Cat Zingano is suing award-winning actress turned director Halle Berry for damages over an offered movie role that never materialized in her upcoming film, Bruised.
The film is focused on Berry, who is playing a disgraced former UFC fighter named Jackie Justice attempting to make a return to competition. Berry spent a lot of time working alongside well-known mixed martial arts promotions such as the UFC and Invicta FC and their stars, which led to some of them being cast in the film.
Zingano was allegedly one of those stars, but her role was not made official. Per the lawsuit obtained by TMZ, Zingano and Berry met in 2019 to discuss the film. The pair hit it off well and Berry was said to have told Zingano that she was a ‘perfect fit’ for the project and asked to keep her schedule clear as filming was supposed to start soon. Around the same time, the UFC offered Zingano a fight, which she brought to the attention of Berry.
Zingano claims that after speaking with Berry, who advised her to decline the fight over “liability concerns”, she did exactly that and was then released from the promotion. Upon her release, Zingano says she was cut from the film entirely as Berry wanted to work with current UFC fighters. Communication between Zingano and Berry soon ceased and the lawsuit was subsequently filed.
Following her release from the UFC, Zingano signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA to compete in the women’s featherweight division. She made her promotional debut about a year later at Bellator 245, where she bested Gabby Holloway by way of unanimous decision. Zingano followed that performance up with a first-round armbar over Olivia Parker at Bellator 256 and called for a championship opportunity against the winner of Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino and Leslie Smith.