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Estranged Sister Speaks Over Halle Berry's Child Custody, Abusive Dad, and Racism

February 21, 2011, 7:09 am GMT

Renee Berry reaches out to Halle Berry for child custody case and also denies sister's testimony about racism and their abusive father, insisting he was a good man.

Halle Berry

Halle Berry's estranged sister is reaching out to the actress to let "bygones be bygones" after reading about the star's recent child custody battle. The Oscar winner has not spoken to her siblings in five years, but eldest sister Renee Berry claims she can't understand why Berry has cut them out of her life.

Renee insists she hates seeing the actress fighting for custody of her daughter Nahla with her ex Gabriel Aubry - earlier this week Berry was granted permission by a judge to travel with her daughter. And her sibling is calling for Berry to get back in contact and let her family meet their niece.

Renee tells Britain's Daily Mirror, "I'm sad to say it seems like she does not want anything to do with us. I have not spoken to her in about five years. I tried to contact her through her website, to congratulate her on her Oscar, but no one got back to me. She used to be very close to my brother Anthony, but she's cut herself off from him now too. It makes us very upset - none of us understand why she feels the way she does..."

She adds, "We are desperate to understand why Halle is so upset, why she feels she cannot be with us. Halle will always be my baby sister...It is sad because our grandmother Cora, who died in 2003, did not raise us to be apart like this... Halle needs to realize that at some point, you have to let bygones be bygones. You need to learn how to forgive."

Also, Renee has spoken out to slam the actress' allegations their dad was an abusive alcoholic, and insists she was also never aware of any racism the star endured at school. Berry has previously discussed her father's abusive and alcoholic ways, saying, "I saw my mother battered, and could not do anything to stop it. My father was tyrannical, lashing out at her for no reason." And the star claimed her dad Jerome sold his story of their estrangement "for a pack of beer and cigarettes" before his death in 2003.

But now Renee has spoken out to defend their father, insisting he "was a good man".She tells Britain's Daily Mirror, "My father never beat any of us. He would spank us from time to time, but he never abused us. He liked a drink or two, like anyone else does, but he was not an alcoholic. My father was a good man who loved all his children - and it makes me upset when anyone says anything different."

Renee also refutes claims Berry was subjected to bullying taunts throughout her school life in Ohio because of her ethnicity. She adds, "I never saw any of that. Halle and her sister Heidi had lots of friends at school. I don't remember racism being a problem."

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