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HipHollywood has learned that it is not illegal to file a divorce petition under an alias, as long as a judge approves it.

As previously reported, Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez both filed divorce petitions under fake names; Halle filed under Hal Maria and Olivier under Oliver Martin. But we can confirm that this is common, especially when dealing with children.

“In a highly public case, the reason for filing under an alias is understandable, and in a family law case in particular, which this is, a judge may grant permission in order to protect the children. And of course, he may not want the publicity himself,” attorney Mitra Ahouraian of Ahouraian Law tells HipHollywood.

It’s also been reported that Berry did not properly serve her husband of two years. According to TMZ, the Extant actress gave Martinez the papers herself, which drew the questioned: Does it count? “Under the federal rules (federal law), the person serving the lawsuit can’t be a party to the lawsuit,” Ahouraian tells us.

“So if a plaintiff or defendant personally serves the other, that person is not considered properly served and doesn’t have to respond. But the fact that he filed a suit himself for the same issue means he’s agreed to have the matter decided by the courts. In other words, he doesn’t need to be served again.”

Halle filed on Monday and Olivier filed on Tuesday, but we are told that most likely a judge will “combine the 2 cases as being related (or really, the same), and decide on them together.” So really, it doesn’t matter who is divorcing whom.

According to reports, the couple will plan on sharing custody of their 2-year-old son, Maceo, who in Halle’s petition went by the name, Mac Martin.

EXCLUSIVES

Netflix’s ‘Step Sisters’ Is ‘Bring It On’ … But Way More Woke!

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Netflix is getting ready to “Bring It On” … in more ways than one. The streaming service’s new flick Step Sisters is reminiscent of the 90s dance film, but delves deeper into racial themes like cultural appropriation, tokenization and interracial dating.

In the film Megalyn Echikunwoke (Arrow) plays the president of a black sorority who is tasked with teaching one of the campus’ white sororities how to step for a charity competition. At first glimpse the film seems to be stepping into a can of worms — and had folks on Twitter up in arms, but the creators and cast told HipHollywood it isn’t about cultural appropriation but instead cultural exchange.

“There’s a strong political message, and there’s a lot of racial content,” said Nia Jervier. “But I think that the pill that may be difficult to swallow is dipped in honey, because it’s funny.”

What also helps is that producer/writers like Lena Waithe (Masters of None), Chuck Hayward (Dear White People) and Ben Cory Jones (Underground) are behind the project – so you know it’s woke.

“At the end of the day, Jamila the lead character in our minds she’s reaching over to show them a part of our culture. It doesn’t dilute our culture,” said Jones. ” And I love that we can take stepping and evolve that into issues of race and culture.”

Step Sisters begins streaming on Netflix January 20th.

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