ex-boyfriend she says caused permanent hearing loss to her left ear, she has never named her abuser.
Sources close to the Oscar winner, 49, responded to the tweets, telling People that, “Halle and David haven’t spoken for years and when they did last, there was no animosity between them whatsoever. They were really friendly. This is coming out of nowhere.”
But for Justice, setting the record straight was a long time coming. “For so many years, there has been this cloud upon the guys who were associated with Halle back then,” he says. “Halle has said that she was in abusive relationships but she didn’t name who the abuser was, so for many years I know a lot of people thought it was me.”
In sending those tweets, he says, “All I was trying to do was let the world know that David Justice is not the person who hit her on her head and caused her hearing loss. Not only did David Justice not do that, David Justice never hit her, period.”
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