Berry-ing the Past

updated 04/21/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/13/1998 12:00AM

Halle Berry has spoken out about the personal problems that have beset her this year. The actress (who won a Golden Globe for her HBO biopic "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge") was fined $13,500 and sentenced to three years probation after she pleaded no contest to leaving the scene of a February car accident in West Hollywood. But Berry, 34, tells The Washington Post that the civil suit filed by the woman whose car Berry hit will soon be settled. "I feel really good about the way it was resolved," she said. "The judge said in open court that the rumors (about me) of other hit-and-runs were false, as were the drunk-driving and drugs rumors." Besides making "me appreciate all the great things that were happening in my life," the incident brought her closer to her fiancé, singer Eric Benet. "We got to affirm our love and support of one another," she told The Post. The two, she added, plan to wed before the end of the year, right after she finishes her new movie, "Swordfish." "We're not going to have a wedding," she said. "We're just going to go off and elope."
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