TMZ reports that Zingano named Berry, 55, after she approached the real-life fighter in 2019 while preparing for her directorial debut in the upcoming movie “Bruised,” in which she also stars as an aged Mixed Martial Arts fighter who is hoping for one more shot at relevance in the octagon.
The lawsuit reportedly alleges that Zingano was told by Berry to keep her schedule open so that she could be ready to act in the movie when the time came to start shooting. However, UFC came calling soon after with a fight offer for Zingano. She alleges that she spoke with Berry about the fight and whether or not it would impact her potential movie debut.
She claims Berry advised her to turn down the fight offer for fear that it would create liability concerns for the movie’s insurer. Cat claims that she turned down the fight and was ultimately released from her UFC contract soon after.
Halle Berry is the subject of a lawsuit from a former UFC fighter who claims she was promised a role in her movie ‘Bruised.’ (Getty Images)
In her suit, Zingano notes that Berry then informed her that she could no longer be a part of the movie because she was no longer an active UFC fighter, despite Berry being the one to convince her not to take on a new fight.
Neither representatives for Zingano nor Berry immediately responded to Fox News’ request for comment.
Zingano, however, now claims that Berry has cut off all communication with her, forcing her to take legal action as a result of the lost movie opportunity as well as her UFC career.
“Bruised,” which is set to drop on Netflix in November, marks the actress’ first time directing a film. She says she was originally not approached to star or direct the movie, which Entertainment Weekly reports was originally conceived with Blake Lively in mind. However, after the “Gossip Girl” actress respectfully passed, Berry realized that she couldn’t get the script out of her head. She approached the producers and asked if she could star in the movie and make it more about a fighter getting a last chance rather than another chance.
One thing led to another and she ended up in the director’s chair.